Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sunny Day

Okay, I'm better today. 'Nuff said.

Yesterday I baked a batch of Brown Sugar Cherry Muffins. They were outstanding. I ate five. I followed this recipe except I used cherries instead of peaches (how could Publix not have peaches???), left out the spices, added an extra half-teaspoon of vanilla, only used a couple tablespoons of oil (next time I will be brave and not use any), and added a couple tablespoons of mashed banana (to make up for the fat). The way I did the fat thing was I cut the end off a frozen banana (I have TONS of frozen bananas in the freezer. I zapped it in my microwave to thaw and it kind of turned into banana mush, which was fine for this recipe. I put it into the third-cup measure and was disappointed to see that it was only about half of a third of a cup. I poured in a little oil, but NOT to the top of the measuring cup, and that's what I used. Honestly, these muffins were GREAT, so the minimized fat was NOT a problem.

One thing I have noticed is that I have started modifying and experimenting with recipes more than I ever used to. I have always made a wide range of dishes, but I was a stickler for following the recipe. I've relaxed a little on that part. :)

Anyway, these muffins contain spelt flour (Publix sells it) and it is a WINNER for baking. Whole grain, but much lighter than whole wheat. Didn't taste whole grain-y to me (but -- I haven't had any white flour in my house for months, so maybe my tastes have just changed). Spelt is an ancient grain -- a type of wheat, actually -- but it's lower in gluten than typical wheat so the muffins are less likely to get tough, even if you over mix (don't over mix your muffins!!!).

The real test: Bruce ate two for breakfast. Bruce NEVER eats muffins. EVER. Honestly, in the 35 years we have been married, I don't think he's ever eaten two muffins in a sitting. (I have no idea why he doesn't like muffins -- what's not to like? -- but there you go.) SO -- while the amount of sugar makes it difficult to really call this recipe "healthy," it's certainly not bad. Once you've left out most of the fat, of course.

Speaking of Bruce and fat -- that is our only area of contention these days. I am on a quest to remove as much fat as possible from our lives and he swears he likes it. (Fat, I mean, not me removing it.) The other day I got annoyed with him and said, "Your cholesterol isn't low enough because you keep eating fat. You might as well eat steak." He looked at me and said, "I really like the way I eat now. It's tasty and interesting." Or words to that effect.

I thought about that. This is a guy who was on Atkins for TEN YEARS. Steak, cheese, full-fat salad dressings, cream, on and on. TEN YEARS he ate this way. He's been eating a plant-based diet for over a year now and I think he cheats less than I do. I really do give him props for taking the leap. (I give ME props for cooking "tasty and interesting" food for him, but still.) I'm proud of him. Everybody in his family dies YOUNG of heart disease or cancer (40s, 50s, 60s tops), so he is doing all he can to buck that trend.

I think I'm going to run to Publix and pick up a few things. I thought I would make Dreena's No-fu Love Loaf, shape it into meatballs instead of a loaf, and have spaghetti and meatballs for supper. I need a green pepper and some mushrooms for the sauce but I think I have everything else I need.

More later...

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