Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Yellow Squash Muffins... and yes, another diet lecture
In my fifty years I've been on at least as many diets. From my very earliest memories, I was always on the heavy side, or as my mother would placatingly term, pleasantly plump. I ate similarly to everyone else in the family, but I just never shed the baby fat that would prove to haunt me all of my life. For anyone who's ever struggled with their weight, it's just that...a struggle. The ups and downs, the plateaus, the hunger pangs and depression associated with dieting prove to be the very symptoms that have made the weight loss industry the billion dollar business it is today.
For the most part, I've been fairly successful with whichever weight loss program I've tried. I'm stubborn (read will power) that way. I've lost the same 30-40 pounds at least five times. And what does that tell you? It clearly tells you that WILL power alone WILL NOT be enough to maintain weight loss. Until I found a way of eating that didn't demand will power from me, I most likely would have continued to yo-yo my way through life.
Enter the South Beach Diet. Before you decide that I've fallen prey to yet ANOTHER diet scheme, please know that I've been successful at maintaining my weight loss with this program for five whole years! That, in and of itself, tells me that I've finally found something that trumps my stubborn and eliminates me from the Duncan yo-yo competition (although I could still kick your collective asses "walking the dog" any day.)
When I first started this blog entry, I debated on whether or not to even mention the South Beach Diet, because when push comes to shove, its entire premise is merely healthy eating. There are no gimmicks here, just sound nutritional advise that turned on my yo-yo light bulb and helped light my way to permanent weight loss success. However, it wouldn't be fair to the South Beach program if I'd claimed to have found this information on my own.
A quick Google search will result in all the information one would need to understand the basic concepts of the South Beach program, so I won't go into detail here. However, it's important to know that our bodies metabolize and utilize all foods differently, and our bodies in return, respond to those foods differently. I've learned that by providing my body with the proper nutrients, I have not only managed to lose weight, I've managed to do it without all the associated diet-angst symptoms (see opening paragraph.)
In that light, you'll find that most (hey, I'm not perfect) of my recipes fall somewhere close to the South Beach guidelines. I'm a firm advocate of whole grains and heart-healthy fats, and very opposed to processed foods that contain added sugar and trans fats.
OK... so... you'd KNEW there'd be a recipe here somewhere, didn't you?
Yellow Squash Muffins
These are as moist and delicious as ..well... these could be food porn. Nuff said. Take note that while I used yellow summer squash in this recipe, you'd could just as easily use zucchini. And instead of the fat free yogurt, you could use fat free sour cream. See how easy this is?
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup Splenda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup Egg Beaters egg substitute
1/2 cup no-sugar-added applesauce
1/2 cup fat free plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups yellow summer squash, peeled ,shredded
3 oz mini chocolate chips (see? I'm not perfect! I still demand CHOCOLATE)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Spray muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of this mixture. In another bowl, beat egg whites until foamy (not too much- just foamy) To the egg whites, add applesauce, yogurt, and vanilla and stir, just to combine (do not over-stir) Blend in squash and chocolate chips to combine. Spoon into muffin cups and bake at 375 for 23 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for five minutes before removing from pan.
These are excellent to freeze and individually thaw in one-muffin portions.