Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Fructose AHA Moment

Last night I had an amazing dinner at a friend’s house.   During the meal I was thirsty and didn’t want more wine or water, so I asked for a soda.  It ended up being a regular Squirt, meaning it had HFCS in it.   Now I do know I have Fructose Intolerance and know that although I really wanted the Squirt I would be paying for it later.   So I had the Squirt.   This was not my aha moment by the way.   I drank it and it went fast.  Actually I don’t remember drinking it so fast but when it was done I wanted more.   Instead I switched to water.

Now comes my AHA moment.   Normally I drink soda made with real cane sugar.   Usually one can can last me awhile and I feel satisfied after drinking it.   So why didn’t I feel satisfied after drinking the Squirt?   This morning, over coffee, I discussed this with the hubby.  Then I began to verbally think out loud.   Is this why soda is so enticing that we need to 20 to 40 ounces rather than 12 ounces because we aren’t satisfied?  

We then moved into the conversation of sweets in general and how this may also be why people gorge themselves on candy.  I know for a fact it takes 1 mainstream candy bar to sort of satisfy my craving but if I have just a small amount of a high quality chocolate, I am satisfied.

Then I began to think about yogurt.  I use to love Yoplait yogurt and would have one every morning for breakfast.  Low fat, calcium, protein .... hey that can’t be too bad.  But within hours I was starving and counting the clock for lunch.  I later learned there was HFCS (which I now see ads that this has changed) in it and switched to a more expensive all natural brand.  Funnily enough, it satisfied me and kept me full.  This lead to the hubby and I have discussions about other foods, like why can someone sit down and eat a whole box of fake mac & cheese but feels stuffed after a portion of real homemade mac & cheese.

So why aren’t we willing to eat whole foods?  Why are we so enticed by these foods that don’t fill us?  Granted whole foods are not always grab and go but there are better alternatives.   Is the food industry so afraid that if we eat more whole foods, natural foods, it will collapse along with the Twinkie?   

In case you were wondering, I did pay for having the Squirt.  But I would not have had my aha moment, so it is all good.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Feeling the Season - Pumpkin Bars

I love this time of year mainly because I love pumpkin! I get excited over the Jamba Juice Pumpkin smoothie and the pumpkin frozen yogurt.   I got the urge to bake tonight and thought about doing my lemon bars but I wanted to make some thing with pumpkin.  So I thought what about pumpkin bars but more like a lemon bar.  I used my lemon bar base and a pumpkin pie like top.  It is awesome and I decided to share.  

Pumpkin Bars

Preheat Oven 350
Grease 9 x 13 pan

1 cup butter
3/4 cup flour

2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar (plus more for dusting)

To make crust:
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and confectioner’s sugar
Cut in butter until combined and crumbly.
Press mixture into bottom of pan.
Bake for 15 minutes or until slightly golden.

Pumpkin Filling:
2 large eggs
1 - 15 ounce can  pure pumpkin (2 cups)
3/4 cup cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Mix
1 cups (360 ml) heavy cream
1/2 cup half & half

Pumpkin Filling:
Whisk the eggs. Add the pumpkin, sugar, vanilla extract, spices, and salt and whisk to combine. Gradually stir in the cream. Pour the filling over the pre-baked crust and bake for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until the filling is set in the center. Remove from oven and let it cool.  When cool dust with powdered sugar.  Enjoy!