Have you noticed that food/recipe bloggers tend to have a theme? I’ve seen blogs that specialize in just cupcakes, just cookies, or maybe just desserts. Others are into nothing but healthy or gluten-free recipes. As for me, I’m all over the place. I might post an artery-clogging recipe one day and a healthy diet recipe the next. I never know what might strike my fancy.
I’ve got a ton of delicious and indulgent recipes in the pipeline to share—but I’m on a serious diet right now as I try to make sure I’ll fit into my mother-of-the-bride dress this September for my daughter’s wedding. Since that’s the case, I thought I’d share a diet recipe today—and besides swimsuit season is not that far away. I’ll just have to wait until next year to make my Italian Easter bread. Oh, wait—my son John is getting married next year. Guess the Italian Easter bread will have to wait until 2018!
Roger and I made a trip to Chicago last week to visit our son, daughter, and their significant others as well as quite a few dear friends and neighbors we haven’t seen since we moved back to the Boston area in retirement. I decided I wouldn’t beat myself up too much diet-wise since we’d be on “vacation.” (The quotes are necessary since every day is a vacation when you’re retired!) Anyway, I didn’t do much damage as I was reasonably careful; and two very good friends accommodated me with delicious diet-friendly meals. Plus, I came away with a couple of recipes—score!
Three years ago when my oldest son was about to get married (nothing like a wedding to get you in shape), my friend Mary and I went on a high-protein diet together. Since there’s a major focus on protein with sugar and starches being forbidden, it can be difficult to remain focused. To stay on track, we both got very creative with recipes that worked on the diet. After the wedding, I fell off the wagon—quite literally—as I had lost so much weight that my slipper swiveled on my newly skinny foot. I came down on the side of the slipper and fell breaking my right wrist. Since we were just starting to pack up in preparation for our move across country, it all fell on my husband Roger to make things happen. Special diet meals went by the wayside, and I regained all the weight I had lost.
Mary has successfully kept off the weight she lost by continuing to adhere to a lot of the diet principles without being totally rigid about it. She found this recipe on the diet site and tweaked it to diet perfection. It is a tender and moist muffin that can be flavored in a variety of ways, depending on which flavor yogurt you buy and what spice you decide to use. When you are on a diet that doesn’t allow bread, potatoes, rice, my beloved legumes and nuts, desserts of any kind, or cream and sugar in your coffee—let me tell you, a muffin like this will make you do a little happy dance!
The primary ingredients are oat bran, eggs, and yogurt—and, oh yes, stevia. Stevia is a natural sugar substitute made from the leaves of the plant species stevia rebaudiana. It has been used as a sweetener in Japan and South America for over a 1,000 years. It is heat and shelf stable and actually sweeter than sugar. It has zero calories, zero fat, and zero carbs—a dieter’s dream come true!
One muffin is only 60 calories. If you add in three chocolate chips per muffin—I know, I know, it seems almost silly—but, trust me, those three chocolate chips really give the muffin a big boost. If you use them, a muffin will have 67 calories—but, hey, who’s counting?
These diet muffins will never replace Jordan Marsh blueberry muffins, Tiramisu cupcakes, or morning glory muffins as my favorite of all time—but, while I’m on this damned diet, they have a very special place on my menu.
One year ago: A-maz-ing Chocolate Frosting
Two years ago: Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs with Bucatini
Three years ago: Biscotti Cake
Four years ago: Chinese Stir Fry
Five years ago: Santa Fe Pizza
Dukan Diet Muffins
Makes 10 muffins, 60 calories each
- 3/4 cup oat bran
- 1/4 cup stevia (OR 10 packets of Splenda)
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 3/4 to 1 tsp. cinnamon*
- 4 eggs, beaten
- One 150-gram container of Dannon Oikos, Triple Zero, Blended Greek Yogurt (you pick the flavor!)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- Optional: 3 chocolate chips per muffin (calorie count will increase by 7 calories per muffin)
*I made them with 1/2 tsp. cinnamon the first time and thought they could use a little more cinnamon. I’ll make them with 3/4 tsp. of cinnamon next time and go from there.
Line 10 cups of a standard-sized muffin pan or, alternatively, use a baking spray to coat the cups. Set aside while you prepare the muffins.
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: oat bran, stevia, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Stir in the beaten eggs until incorporated; then mix in the yogurt and add vanilla. Be careful not to overmix or the muffins will not turn out as tender as they should. The batter will be somewhat runny.
Divide the batter among the 10 cups. If you decide to make fewer, large cupcakes, you will have to adjust the baking time. If you decide to make 12 muffins, they will be fairly small—and, again, you will probably have to adjust the baking time.
- My friend, Mary, used Splenda in her muffins, but I try to avoid artificial sweeteners as much as possible so switched to stevia. Since it was trial and error in my first batch, I added 1/4 cup of stevia. Roger and I thought it was enough. If you have a sweet tooth, you may want to add another tablespoon or two.
- I chose Dannon’s Coconut Crème yogurt. There really wasn’t a discernible coconut flavor in the muffins. I will add some coconut extract in addition to the vanilla next time.
- Dannon Oikos yogurt comes in several different flavors, some of which contain fruit. My calorie count was based on a non-fruit flavor. You may have to slightly adjust calorie count if you choose a flavor containing fruit.
Source: A recipe from my good friend Mary, who took an online Dukan recipe and ran with it, tweaking it to her preference.