Healthy Seven Bean Chili

104Hello! Happy Hump Day! I had a fantastic vacation.  It was literally a week of swimming, laying in the sun, snuggling, saunas, and…you guesses it… EATING. Why is it that camping and vacations so often revolve around food? They always do for me. It’s like all my inhibitions go out the window and I’m like, yes, let’s buy those super duper high calorie burgers, and that extra rack of ribs with the super delicious but salty sauce, oh and chips? well yes we NEVER buy these, but let’s get four bags and eat them all. Yikes. That was my week in a nut shell, and while I have no regrets, because I enjoyed every bite of that burger and every rib from that rack, it’s September, Summer is over and it’s time to start eating clean again…to an extent of course. I vow to make as many healthy bakes as humanly possible, but I found some pretty tasty recipes over the last few months and I will eventually have to make them, and they are NOT diet friendly. Oh well, I gotta live a little, right?  I officially started eating clean yesterday, and while I know I will have a little extra treat here and there, I have to stick to it.  I’m going to a wedding in the Dominican in May – huge motivator – and I also have a wedding in April, and one in September (assuming I’m invited to both my cousin’s wedding…which I mean, come on, I will be…).  So, my goal is to lose 32 pounds by Christmas Eve (that’s only 2 pounds a week) by eating clean and increasing my physical activity. I am PUMPED and after one day I am already feeling fantastic.

September means that Summer is pretty well over. Not like we had much of a Summer this year anyway.  It was quite cold aside from a few major heat waves.  But i’m fine with it.  I prefer the slightly cooler weather and I love, love LOVE fall. It’s my favourite season.  I love the fashion, the cool weather, the pretty leaves, Thanksgiving, Halloween, and, yes, the cooking.  Fall bakes are fun.  They are filled with pumpkin spice and cinnamon, apples and brown sugar, cranberries even.  But the cooking is great.  When I think fall, I think comfort. I think soup, and stew, and chili.
103

So this recipe I’m sharing today is one that I received from a friend.  I believe this was borrowed from The Eat-Clean Diet, and you can find the original recipe here.  I am all about finding healthy, easy recipes. This one takes the cake.  So the biggest difference between my recipe and the one from the Eat Clean Diet, is that I used beef rather than turkey.  To me, chili means ground beef, not ground turkey.  Yes, you may use turkey. It will definitely cut the fat, but I really do not enjoy the taste of ground turkey, so I opted for the beef.  I upped the amount of onion, using an entire white onion rather than the 1/2 cup.  I omitted the salt and added a tbsp of red pepper flakes rather than the optional adobo sauce.  I love spicy, so sometimes I add more depending on my mood.  I often even omit the red pepper flakes altogether, especially if I am cooking for someone who does not or cannot eat spicy food.  In that case I’ll just top mine with little hot sauce.  One other thing I associate with fall? Slow cookers. I love mine.  It makes things super easy and taste amazing.  The original recipe is cooked stove top, but to me, Chili means a slow cooker.  So, its simple.  Brown Beef. Add to slow cooker.  Add rest of ingredients to slow cooker in no particular order.  Turn on slow cooker and cook for 10 hours on low. Bam. Done. I often eat this topped with a little cheese, and then make myself some homemade garlic toast as a side. There’s two easy ways you can do this: 1. mix 2 tsp. of margarine with garlic powder and dried basil flakes, butter bread of your choice (I use Ezekial Bread) on both sides, then broil until toasted, flip and toast other side, done; or 2. Butter your bread on both sides (i mix basil into the margarine), broil both sides until almost done, and then remove from oven, cut a garlic glove in half, and then rub the toast with the clove.  The second option makes for a less garlicy flavour, but still just as good.

102

This chili has seven different types of beans! All protein packed and full of fiber.  Each batch contains bunches of black beans, chickpeas, dark red kidney beans, black-eyed peas, white kidney beans, romano beans and baby lima beans.  This recipe serves about 10, and is approximately 400 calories per serving.  A nice filling supper, full of protein and very little salt.  Again, if you want to cut calories, by using 2.5 lbs of turkey, you are cutting your calories in half.  The ezekial bread and margarine is about another 115 calories. Considering how light my breakfast and lunch are I enjoy having a hearty dinner. Yummy.

Healthy Seven Bean Chili

Serves 10. 400 calories per serving.

Ingedients

  • 2.5 lbs. (40 oz) extra lean ground beef or 2.5 lbs of ground turkey for a lower calorie option
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 – 4 oz. cans of diced green chilies
  • 1 – 15 oz. can Six Bean Medley (low sodium), drained and rinsed
  • 1 – 15 oz. can Black Beans (low sodium), drained and rinsed
  • 1 – 28 oz. can Diced Tomatoes (low sodium) do not drain
  • 1 tbsp. Brown Sugar Blend (from Splenda or Stevia)
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder (I used 2 tsp.)
  • 2 tbsp. white vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. regular yellow mustard
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tbsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp. dried or fresh cilantro

Cooking Instructions

  1. Brown beef in a skillet on medium heat.  Drain all excess fat.
  2. Add all ingredients, including browned beef, into your slow cooker.  With a large stirring spoon, mix all ingredients together.
  3. Once all ingredients are well mixed, turn slow cooker to low and cook for 10 hours.  Serve hot and sprinkle with cheese if desired.

Pretty simple right? I am open to suggestions if anyone has any other great skinny slow cooker recipes. I am DYING to try more.  Next week’s healthy bake will be really really really good.  I have it narrowed down between two recipes: one involves chocolate and peanut butter, and the other involves raspberries and cheesecake.  I’m a total sucker for cheesecake, but there’s just something amazing about chocolate and peanut butter….it’s like they belong together. Anyways I hope you enjoyed this recipe. Remember to check out the Eat Clean Diet for more healthy, clean recipes.  Happy Baking!

Skinny Double Chocolate Chip Muffins

030

I just spent a fantastic weekend on the lake at my boyfriend’s family’s camp.  While it’s nice to be home, having to bring myself back to reality after a weekend of saunas, swimming, and sunshine is a bit of a bummer… I love long weekends, don’t get me wrong, but having to say goodbye to my home away from home was quite depressing…today is Monday, which means tomorrow is the beginning of another work week, a short work week, but a work week nonetheless.  I am already itching to be back to that tree covered slice of heaven, where cell reception is minimal and food preparation involves a barbecue and paper plates.  This summer the weather has been slightly uncooperative; we had a tumultuous heat wave that left me sluggish and slothful in my blistering apartment, minimal movement and cooking was key here, and now our weather is, while mostly comfortable, a little on the chilly side.  The wind has been incredibly cool for this time of year, leaving me feeling as though fall is quickly approaching.  I predict that we will likely be facing another long winter. Blah!121

Whenever my boyfriend and I return from camp we’re usually lazy and our nights often include netflix, video games, and sleep.  I have no intention of cooking a big fancy schmancy dinner, and I certainly have no intention of doing dishes (thank god my father is spending the weekend with us – he is a dish washing champion, thanks dad!).  Anyway, my lack of motivation to turn on my oven usually leads us to two options: take out, or homemade pizza.  While I love me a good hot pressed wrap from one of our local eats, I’ve always been a pizza girl.  Fat Tuesday’s has been my first choice lately, but I still love a good homemade pizza, and that’s been my go to rather than order in – it actually takes way less time, it’s super cheap, and honestly I think it might even taste better…plus I don’t get a belly ache from all the grease I’d be ingesting if I did order in.  

025I usually purchase a pizza crust from our local independent grocer if we’re planning to go to camp for the weekend so that I can have the ingredients I need at home to make the pizza – I use Molinaro’s Supremo Deep Dish Pizza Crust – it comes with 2 crusts and 2 packs of sauce.  Don’t knock the pre-made stuff! I know there is often so much taboo with ready made meals, any many swear that from scratch meals are the only way to go – but I also think that easy and convenient are the way to go, especially if I am reluctant to put much effort into my dinner.  Besides, I’m adding all my own toppings…so I’m pretty confident I can label this as homemade.  For my toppings, I add the sauce (duh), and then I throw a layer of chopped spinach on top.  I add chopped mushrooms, lots of jalapenos, and then feta and bacon.  I top it with a layer of four cheese Italiano cheese and Maple Leaf Naturals pre-cut pepperoni slices.  Bake in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, broil for 2 minutes, and then presto! Done! I let the pizza cool for 3 to 5 minutes, slice and serve.  Sounds pretty fantastic right?  It so easy and takes no time!  Now, wait until you hear what I made for dessert.  So lets talk muffins.

So I couldn’t help myself…when I got home from camp this afternoon I was itching to make another skinny muffin! I am not through my list of healthy bakes that I want to create, and I thought, hey…it will only take 1/2 hour of my time, why not?  So I got baking.  I did a quick scan of the ingredients in my cupboards, and settled on Sally’s Baking Addiction’s Skinny Double Chocolate Chip Muffins.

What makes these muffins healthy? Some of the wet ingredients include unsweetened applesauce, sugar, and honey.  There is only 1/2 cup of sugar for the entire dozen muffins you get out of this recipe, and the honey sweetens the rest.  The applesauce is a great substitution for fat, and paired with the Greek yogurt it helps keep the muffins nice and moist, eliminating the need for fats like oil or butter.  I used 2 egg whites instead of one large egg – this keeps the fat content down.  There is 4.5 g of fat in one large egg yolk, and 0.1 g of fat in one eggs white. Yikes! What a difference!  This also brings the calorie content down slightly.

017

The one thing I absolutely LOVED about these muffins was the moist ewey gooey-ness thanks to the yummy chocolate chips…I had my first bite while the muffin was still relatively warm and fresh out of the oven. It was soooo good! If you have them again the next day, I recommended tossing them in the microwave for a few seconds to warm it up again.  Its sooo goood. And, just to remind you one more time, these are low fat, low sugar, and low calorie, with a whopping 137 calories per muffin.  Now that’s not so bad is it?

Just one more thing I want to point out – these muffins have an initial baking temperature of 425F degrees, and then after 5 minutes, the muffins are cooked at 375F degrees for an additional 13 minutes.  Why?  This helps make high domed muffins. Now, I’m not 100 percent on if I did this correctly, according to Sally’s instructions, overmixing the batter is a BIG NO NO.  I feel I may have done this…ouuups. Some of my muffins turned out a little flat, but they still looked a little higher than the ones I’ve baked before, so next time, I will skip my stand mixer and fold in the ingredients by hand to get a thicker, lumpier batter. You want a spoonable batter, not a pourable batter.  Filing the muffins tins to the top is also a must, the more batter, the more likely you will produce a high domed, fluffy muffin.

018

Skinny Double Chocolate Chip Muffins

Makes 12 muffins. 137 calories per serving. Muffins stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Muffins freeze well up to 3 months: heat up for 1 minute after frozen.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 large egg whites (or 1 large egg)
  • 3/4 cup vanilla Greek yogurt (or regular yogurt, plain or vanilla)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, plus a few more for sprinkling on top

Baking Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Spray 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray. Do not use liners.
  2. In a large bowl, combine applesauce, sugar, honey, egg whites, greek yogurt, and vanilla extract. Whisk them all together until smooth, with no yogurt lumps remaining.
  3. Sift the flours, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together. Slowly stir in the wet ingredients, being careful not to overmix. Get any dry pockets of flour out. Fold in the mini chocolate chips. The batter will be a little chunky. This is ok.
  4. Divide the batter evenly amount 12 liners – fill them all the way to the top if you can. Bake for 5 minutes at 425F. Keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the temperature down to 375 and continue to bake for 13 more minutes. Insert a toothpick into the center of one muffin. If it comes out clean, they are done. If not, bake for only 2 more minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 3 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Literally thought my boyfriend died and went to heaven when he bit into one of these bite sized chocolate bundles of fantasticness.

022

I urge you to make these – you will not be disappointed!! Next weekend Ken and I will once again find ourselves at camp – rain or shine!  I’m really unsure of what the next baking creation will be – but I will post before I leave captivity.  I think this weekend I may try to make some fall off the bone, finger licking good ribs, possibly with a homemade sauce if I can find the time. Yummmmy!! Happy Baking!
122

Skinny Chocolate Chip Fruit Explosion Muffins

007I just had to bake another batch of muffins this week…just one more.  I know..I’m going a little crazy.  I can’t help it! I had WAAAAYYY too much caffeine this morning. Thanks to my DIY friendship mug I made, I filled it up twice…that’s a lot of coffee.  When I came home this evening I got a crazy burst of energy and baked up a storm. I just really need to find the perfect combination of flavours, all baked into a little muffin of goodness.  This batch is kind of similar to one that I’ve already made, my Chocolate Chip Strawberry Muffins that I grabbed of Sally’s Baking Addiction, but with one huge difference: They are not chocolate chip strawberry, they are chocolate chip raspberry blueberry! And oh my goodness. Are they ever good!  I think I like them more than the chocolate chip strawberry, and I actually think I like them more than the Tropical Muffins I made the other day.  This muffin is like an explosion of flavour in my mouth…hence the name chocolate chip fruit explosion.  I bit into this muffin, and my mouth literally exploded. With awesomeness. In a good way.

So let’s talk muffins.  You know what drives me nuts? When people say – “Hey, cool, you made cupcakes”, and I’m like, “Oh no, they’re muffins.” and then they’re all “Pff. Whateves. Same thing.”  No my friends! They are not the same. They are soooooo not the same! But then they’re like, “Well what’s the difference?” So what is the difference exactly?  My usual response is, well….cupcakes are cake. And muffins are… so wait what are muffins? Are they bread?  I would move more towards bread…but there’s no yeast? So would they be a bread product? Quick and dirty – cupcakes have icing and muffins do not.  However…going into more detail we can see that there are other differences. “A basic formula for muffins is 2 cups flour, 2-4 tablespoons sugar, 2½ teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 egg, ¼ cup oil, shortening or butter and 1 cup milk. When the fat, sugar and egg ratio in a recipe reaches double or more than this, you have reached the cake level.” (Thanks Diana’s Desserts!) So I think I’m going to stick with “cupcakes are cake, while muffins are more like a bread with additions like fruits and chocolate chips.”

004

So before I made my next batch of muffins I thought…what are some of my favourite fruits? How can I turn these strawberry chocolate chip muffins into something super duper fantastic.  So I thought about it. I love Strawberries…but I LOVE Blueberries. Aside from bananas, they are my favourite fruit. And raspberries are great with blueberries. And they are also one of my favourites…. okay I just love, love, LOVE fruit. I see another tropical form of muffin – you know, maybe throw in some mango with the orange zest and banana. Yikes – my mouth is already watering.

006

Alright so back to the muffins – again, these are a spin off from my Chocolate Chip Strawberry Muffins.  The only difference is that instead of the 2/3 cups strawberries I used raspberries, and then added 1/3 cup blueberries.  Now I’ve made blueberry muffins before…and used frozen blueberries…my muffins turned out COMPLETELY BLUE.  It was weird…weird looking. I didn’t post those pictures or the recipe…but I will reattempt and I promise it will make appearance here at some point. So I cannot stress enough… USE FRESH FRUIT. The blueberries… some of them explode and when you bite into the muffin, it’s like a blast of fruity goodness.  Trust me. Always fresh over frozen.  Now just like my Strawberry Muffins, these are 140 calories per serving.  My diet appreciates that…but I’m also eating muffins galore so maybe everything is just balancing itself out? Something like that… they’re just so damn good!

008

Skinny Chocolate Chip Fruit Explosion Muffins

makes 10 muffins, 140 calories per serving

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 2/3 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Baking Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray 10 muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, gently toss the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. Set aside. In a separate bowl, mix the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and applesauce until together until no brown sugar lumps remain – a fork works well to break up the brown sugar here. Add the beaten egg white until fully incorporated. Add the wet ingredients to the dry until just combined – do not over mix.  Fold in the raspberries, blueberries and chocolate chips.
  • Divide the batter evenly between 10 muffin tins. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Muffins will be lightly golden in color and a toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean. Mine took about 19 minutes. Allow muffins to cool and enjoy.

Muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to seven days and can be frozen.

009

Skinny Tropical Muffins

004Want to know what I made today? Another batch of Skinny Muffins! This time, however, they were tropical flavoured. Yes, tropical is a flavour.  When I say tropical, I mean they have banana, pineapple, oranges, and coconut in them! Oh my goodness they are so fantastic.  Miss Sally strike again! Yet another recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction, and I found a lot more that I’m intending to make in the next few weeks, including Skinny Double Chocolate Chip Muffins, Sky High Apple Pie Muffins..and…wait for it…homemade Cinnamon  Buns. Yes people, I, Kelsey Bakes, am going to make Cinnamon Buns…from scratch…with yeast and everything…and like…I’m going to knead the dough. I’m actually kindof nervous, so I’m not going to tell anybody that I’m making them, just in case I mess up and have to throw the entire batch out.  I have found some helpful kneading tips online, but you never know, I may drop the ball and totally destroy them.   So as many of you know, a few days ago I stumbled across a Skinny Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffin recipe, and I couldn’t resist making them.  So naturally I had to try the others as well, and the tropical muffins were first on my list. I think my co-workers will be elated thanks so the copious amounts of muffins I will be bringing in over the next few weeks.  So let’s talk muffins.  Does anyone remember my first attempts at baking muffins?  The first was Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins, which turned out well, but were a little tough, I believe I had very under ripe bananas and may have over mixed the batter a little bit.  The second attempt was Apple Muffins…and with that baking attempt, I learned how to measure flour correctly….don’t scoop, pour. I renamed these Apple Muffins to Mini Apple Crumble Cakes.  Di you know that by scooping your flour instead of pouring it (my pouring I mean spooning it into a measuring cup and then leveling with a knife) that you can use 150% of the recommended flour?? Fun fact.  Anyway, I’m really impressed with how these muffins turned out and I love how the last ones turned out….so that must mean I’m getting better at baking and following recipes! Right??? Right.

005

These muffins are low fat, low sugarAND whole wheatAnd, AND. Guess what else?  Only 140 calories!  I know…I had to double check after my calculator read that number.  So my first step was to ripen some bananas. Yes. I had to ripen them. Bananas don’t last long enough in my house for them to do that by themselves.  I went to my local grocery store I bought some fresh organic bananas, as the non-organics were way under ripe…most of them were still green! At least the organics had some brown on them.  I then proceeded to microwave them.. I poked a few holes through the banana peel , and tossed them in for about three minutes.  The instructions that I googled said about 1.5 minutes, but my microwave is so old that it often takes twice the amount of time to heat things up than the instructions indicate.  Woohoo, life of a student! Okay, I can’t actually use that one anymore but I did buy it when I was a student, and refuse to give it up until the damn thing croaks.

003

Much like most other low cal, low fat, or low sugar recipes, this one uses honey to sweeten it up (with 1/2 cup of lightly packed brown sugar).  The greek yogurt is an excellent substitute for oil and will help keep the muffins moist (with help from the bananas of course).  It also uses white whole wheat flour.  The creator of this recipe (Miss Sally) does not recommend using 100% whole wheat flour as it can make the muffin tough.  I decided not to argue and of course, followed the recipe pretty closely.  The only thing I changed was my cook time.  I have a very old oven..I wish I could get a new one..you know, with even baking all over, zero hot spots, a convection oven would be splendid.  But hey, it was free.  It was free and came with free hot spots.  I have to rotate my muffins in the last few minutes so that they’ll actually cook all the way through.  Anyway. The baking recommendations are 325F degrees for about 18 minutes.  I baked mine at 350F degrees for about 22 minutes.  I used the toothpick test to determine when to pull them. And they just weren’t all cooked at 18 minutes, even at 350F Degrees.

009

Skinny Tropical Muffins

makes 15 muffins, 140 calories per serving.  muffins can be stored at room temperature for up to five days.  muffins taste best the next day.  these muffins freeze well, up to 3 months.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, loosely packed
  • 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (I used 3 small organic)
  • 1/4 cup nonfat vanilla greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • zest from 1 orange (do not skip this!!!)
  • 1 1/4 cup fresh pineapple, diced
  • 1 thinly sliced banana for topping
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut (I used much less than this, just enough to say it was sprinkled on)

Baking Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325F degrees. Spray 15 muffin tins with nonstick spray. Set aside. **Note, that oven temperatures may vary.  I baked at 350F degrees for 22 minutes.  Do not use cupcake liners, as the muffins will stick to them.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together.  Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, mix the honey and brown sugar together – it will be thick and lumpy. Try to get out as many lumps as you can – a fork works well to break it up. ** I used my stand mixer for this part – it blended very quickly and I had no issues with consistency. Add the mashed banana, yogurt, and beaten egg. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Gently begin to fold it all together. It will be very thick. Add the milk slowly and continue to gently mix the ingredients together. The milk will thin everything out, but the batter will still remain thick. Fold in the orange zest and pineapple. Do not overmix the batter, which will lend tough, dry muffins

4, Divide the batter between 15 muffin tins.  Fill them all the way to the top.  Top each muffin with thin slices of the sliced banana, and a sprinkle of the shredded coconut.  Bake the first 12, then the last three in another batch. Fill the empty muffin tins halfway with water in the 2nd batch to ensure even baking. **love this idea! Bake for 17-18 minutes until very lightly browned on the edges.  **Again, oven temperatures will vary, always do the toothpick test before removing your treats and never start checking until the minimum recommended baking time has past.  Allow the muffins to cool completely.

006And there you have it friendlies!! Skinny Tropical Muffins.  You can find the original recipe here. The recipe was actually simple enough, and didn’t take much time to prepare and bake.  I give taste 10/10..these were fantastic and had a really unique flavour to them.  I never thought tropical muffins would be a thing…but indeed they are.  I like how different muffins can turn out, just by adding or changing a few simple ingredients.  I cannot wait to try more!

008

So who would have thought that I would more over to the dark side of healthy bakes and skinny treats?!  I am loving how little time these recipes are taking me.  I have to admit, there were a few moments in the past month while I was busy creating nifty cakes that I thought I was losing my passion for baking.  These cakes and cupcakes started taking SO much work and consuming so much of my time, that I didn’t have time for anything else – but I’m loving that I have started this again.  Stay tuned for more fantastic recipes!! I cannot wait to test them out and then share.  Happy Baking!!!

010

Skinny Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

008

The other day I started poking around for some new blogs to follow.  I found a little gem, Sally’s Baking Addiction, that I discovered while exploring the baking world on Facebook, and I came across some FANTASTIC muffin recipes. I know, I know, I did mention that I probably wouldn’t be baking for a while, but it’s been a month since I baked any sweet treats and I got an itch to throw on my apron and get in the kitchen, especially since these muffins looked so damn good.  If you get a chance please, please, please check out her site, her recipes are drool-worthy.  

So anyone who knows me know that I am not a huge fan in calorie cutting when it comes to baking.  To me, baking means flour, oil, and sugar, and lots of it.  Reduced calorie baking just never seems right to me, and never tastes quite the same.  Anyone who knows me will also know that I am a stress eater, and after a, well, slightly more than stressful year, I may or may not be fitting quite right in my fave skinny jeans…and by not fitting in them right I mean I can’t get the damn things past my thighs. No worries, I’m working on it, but I have raised the white flag and surrendered in my fight against my bikini… I am now allied with it’s foe, the tankini.  So I was surprised when I came across Miss Sally’s blog, and saw a whole wack of low fat and low sugar baking options.  I was skeptical at first, but I thought, what the hell, my waist line isn’t getting any smaller, and Miss Sally promised that the taste was not compromised.  So, therein lies the story of my first low calorie baking effort: Skinny Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins.

013

Let me just say, that these muffins are 140 calories each. Yes, you heard me right.  Another great thing about these muffins is that they are made with only 8 simple ingredients, AND they are a small batch recipe, making only 10 muffins.  I enjoy this because I am in a two person household, and there are only so many muffins I can force feed my boyfriend before they go bad.  I also love that these muffins are so versatile.  You can change the strawberries to blueberries, or maybe banana chunks? cranberries?  I opted to follow her recipe pretty closely, although I added a small banana slice to the top of the muffin for a little extra.

011

So what makes these muffins so low fat? The recipe calls for unsweetened applesauce instead of butter or oil.  There is no real fat source in this muffin, but by adding the applesauce the moisture won’t be compromised.  I may try a few of her other skinny recipes in the next few weeks, or perhaps even switch this one up, and maybe the lesser calories will give me the kick I need to get back into gear and shed this 15 pounds I wish could just melt off of me.  You can find the full recipe here.

012

Skinny Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

makes 10 muffins, 140 calories per serving

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 2/3 cup diced strawberries
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Baking Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray 10 muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, gently toss the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. Set aside. In a separate bowl, mix the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and applesauce until together until no brown sugar lumps remain – a fork works well to break up the brown sugar here. Add the beaten egg white until fully incorporated. Add the wet ingredients to the dry until just combined – do not overmix. Fold in the strawberries and chocolate chips.
  • Divide the batter evenly between 10 muffin tins. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Muffins will be lightly golden in color and a toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean. Mine took about 18 minutes. Allow muffins to cool and enjoy.

Muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to seven days and can be frozen.

009

Pretty simple recipe right? It took me about 10 minutes to prepare everything, maybe less, and 18 minutes cook time – very quick and easy, not a recipe that would consume the better part of my day. Up next I will attempt Sally’s Skinny Tropical Muffins, and possibly even her Skinny Chocolate Banana Fudge Muffins.  Apparently, low fat or low sugar treats can mean tasty and flavourful; I am no longer skeptical.  These muffins were moist and tasted amazing! I couldn’t even tell that they were low fat. So take 30 minutes out of your day and bake some Skinny Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins. Happy Baking!!

010