Couple months back, my brother and I were watching an episode of Ellen Degeneres Show… & chef Rocco Dispirito came out promoting his new book, Now Eat This! Diet.  He basically created recipes for those who want to lose weight without giving up on what they love to eat.  After watching him make Fried Chicken with his special method for half the calories, my brother and I knew immediately we needed to get the book.

Honestly, I wouldn’t make half the dishes in the book but I sure have learned a lot from Rocco and his recipes.  Just replacing alternative ingredients for the usual ones really makes a difference, but it sure does cost more to buy those ingredients.  I had to drive to Whole Foods to find certain things such as: whole wheat pastry flour, powdered stevia, and agave nectar.

[Side note: Oh-man, I think I’m in love with agave nectar… it helps prevent blood sugar elevations.  (Just replace 1 cup of sugar for 1/4 to 1/3 cup of agave nectar in EVERYTHING!)  It tastes so much better!!!  I’m still on the fence with stevia… especially powdered stevia.  I must find a way not to inhale it.]

Banana Walnut Muffins (Now Eat This! Diet by Rocco Dispirito)

(makes 12 muffins; 163 calories each)

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 packets (4 grams) powdered stevia
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon banana extract
  • 1/2 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 12 walnut halves (omit the walnuts and save 13 calories per serving)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper baking cups.  Lightly spray the cups with cooking spray.  (I didn’t think using the cooking spray was necessary, but it’s a must!  …or you will have to scrape the bottom half of the muffin from the wrapper.)
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, stevia, and salt.  Whisk together until well combined.  Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, add the milk, agave, mashed banana, oil, vanilla, banana extract, and egg substitute.  Stir together until well incorporated.  Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir till well combined.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin tin.  Top each muffin with a walnut half.  Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean, about 15-18 minutes.  (I use an ice cream scoop to scoop the batter evenly.)

BEFORE: 36 fat grams, 610 calories ; AFTER: 6 fat grams, 163 calories

Recipe review:  I’m still used to sweeter muffins, so it did lack that “Wow!  It tastes so good!”, but it was still good.  Knowing that it’s healthier makes up for the loss of sugar.  & I think I know why you could save more calories by omitting walnuts… it was really good with the walnut.  I save the walnut for my last bite.  Plus, the muffins rose up beautifully~~

I’m not giving up on my sweets, but I will experiment with healthy alternatives now and then.  Till then…

Thank you very much.  & God bless.

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