I managed to somehow get far too much produce the past week and am trying to use up what I can before it goes bad (at least I cleared out some space in my freezer so I can chop up and freeze the pounds of strawberries–whew!). Lost a few nectarines and about to lose some plums, so I got one of my fave old recipes out for fruit crisp and instead of apples or peaches, I cut up the nectarines and plums I had left–just enough, at that–and baked a fruit crisp.
Re-heated and had it yesterday, and it was good. SO good.
To my tongue, anyway. After having very little sugar the past few weeks, it hit my stomach a whole different way. And I was close to a sugar binge.
So, I gave the rest to a neighbor (they loved it and don’t have the control issues regarding sugar that I have), drank a lot of water and switched to herbal teas and such for the rest of the day while making a salad to throw some more vitamins and minerals in my gut. Probably was the forcing myself to stop that helped the most, and getting rid of the offending item.
And where I realize that I just can’t stand that much sugar anymore. Good in a sense because I know it’s not good to have, but something in me craves it as a binge trigger. Nope, can’t do it. And I’ll have to get really inventive on finding things to do with fruit that isn’t canning (just don’t have enough to make it worth the effort and too varied a stock), baking it into desserts, or toppings for salad. I know I can throw some into smoothies, so that’s a quick fix. I just want to think of other things I can do. So, on to the cookbooks!
I do have a recipe for baked apples that I’ve tried before and is not too sweet–haven’t tried it in ages, but if I find a better re-heat method (and this new oven seems to work with re-heating better, so goodie), then I’ll make ’em. Cored granny smith with raisins and a cinnamon sauce? Yummy… and filling. So, I’ll likely do that this week (those apples can last a little longer, just got ’em yesterday).
I’m just amazed at how sugary these classic desserts can be without modification. And they’re definitely something I can’t “do in moderation.” It would be nice if I could, but when I put the stuff in my calorie counter, a square of that was nearly half my calories and carbs for the day. I’d been doing well just eating when I’m hungry and drinking lots of water. Hard to do when I have to ration so much to justify eating that one sweet treat.
I made it because I knew I could, but honestly, I don’t feel like I’m missing much of anything not having dessert anymore. I didn’t slip up at all when I went to work the past week (that’s usually been my weakness), but I had thawed out smoothies in a cold bag and would drink one on the way to work as lunch (because I had to be there by 3, but don’t get hungry til 2, hence the reason fast food always seemed a good idea–stupid self-sabotaging tendencies and all). Passed by all the fast food joints and diners I used to go to and wasn’t even tempted. One smoothie for dinner (with an apple or protein bar if I was extra peckish) on the drive home, no temptation.
I was so happy with myself. And I almost undid it just because I wanted to use up some fruit and thought it “wasn’t that bad” of a recipe with calorie counts and all. Putting it in the tracker really opened up my eyes after my stomach was rebelling–I hadn’t had that much sugar in one sitting in weeks! So, yeah.
I’m actually looking more at food-pairings charts to see what I have, what I need to get rid of/do something with, or use (saw one on The Baking Almanac page and it looks interesting). I have oodles of canned pumpkin and the classic Libby’s recipe for it, but I don’t bother with the crust anymore (and my last two graham cracker ones got smashed to crumbs somehow, so in the garbage they go). I just put ’em in those clear Pyrex bowls and bake ’em that way. Might have a spoon of whipped cream on top, or not (and if they’re warm, don’t need it anyway–yum). But if there are some good fruit pairings with pumpkin, I’ll see about incorporating them into it (other than apple, because that’s obvious). Might have some harvest pie recipes in the books somewhere, plenty online (just have to check the damned sugar and butter counts).
I think that’s what it was, too–the butter AND the sugar. High sugar, high fat. Just like the old days. I use butter pretty sparingly these days, and haven’t had much bread lately that would require more, so it’s been a lesson for sure. But today’s a beautiful day out, and just cool/warm enough to have the windows open, a nice breeze, and a great day to be in the kitchen baking or cooking when I find those new recipes.
Of course, I need to stop buying more produce for the short term. I’ve also never carved a pumpkin, so I got two little white ones to practice on, and I’ll be seeing if I can use the innards to make real pumpkin products (I know canned pumpkin is a lot of other gourd-type veggies mixed with pumpkin and food coloring to give it that classic orange color, which is why off-brand or organic don’t look like Libby’s does). Just another thing to learn in that self-sustaining life I hope to achieve to some degree.
Gonna go consult the new books now… especially that cooking for Autumn & Winter book ATK book… drool…