Wow, here we are nearing the ides of January. Have you started your New Year’s diet yet? If not, you are not alone. Many others haven’t quite gotten off the couch to walk on that treadmill, or change eating habits (adhering to their New Year’s Diet Resolutions) to shed a few of those “holiday pounds.”
Some years ago I came up with this Lo-Cal Applesauce Muffin recipe to replace the very tempting cake like and calorie-laden cupcakes (err, muffins) that were available seemingly everywhere. All it took was reading the label on one giant muffin to convince me to try making my own Lo-Cal Applesauce Muffins (and practice portion control).
The idea is to use applesauce as a substitute for oils or butter in baked goods.
I would eat one Lo-Cal Applesauce Muffin in the morning for breakfast (two if I made miniature Lo-Cal Applesauce Muffins), along with 14-ounces of my beverage of choice: plain tea, coffee, or water.
It was surprising how filling these Lo-Cal Applesauce Muffins can be. I usually didn’t get hungry until mid-afternoon, whereupon I would eat a medium apple to get me through to dinner. Because I generally wasn’t hungry, I began to lose some inches and eventually did lose many “holiday pounds.”
My Lo-Cal Applesauce Muffins are not sweet since they do not have added sugar in the basic recipe (although you can add sugar if you like). Here’s my recipe for Lo-Cal Applesauce Muffins that I invite you to try and think about including your own version in your family cookbook:
Lo-Cal Applesauce Muffins
1 cup oatmeal (traditional style, not instant)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup non-fat milk
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce*
2 tsp vanilla (or almond extract)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup brown sugar, or granulated Splenda
Whirl oatmeal in blender until pulverized. Mix with flour. Add milk, applesauce, eggs, vanilla and all the other dry ingredients. Mix well. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray. Spoon thin muffin batter directly into muffin cups (no liners required). Bake in 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Remove from pan, cool and enjoy. Makes 12 muffins, about 100 calories each.
* Variation: Also consider trying pumpkin puree, apricot sauce, sour cream, mashed kiwi fruit, or mashed sweet potato for taste variety. You can add raisins, nuts, frozen blueberries, or chopped apple, but be careful not to increase muffin calories by adding other ingredients.