Monday, February 16, 2009

How I Pretend I'm Not Eating Sugar

Janet Bolin's short stories and humorous essays have been published in literary journals and the anthology Dear Sad Goat, and have been read aloud on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation radio programs. Janet works as a slave to three dogs who exhibit strong herding tendencies.

If you're like me, you love sugar. And you binge on it in hopes of fooling your body into thinking you've only had a little when you've really had a lot.

It took me awhile, but I finally discovered savory muffins. No added sugar.

Okay, okay, I cheat. I really, really like Craisins, the dried cranberries from Ocean Spray, and cranberries by themselves are tart. Ocean Spray adds sugar. I figure that's okay. Since I'm not the one adding it, those calories can't count, right?

Here's my Craisin muffin recipe, but feel free to experiment. Sun-dried tomatoes are yummy, too (then I use olive oil instead of grapeseed oil.)

Savory Cranberry and Ricotta Muffins

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

Cinnamon to taste

4 large eggs (splurge to 5 if you like your muffins really eggy, almost like crullers - I do.)

6 tablespoons milk

6 tablespoons grapeseed oil

1/2 cup light ricotta cheese

1/2 cup rolled oats

1 cup Craisins (I know, I know, that's a lot, cut it back if you must…)

Preheat the oven to 350F. Sift the flour with the baking powder and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, and oil. Stir in the ricotta. Add half the liquid to the dry ingredients, stir, then add the rest and stir more. I'd say beat the batter, but my attempts at beating it cause blobs to fly around the kitchen (and I'm not using an electric beater, only a wooden spoon). Add the rolled oats and Craisins and stir until well mixed. Divide batter into nonstick muffin pan and bake 20 - 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Makes 12 muffins.

These are sophisticated muffins for grown-up tastes, but if your children insist on helping eat them, they'll be filling up on fairly nutritious ingredients (and as I said, the sugar doesn't count since you didn't add it yourself.) Maybe the kids would like them in their school lunches. Maybe you'd like them for those mornings when you have to grab something in a hurry on your way to work. They're also great for road trips, and may actually stave off that moment when you really must stop at the fast food place to prevent everyone in the back seat(s) from starving.

Or, you could just take along a package of Craisins and eat them by the handful. That wouldn't be counted as binging, would it?


Kenna Coltman said...

Those muffins look delicious - can't wait to try them out!

Great blog.

Oh, and I vote for sugar added by someone else not counting - after all, you have no control over it, right?!

Lorna Barrett said...

Do you still use cinnamon if you're making them with sundried tomatoes? (My husband says I'd eat dirt if it had sundried tomatoes mixed in.)

Daryl said...

Janet, the pictures are fabulous! Can't wait to try the recipe.

Daryl said...

Janet, the photographs are fabulous. Can't wait to try the recipe.

Janet said...

Kenna, absolutely right - sugar added to cranberries is only because, well, they kind of need them.

And I have to admit that a half cup of sugar added to the recipe would be really good...

But I won't try that. I won't.

And Lorna, I agree. Sundried tomatoes go with about anything, and I'm sure they'd make dirt taste a lot better. But when I use them, I use olives and basil, and I substitute gruyere or some other hard yummy cheese for ricotta, and olive oil for grapeseed oil. No one misses the sugar.

But why do we love sundried tomatoes so much? Yep, they're very sweet...

Patg said...

That's why I love picking up treats at bakeries, they never put ingrediants or calorie counts on them.
By the way, has anyone ever heard of the white or navy bean substitute for sugar? I heard the tail end of a discussion on it a few weeks ago, but have never been able to find anything else about it. I even when out and bought two cans of white beans in antisipation of trying it in cookies.

Carol said...

This takes sugar, but no eggs and minimum fat. A real treat for those on heart diets.
Chocolate Yogurt Muffins

1/2 c cocoa
1 c sugar (brown or white)
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour (I reduce some and add chocolate soy protein, since we eat minimal meat)
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 6oz container no fat vanilla yogurt
6-8 oz milk (I used dry milk powder and just fill the yogurt container with water to rinse it out)
1/4 c canola oil
coconut or nuts, if you want. I'm nuts about coconut.

Bake at 350 for about 20-25 min. I've been known to turn off the oven at 20 min and just leave them there until later.

Makes 12 DElicious muffins.
Carol Turner

Krista said...

Carol, they sound delicious! Thanks for sharing with us. I can't wait to try them!

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