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Sunday, November 15, 2009

New Recipe! "You won't be puffin' when you eat this muffin."

Act One, Scene One -- Saturday morning breakfast showdown:

Courtney (9): "What's for breakfast?"
Me (29ish): "I don't know, what do you want?"
Courtney: "Coffee."
Me: "Ha! OK, and with your coffee? How about something good for you?"
Courtney: (sigh, followed by eye roll) "Can I have a ham sandwich?"
Me: "For breakfast? OK, I guess, but only if you eat it on whole-grain bread."
Courtney: "Ew, Jenny, please no." (another eye roll)
Keith: "You know, Court, the sugars in white bread are just like eating a piece of cake. Your body can't tell the difference." (I LOVE it when he quotes me...hee hee...this is starting to catch on!)
Courtney: "Ahhh, Daddy! OK, fine."

OK, here we go. It's make it or break it time. I mean, I know this bread tastes good. But it has actual, visible "thingies" (a.k.a. grains) in it. Even Keith is tough when it comes to the whole grain bread. She is looking very skeptical now.

Act One, Scene Two -- After a couple very timid bites...

Me: "See, it's sweet, right?"
Courtney: "It sort of tastes like honey...but I still don't like it."
Me: "Why? You like honey!"
Courtney: "Um...well...Jenny, I'm only eating it because I'm really hungry."
Me: "Yeah right! You MUST like it. You've eaten the whole sandwich without an argument."
Courtney: "Well I admit it tasted good. Just not VERY good."

I don't care what anybody says, I'm considering this a Svelte Gourmet victory. Especially since she asked for the same sandwich again for lunch on Sunday! Yippee! But if you can believe it, Saturday got even better.

Taylor (15): "Jenny, is there a way to make muffins healthy? Can we bake some?"

Um....are you kidding?! Is the Pope Catholic? Of course we can bake healthy muffins! OK, not only is Courtney eating whole grain bread without a fight, but Taylor is asking to make healthy muffins. Could life get any better? Not for me. But again, it's go time. Act fast, before she loses interest!

Me: (on the phone) "Mom, quick! I need the recipe for Grandma's bran muffins. The yummy ones she used to make all the time. Can you email it to me? ....yes, Taylor....I KNOW....yes, Court ate whole grain bread.....I KNOW!" (Yes, my mother gets just as excited as I do over this stuff -- she's my inspiration! Keith and my dad just roll their eyes. There seems to be a lot of eye rolling going on around here lately...)

So as you can probably tell, Keith and the kids helped me out with the title of today's blog post -- they're really embracing the Svelte Gourmet philosophy! Taylor and I had a great time baking these muffins, and as usual, I had a great time playing around with the ingredients to make them even healthier.

These muffins are mostly my grandmother, partly my mother, partly me, and partly Taylor. The combined result is a rich, subtly sweet, tasty and nutritious muffin that can be breakfast, a snack, or dessert. We ate these all weekend and I don't feel the least bit guilty. This recipe replaces white flour with whole wheat flour, oil with applesauce, and white sugar with honey, which is sweeter, more nutritious and lower on the glycemic index! I plugged the entire recipe into my Calorie Counter and divided by the servings (it makes approximately 32 muffins!) and even I was astounded. Virtually no fat (just whatever is in the milk and eggs you use), about 100 calories each, and around 3.5 grams of fiber in each one! Yay fiber! These muffins are NOT your average "cupcake" disguised as breakfast. These are actually good for you -- and they really do taste great!

Raisin Honey Bran Muffins

3 cups bran cereal (such as All Bran Original), divided
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
3 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup honey
2 cups buttermilk (or 2 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice mixed with milk to equal 2 cups -- I use 2%)
2 eggs
1 cup seedless raisins

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine 1 cup of the cereal with boiling water and applesauce. Mix well and set aside.
Combine flour, salt, baking soda and remaining 2 cups of cereal. Add honey, milk and eggs. Mix well. Stir in cereal/water/applesauce mixture and raisins.
Spoon batter into greased muffin tins, filling each cup 2/3 full (3/4 for larger muffins).
Bake for 15 minutes (17 minutes for larger muffins), one pan at a time. Cool in pan 10 minutes before placing muffins on cooling racks.

Smaller muffins (32 per recipe) have about 100 calories and 3.5 grams of fiber in each. Larger muffins (20 per recipe) have about 160 calories and 5 1/2 grams of fiber in each!

Overall, I think I've had another successfully svelte weekend. Courtney's eating whole grains, albeit hesitantly, and Taylor wants to learn to cook and eat healthier. I now have a batch of muffins that, with every bite, reminds me of my childhood -- my wonderful grandparents baking together in the kitchen, my beautiful mother teaching me to cook and planting the seed for a healthy lifestyle. Taylor suggested we add chopped pecans next time, and I love that she's interested in experimenting. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do! And remember, "you won't be puffin' when you eat this muffin!"

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