About 2 weeks ago I started craving muffins.  Panera Bread makes these super-awesome-colossal Carrot Walnut muffins that are a mere 8000 calories, and are to die for.  Seriously, they’re a whopping 430 calories with 21 grams of fat! So if I allow my fat a55 to consume very many of these on a regular basis, I will die. But what a way to go, right?

NOTE: If you are going to have a “snack” or “treat” when watching your calories, you should try to keep it between 100-200 calories max and nutritionists say anything over 5 grams of fat is not considered “Low Fat.”

If you remember, I’m trying to make some healthychanges and lose some weight this year and regular muffin consumption is not a good way to get there. Oh sure, you can mix up the ingredients with a few substitutions here and there for a healthier mix, and I tried that.  Two weeks ago I came across a base muffin  recipe using whole wheat flour and honey. I thought, “Much healthier--I’ll try this!” I used the whole wheat flour/honey base and made Lemon Poppy seed muffins and they were disgusting!  A total waste of time, not to mention that it only made my muffin craving worse!  The muffins had a bad weird taste. It reminded me of cooked meat and not good meat, (like steak cooked on a grill), more like…I don’t know what like, but trust me, it wasn’t good. Fortunately I used a regular muffin pan (makes smaller muffins than Panera’s and most bakeries), so I didn’t eat a lot.  I ‘tested’ two, my husband had one.  I asked him how it was, and smart man that guy of mine politely said: “They’re different.” OK…long story short, I am done with whole wheat flour. I tossed 2 and a half lb. bags.  They were that bad.  I think the honey may have played a role in the weird taste, but I’m still willing to give honey a second chance another time.

After this muffin fiasco, I went back to the recipe books and Good Ole Google.  I found a recipe that uses plain Greek style yogurt.  I substituted plain yogurt for the Greek kind.  Greek yogurt is creamier in texture, but I’m not really sure that would make a lot of difference in muffins. Another change I made was to increase the zest and lemon juice, to make the flavor more lemony.  Also, if you choose to top your muffins with a lemon icing glaze, you really don’t need as much powdered sugar as a lot of recipes call for.  Click here for Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin Recipe.

Another way to satisfy your Inner Munchy Beast while lowering the calorie intake is to make muffin tops vs. muffins.  They have special pans for ‘tops’, but all you really need to do is only fill your muffin tin or paper liner half as full as you normally would. Also, remember if you use paper liners instead of greasing or spraying your pan, you also reduce fat and calories.

Here’s the final (2nd batch, sans whole wheat flour and honey) muffin. 
Aren't they pretty? Trust me, these were much better!
Do you have a guilty pleasure?


motherrimmy said...

You might give Bob's Red Mill whole wheat pastry flour a try. I love the stuff. As you say, regular whole wheat flour comes out chewy and not the least light in texture, but Bob's is fantastic. I'm off to check out your recipe.

Unknown said...

Thank you motherrimmy for the suggestion. I will see if it's available in this area of the Midwest.

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