I saw another recipe on Facebook and decided to try it. Sugar Free Banana Muffins. It would be banana bread if you put it in a loaf pan instead of muffin tins. I wasn’t terribly impressed with them – although when they were warm and right out of the oven, they were pretty good. But they’re also on the dry side – just a little – which is not how muffins should be.
The base is a sugar free yellow cake mix. Then use very ripe bananas, eggs, and sugar-free chocolate chips.
I like these baking chips. It comes out to just a few chips per muffin. So I chopped them in order to spread out the chocolatey goodness more.
The muffins turned out more cakey than I prefer. I’m going to add some unsweetened applesauce next time to try to change the consistency and moistness.
It is interesting to review my eating the past week. I stayed within my points and I logged everything. It was my birthday week. On my birthday I went through all my weekly points via a couple of cosmos and a slice of key lime cheesecake that my daughter made for me when our family got together to celebrate. Earlier in the day I had a Nothing Bundt Cake Bundtini – which is like a small cupcake. That was at the art workshop I was attending.
So, the interesting and learning part is that I didn’t have a major binge or week long foray into junk food. It was a healthy week. Even on my birthday, I didn’t go to extremes. Two cosmos and one average sized slice of cheesecake shouldn’t be a big deal.
In light of this past week, I’m going to concentrate this next week on accuracy in measuring and on keeping my 0-point foods reasonable. I eat lots of grapes and melon – especially watermelon. I know I’m not overweight because of eating fruit. However fruit has calories and sugar even though they are 0 points. So I will be more careful about not overdoing 0-point foods.
Also, I want to get more steps in. I’m averaging about 4,000 steps each day. I want to bump that up to at least 5K each day this week. Small increments – atomic habits.
I just made some delicious chili – and it’s less than 1 WW/Blue point per serving. The recipe is at the end of this post.
Once you have your ingredients assembled, this chili takes about 10 minutes to put together, and then you’re free to do something else while it simmers on the stove. Although it is less than 1 point per servings, I log it as 1 point to make sure I cover all my bases. I’ve used ground turkey to make 0 point chili, and that’s good. However, the beef gives it a little more flavor and more traditional chili taste. I’m willing to use a point for that!
Quick & Easy Chili
1 lb. Lean Ground Beef (96% Lean)
1 qt. beef broth
3 cans diced tomatoes
4 cans beans (I use the Tri-Blend that Kroger sells – but most any bean will do – black beans, pinto, kidney, navy, great Northern, etc.)
Dried diced onions, bell peppers, celery, garlic (to taste) I get these at an Amish store near us. I keep plenty in my pantry because they make meal prep so much easier. However, you can also substitute fresh veggies instead.
Seasonings: salt, pepper, chili powder (to taste)
Brown the ground beef in a large pot. No oil or cooking spray is needed. Then dump everything else in. The amounts for the vegetables and seasonings depend on your taste. Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes, and it is ready to go.
This morning’s weigh-in showed I was down -0.8 lbs. For a total loss of 6.4 lbs. Slow and steady wins the race. Although it is not a race; it is a lifestyle. And I have to affirm how much better I have felt overall since I started this 5 weeks ago.
So . . . about 5 pounds for the first month. This past week was the first time I not only used all my daily points but I used all but 4 of my weekly points. Yet I still lost .8 lbs – which I was thrilled about. If I can average about 5 pounds each month, I will be happy.
One of my favorites at Starbucks is a Caramel Macchiato. However, usually after the first few sips, it becomes cloyingly sweet to me. So I started making them at home. The secret is leaving out the vanilla syrup that Starbucks adds in addition to the caramel syrup. The vanilla syrup is too much sweetness.
So I’d fill a glass up with ice, squirt caramel syrup over it (I like LOTS of caramel syrup), add 8-10 ounces of milk, and then pour a couple shots of espresso over it. Finally, I’d drizzle more caramel syrup on top. Yum! Before WW, I never measured the caramel syrup – I loved it creamy and sweet.
Since I started Weight Watchers, I wanted to skinny down the recipe. I still wanted it creamy and sweet, though. So today I made one using unsweetened vanilla almond milk and sugar-free caramel syrup. It was a hit! It’s not as sweet as what I used to make during my non-measuring days – but it sure satisfied my sweet tooth.
Here’s the recipe:
4-Point Caramel Macchiato (Weight Watcher’s Blue Plan)
(1) Fill glass with ice
(2) Drizzle 1 tablespoon of sugar-free caramel syrup over the ice.
(3) Add 1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk (1 point)
(4) Pour 2 shots of espresso into the glass (0 points)
(5) Drizzle another tablespoon of sugar-free caramel syrup (2 Tablespoons of syrup is 3 points)
I went through my points faster than usual today, and by dinner time, I had 3 points left. I try not to dip into my weekly points, and so I thought of a quick meal for 3 points.
I sprayed a small frying pan with butter-flavored PAM. Then, in a bowl, I mixed 3 eggs with salt and pepper and 2 tablespoons of fat free Greek yogurt (0 points for all that). (Note: I always add something like yogurt or sour cream to scrambled eggs or if I’m making an omelet. As the yogurt/sour cream heats up, it releases steam which makes the eggs fluffier). On a small dish, I measured out exactly 1 tablespoon of shredded cheddar cheese (1 point), and removed the packaging of one laughing cow light Swiss cheese triangle (1-point). I very finely chopped a little bit of fresh onion (about 2 Tablespoons), and chopped up a fresh tomato – I removed the seeds and used a paper towel to pat it dry. I added the onion and tomato to the small dish with the cheeses. I toasted one slice of light bread (1 point). In the photo below, I used a small dessert plate. The quantities look larger than they are. The shredded cheese is exactly 1 tablespoon.
I turned the oven to broil. Then, on the stove, I cooked the egg in a frying pan like I would an omelet – using the spatula to move the cooked portion to the middle, letting the uncooked egg fill in the spaces – going round and round the frying pan. I kept the heat fairly low so the egg wouldn’t brown. Once it was mostly cooked, I sprinkled the onion, tomato, and cheeses on top, popped it under the oven broiler and let it finish cooking.
I guess that makes it a frittata. Ha! It was absolutely delicious. Yum yum!! Great meal – very quick – only 3 points – very tasty – very filling.
I’ve been wanting to make pumpkin muffins with a chocolate cake mix. However, none of the local stores I tried had sugar-free chocolate cake mixes. So I ordered some from Amazon. Here is the result. They’re 3 points each on the WW Blue plan. Unlike the ones I made with a SF yellow cake mix, these taste like chocolate – not like pumpkin. These are definitely another win!
Again, I added to the 2 ingredients. I dumped the cake mix and the 15-ounce can of pumpkin into a mixing bowl. Then I added two eggs – to increase the protein value and to also make the batter less stiff. I used a hand mixer to blend it well. It filled the 12 cupcake paper well and rose nicely in the oven.
So my recipe is: a Pillsbury Sugar Free Devil’s Food cake mix, one 15-ounce can of 100% pure pumpkin, and 2 eggs. Blend well. Divide evenly between 12 cupcake tins. Bake about 20-22 minutes in a 350 degree oven. I ate one tonight, and so did Ron. I will leave out a couple to eat for breakfast tomorrow. The rest I will wrap individually and freeze for treats in the next couple weeks. They’re really tasty!