One of my challenges in losing weight is battling my tendencies to get more food for each point in the Weight Watchers food plan. Those zero-point foods become more attractive, and that’s the way WW intended it to be. If we focus on lean proteins and fresh fruits and vegetables, we will become healthier and lose weight.
However, a problem arises when we start manipulating foods with artificial flavorings and sweeteners in order to stretch out those WW points. When we start doing that, we aren’t learning to be satisfied with smaller portions, and we aren’t learning to rely on whole, natural foods.
A few days ago I bought a diet lemonade (sweetened with Splenda) from Chick Fil A. Within a little while I had a headache. I’ve noticed that several times recently – a headache and usually stomach upset not long after drinking or eating something with artificial sweeteners. Yesterday I made a dozen muffins using a sugar-free cake mix as the base. “Sugar-free” typically means “sweetened with artificial sweetener,” and that was the case with these muffins. I ate one of the muffins for lunch, and all afternoon I’ve had digestive issues as a result. The rest of the muffins are going in the trash.
When I consider the fact that I started this WW health, fitness, and mindfulness journey in order to become healthier, then I don’t want to eat or drink anything that doesn’t foster that. Every now and then, I will still enjoy a Diet Coke. However, rather than a multiple-times-a-day thing, it is now something I consume maybe two or three times a month. And that is okay for now. I may cut them out entirely at some point.
My mother is 97 years old, and one of the reasons (I believe) that she has led such a long and mostly healthy life is that she sticks to healthy food: lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and whole grain bread. She almost never eats pork, and she has lots of meatless meals.
No major insight for this post – just a reminder to myself of the importance of natural, whole foods. That will continue to be one of my focuses for my daily life.
The idea for these came from my sister, Janice, who posted the recipe on Facebook. It’s a White Lily Flour recipe. I revised it to better fit in with the WW Blue Plan, and I actually came up with a couple of variations. These are 4 points each (WW Blue Plan) if you use the Velveeta slices, and 3 points if you use the Canadian bacon. I had one for dinner tonight, and I am stuffed!
Here’s the recipe:
Baked Cheesy Biscuits with Eggs
1 cups self-rising flour (11 points)
4 eggs (0 points)
1/2 teaspoon yeast (0 points)
1/4 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt (0 points)
1/4 cup warm water (0 points)
1/2 teaspoon salt (0 points)
Pam cooking spray, butter flavor (0 points)
4 slices Velveeta cheese (6 points) OR 4 slices Canadian Bacon (1) OR a combination of both. Just figure out the correct points.
Other toppings you might want to add: spinach, onion – whatever you like.
In a large bowl, mix 3/4 cup of the flour with the yeast and salt. Reserve the extra 1/4 cup of the flour for later.
Add the yogurt and stir until it starts to form a ball.
Add the warm water and mix well. You should have a sticky ball of dough.
Sprinkle some of the reserved flour on a clean counter or pastry mat. (I actually used a paper towel).
Dump out the dough onto the floured mat.
Sprinkle more of the reserved flour on the dough, gently fold it over, and repeat until a good ball of dough is formed.
Spray your hands with Pam, take the dough and form it into 4 biscuits of equal size.
Take a small round cookie cutter and cut out a hole in each biscuit. Place the cut out rounds and the larger biscuits on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You can push on the inner circle to widen it. Trust me, you want that circle to be big enough to hold an egg! Those circles that look so big in the photo close in a lot when they cook!
Spray the tops lightly with butter-flavored Pam.
Let rise for about 30 minutes.
Bake at 475 degrees for about 6-8 minutes until puffed but not browned.
Remove baking sheet from oven.
Either drape a slice of cheese over each of the large biscuits – using your finger to press it into the opening to form a deep cup, OR make four cuts on a slice of Canadian bacon (see photo) and overlap the edges to tuck it into the opening to form a deep cup.
Crack an egg into each biscuit cup. If you look at the photos below, you will see that the egg white flowed over the edges of the biscuits. I worried, but when I took them out of the oven, they were fine. I even had a yolk roll over the edge of the biscuit. I just scooped it up with a spoon and put it back. LOL!
Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle other toppings – grated cheese on the ones with Canadian bacon (measure and count the points), chopped spinach leaves, etc.
Return the baking sheet to the oven and continue baking until the biscuits are golden and the egg whites are set, about 10 minutes more.
Notice in the photo above, the egg white that flowed out into the pan. It was fine! The top two have the slice of Velveeta, and the bottom two have the Canadian bacon. I liked the ones with the Canadian bacon best – and they were one point lower! Both were delicious, though! A serving includes one of the large biscuits with the egg in the middle along with one of the smaller cutouts.
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!
I saw a recipe today for a zero-point cheesecake. I read over the directions and decided to make it. Of course, I made my own changes to it. The only artificial sweetener I use is Stevia. I use only Stevia because I have grown Stevia in my garden before. It’s in the mint family. I’ve chewed on the leaves – and they’re unbelievably sweet! So at least the origin of Stevia sweetener is natural. I know they add artificial stuff to get it into a powdered form. Still, it’s better than sweeteners that are completely concocted in chemistry labs.
I also added an additional egg – to make 4 altogether. The reason I did that is to make the batter thicker and for it to have more substance when it is chilled.
Since I had a big juicy lime in the refrigerator, I decided to make this first one a lime cheesecake.
How did it turn out? This cheesecake is delicious! I have to admit that I couldn’t wait the recommended two hours for it to cool. So my husband and I split a slice of warm cheesecake. It makes 8 generous servings. I used a large deep dish pie plate that I had. Next time I will use a regular pie plate.
Next time I plan on making a marble cheesecake. Once the batter is in the pan and before I bake it, I will drizzle some sugar-free Hershey syrup on it, and then use a spoon to swirl it through the batter. I will measure the syrup first to be sure and get an exact count of points. The chocolate syrup will probably make the slices 1 point each instead 0 points.
The only ingredient with points in the recipe below is the sugar-free pudding mix. It is 3 points per box. So there are three points in the entire cheesecake. Technically, that would be 0 points per slice if you make 8 slices. If you eat more than one slice, I’d count 1 point.
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.