At the end of last year, late one night, I experienced what can only be described as a seven-hour-long debilitating attack of nightmarish pain and illness. It felt like someone lassoed my chest with a wide elastic band that was on fire then proceeded to squeeze it around me like a vice grip. Prone to histrionics and just a touch of anxiety (ahem) I immediately assumed I was dying. My husband was not impressed nor was he convinced. His diagnosis? Too much rich food. He suffered gall bladder attacks a few years ago and was pretty sure that was the source of my “discomfort.”
Sure, unruly gallbladders run in my family but I’d escaped that malady for so long I felt untouchable and I never (I mean NEVER) watched what I ate. It’s kind of a miracle that I didn’t weight five bazillion pounds at the time, that’s how little I monitored my diet. If I wanted to eat something, I did, fat grams be damned. I often ate as much as I wanted too. Not smart. But it was working for me. Until it wasn’t. OUCH!!!!!! MAMA HELP ME I’M DYYYYYYYING.
I’m still undergoing diagnostic tests to find out what caused my attack. An ultrasound showed no sign of gallstones although it’s still likely my gallbladder is being a jerk for some reason or another. In the meantime, I’ve cut back on the fat in my diet DRAMATICALLY. High-fat, rich diets tend to cause gallbladder attacks, something I wish to avoid, thankyouverymuch.
Over the last five weeks I’ve lost 15 pounds simply by watching what I eat and restricting my fat intake. Let that sink in, y’all. 15 pounds! Man. How much fat was I eating every day to keep that weight on? Eeek. Be still my thankfully-still-beating heart. I do consume a little fat now (your body and brain need some to function – preferably the good fats like omega 3s) but I’ve adopted a healthy respect for it whereas before I didn’t believe it mattered. It does.
In the last few weeks I’ve learned that giving up fat isn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. But what I cannot give up are occasional sweet treats or my love for baking. So I dusted off my favorite, super-easy blueberry muffin recipe and adapted it. The resulting low-fat muffins are every bit as delicious as the original ones and I really can’t tell they’re missing those extra fat grams.
My dear husband (and talented home chef) is supporting me through my diet change by lowering the fat content of our favorite meals. Soon I’ll share some of his fabulous low-fat recipes here. For now, give this low-fat blueberry muffin recipe a try (or face the wrath of your gallbladder. Muahhahahahaha! Maybe. If you’re unlucky. Which I hope you’re not!).
Low-fat Blueberry Muffins (recipe adapted from Inspired Taste)
Set your oven to 400 degrees.
Mix the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients separately. Then bring them together gently (but don’t over mix them or you’ll end up with tough and chewy muffins!) then fold in the blueberries.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
Whisk these together in a large bowl.
1/3 cup apple sauce (the natural / no sugar-added kind is best)
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/3 – 1/2 cup reduced skim milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Add the apple sauce and oil to a container that measures at least one cup. Add one egg and then add skim milk up to the 1 cup measuring point. Add vanilla and whisk it all together.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones in the large bowl, slowing and evenly stirring with a fork until they’re just combined. Don’t over mix the wet and dry or you’ll have tough muffins. The resulting batter will be very thick.
1 cup fresh (or frozen) blueberries (I’ve had success using both in this recipe).
Carefully fold in the blueberries.
Evenly divide batter into 12 lined muffin cups. For larger muffins, only fill eight cups and fill the remaining four with 1-2 tsp. of water each (this ensures the eight muffins bake evenly).
Sprinkle sugar onto the top of each muffin. Bake for approximately 20 minutes (or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean).