1-Point LARGE Cafe Latte!

Unsweetened vanilla almond milk and Golden monkfruit sweetener

When I got home from an appointment earlier today, I wanted a latte or macchiato; I needed an early afternoon energy boost. I started to make a caramel macchiato but then noticed that the jar of sugar-free caramel had “Refrigerate after opening” on it. It has been sitting next to my espresso machine for a couple months. I tossed it in the trash.

With no caramel (except full sugar – which would add 6 points for 2 tablespoons – and I would want more than 2 tablespoons!), I decided to go with a latte instead.

I got a large glass and filled it with ice. Then I poured 4 ounces of espresso over the ice. And since I REALLY like my coffee drinks sweet, and since I had just bought a bag of golden monkfruit sweetener, I added 1 1/2 Tablespoons of it to my latte.  I finished filling up the glass with unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and stirred it.

The golden monkfruit sweetener is a brown sugar replacement. So it gave the latte a caramel-y flavor – which I loved.

Weight Watchers points? The only ingredient with points is the almond milk – and it’s 1 point for 1 cup. I used less than a cup, but will count a full point anyway. It is delicious! Just imagine: a large coffee drink for 1 point! I will be making these more often!

Recipe Fail: Chocolate Muffins

My experiment today was to make chocolate muffins without a sugar free cake mix as the base.  I wanted to develop my own recipe. It sounded so simple. However, I found that I greatly over-estimated my creative baking skills.  It was such a disaster that I won’t even list the recipe, but here are the ingredients I used:

They looked so nice in the pan and cooked up beautifully.  I couldn’t wait to taste them.

I took one bite of the warm muffin – and promptly spit it out into a napkin!  There was no sweetness at all – it actually kinda set my teeth on edge. All 12 muffins (minus that one bite) went right into the “chicken bowl” that we keep in the kitchen for scraps to feed the chickens. 

I decided to give it another try immediately. I decided to add some monkfruit sweetener, vanilla extract, and a little Fage nonfat Greek yogurt. Surely those additions would make the muffins wonderful – or at least palatable.

So I made a second batch with those modifications. Again, I was eager to try them out. They looked and smelled wonderful. This time I got 2-3 bites down before tossing all the rest into the chicken bowl.  The second batch didn’t set my teeth on edge, but they simply didn’t taste good.  Sigh.

I have to say – those sugar-free cake mixes are looking a lot more appealing at this point! I’ve run out of muffin-making steam for today, but maybe tomorrow I will be go back to the original sugar-free cake mix chocolate muffin recipe!

Artificial Sweeteners – pro and con

Today I was thinking about all the foods I’m eating lately that have artificial sweeteners. Not good. I don’t want to live the rest of my life using artificial sweeteners because they definitely do not promote good health.

So, with that in mind, I am going to phase them out. I will figure out healthy ways to enjoy sweets naturally with moderation and common sense. It may be that I have to stop them altogether, or I may only use Stevia and monkfruit. I need to do some research to get more information to see if there are any that are truly safe.

I’ve enjoyed the muffins that I have made with sugar-free cake mixes. However, I bet I can find muffin recipes without the fake stuff that will be low points AND tasty. So that will be my goal for the next few weeks.

4-Point Caramel Macchiato

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)
(6) Enjoy!