NO SUGAR FOR YOU!
Hopefully you get my Seinfeld reference…… anyway, FVB turned 1! Hooray! I was determined NOT to celebrate with a processed cake filled with refined white sugar and other garbage. As you can imagine, I am pretty strict about sugar consumption (my own and FVB’s). If you buy a lot of packaged/processed items and check the ingredient list, there is probably sugar in it. Even if it doesn’t say sugar, there are many different ways to disguise it. This article is a good overview. It is crazy to me just how many things have added sugar, from pasta sauce to bread to condiments. It’s everywhere.
I do LIKE sweetness, just not a lot of it, and preferably in the form of chocolate. Also, I don’t want to be a total crazy mom that winds up with a kid gorging himself on processed, sugary sweets as soon as he’s out of my sight. Plus, I enjoy baking and it is damn near impossible to find recipes for cookies or muffins or banana bread without sugar (I wrote about this a little bit in my last post, as I was making spinach muffins and wanted to decrease the sugar without throwing off the entire consistency of the recipe). So what is a girl to do? How do we find the balance between not introducing our babies to a bunch of processed junk and having them develop a major sweet tooth AND not being a crazy, anti-sugar nazi?
I don’t know the answer to this question. I mean, FVB is only 1 and barely eats, so I don’t have to face this issue yet. He’s not off on play dates with his other baby friends, being offered cookies and candy. I know this day will come, but in the meantime I will enjoy being a crazy, anti-sugar mommy.
Anyway, the point of this post is to share with you
cute photos of FVB my experience making both muffins and cupcakes while trying to reduce/eliminate the sugar. Here goes:
Experience #1: Muffins.
I wanted to make muffins since I had opened a can of pumpkin puree for something else and I needed to use it up. I decided on this recipe from the Minimalist Baker (whom I adore, by the way). They have chocolate chips, so I figured the sweetness from that would help with the lack of sugar. The original recipe calls for 2/3 c brown sugar and I just eliminated it entirely. It also calls for 2 T oil, which I replaced with apple sauce. I figured the sweetness from the apples would help, too. I made the recipe exactly according to the directions otherwise, and they turned out beautifully. Super moist, the perfect amount of sweetness, and just really damn good. I ate 2 right away (I did share with FVB, just not the chocolate chip part). I think next time I may make them into mini muffins, like I did with the spinach ones, and freeze half. That way I won’t be as tempted to devour them all! I’m really happy that ditching the sugar completely did not result in an inedible muffin. Try them, and hopefully you have the same results as I did! Also, you need to eat these fast. I stored them out of the fridge in a tupperware container and by the time I got to the last one (only a few days later), it had mold on it. I didn’t eat it, BTW, even though I was really sad/tempted. I recommend either freezing 1/2 right away, or maybe storing in the fridge? Or eating 4 per day for 3 days. Whichever option best suits you.
Experience #2: Cupcakes
FVB’s birthday cupcakes did not turn out as well….. I really messed with the recipe on those (gluten-free flour and regular flour are NOT an equal swap) and I think it showed. The recipe called for oat flour, and I was too lazy to make it. She had indicated that you could swap in a flour of your choice and then said that she used gluten-free. I had whole wheat on hand, so I just used that. The mixture turned out super doughy and tasted like bread. My bro-in-law very nicely ate one and said it tasted “like a scone.” I guess I’ll take it. We mostly just wanted to have something for FVB to smush while we took pictures anyway, so overall it worked out. And somehow I managed to choke down the left overs. The original recipe is here. Oh, I did enjoy the coconut whipped cream frosting. And I tried to make them look nice by adding fruit. FVB really enjoyed picking off the blueberries, of course!
On another sugar-related note, the peanut butter eggs that I made for Easter were a HUGE success. I used this recipe and the only change that I made was using regular flour instead of coconut flour (which is a bit too expensive for experimental cooking). My neice, who’s almost 5, loved them. I consider things a success when a child likes them, particularly “healthy” things (I mean, they do contain maple syrup AND chocolate, but they are much, much healthier than the Reese’s peanut butter eggs). The other two people that I use as a gauge for success are my brothers-in-law, both of whom have eaten AND liked several vegan things that I have cooked and/or baked (unless they are just super nice to my face and whisper about my terrible cooking to their wives behind my back. Which I hope is not the case).
And as a final note, FVB has been given a clean bill of health from his doctor after his 1 year check up! I like to think it’s my militant monitoring of his sugar consumption…. but more likely it’s just that he’s a smart boy and gets most of his nutrients from breast milk. He is eating a bit more now than he used to and seems to be enjoying what he does try. Favorites include: tomatoes in any form, soup, black beans, blueberries, nut butters, and hummus. He is determined to figure out how to use a spoon to feed himself, which is one part hilarious and one part frustrating. He’s getting there though and I am SO glad that we took the approach that we did to his eating. It’s so much easier to just give him what we’re eating and not stress about what he does consume, knowing that he gets most of his nutrients from breast milk. All the more reason for me to have seconds at every meal!
I started this post one week ago. I don’t know WHY I can’t get more writing done! It’s not like I have anything else going on……
Cheers to Friday! Have a happy weekend!