slightly less unhealthy: the blog!

slightly less unhealthy illustrationSo I started another blog.

I had this Vox blog, right? And it was just sitting there, last post dated early 2007, and I was thinking I should just close the account when it occurred to me: I could repurpose the blog. That way, I could have a recipe blog without actually starting anything new! It is just like recycling.

So now you can read all about the things I’m making in the oven (I’ll omit recipes which are primarily composed of smoke and misery). Behold: it is Slightly Less Unhealthy.

slightly less unhealthy banana bread

In Slightly Less Unhealthy news, I made banana bread for the first time in the new house. It tasted much the same as the banana bread I used to make in the old house. I know you are surprised.

Here’s the recipe, for those of you who like that kind of thing:

1 stick room temperature unsalted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3 overripe bananas
1 tablespoon milk
1 cup flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and butter a loaf pan.

Cream sugar and butter. Add vanilla extract. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition to combine. In a separate bowl, mash bananas with a fork and add milk. Stir banana mixture with butter and sugar until just combined.

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Slowly add dry to wet and stir until combined.

Pour into loaf pan and bake for 1 hour 10 minutes.

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refine this

In Slightly Less Unhealthy news, I’ve once again decided to go on a fresh food/less sugar kick. The reasons are similar to last time (moodiness exacerbated by sugar, extreme crankiness, general sense of malaise) but with one added bit: low sugar diets can help with migraines.

Studies show that when a migraine person eats refined sugar, their blood sugar level goes up very high, then quickly comes down again. […] Natural sugars, such as fruit, completely unprocessed sugar cane juice, etc. do not cause this effect.

Natural Migraine Treatment FAQ

Since I am disinclined to argue with such an authority as Teh Interwebs, I figure I ought to try and cut out as much refined sugar as I can. This is somewhat challenging, since I like refined sugar. It’s so…refined. So crystalline and white, like wee little diamonds that you can eat. And such delicious things are made from it, such as chocolate, and things made out of chocolate.

Do I like it enough to have one or two migraines every month? Accompanied by mood swings and bitchiness?

Can I get back to you on that?

So far the diet change has been a piece of cake, and by cake I mean angel food. We had a lovely dessert of angel food cake, fresh berries, and a little bit of unsweetened heavy cream whipped with mascarpone cheese, and – wow. Not completely sugar-free, since there’s sugar in the cake, but certainly not on a par with anything made by Hostess. Which leads me to believe that I can totally do this, as long as we eat just like that for the rest of my life.

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i only practice moderation where health food is concerned

Once again, I’m trying to make my diet less like the bottom of a caramel-corn box and more like something made by Morningstar. The problem is sugar. As in, I love it with a deep, abiding passion. It gives me nothing but misery, but I keep coming back. Come on, sugar. Love me the right way.

Anyway, I’m cutting waaaaaay back on my sugar consumption, which is a thing I do from time to time amid oaths of enduring health and vows to do things like exercise regularly (ha) and drink less coffee (HA). I’m not cutting sugar entirely out of my diet; I learned my lesson about that when I tried to Atkins before my wedding and went temporarily bipolar. No, I’m just going for an overall aura of better health. I’m trying to make more from-scratch meals which do not in any way involve fried potato products. If I crave a treat, I’ll make that from scratch too. That way, it takes a little longer (no instant gratification) and I can control how much sugar I put in.

Tonight I made some chocolate chip cookies using Ghirardelli 60% cacao chips, which are less sweet than semisweet morsels, and I cut out about a third of the sugar. I also only used half a bag of chips, so the chip-to-cookie ratio is somewhat less choc-tastic. Still yummy, though.

Slightly Less Unhealthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups unbleached white flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 bag bittersweet chocolate chips

  1. Cream butter and sugars in mixing bowl. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix thoroughly.
  2. Mix flour, baking soda and salt together and add the dry ingredients into the wet mixture untilcompletely mixed.
  3. Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Spoon on to an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 11 to 14 minutes.

Now, I know what you’re saying. I missed so many prime health-food opportunities with this recipe. Where is the flax? The wheat germ? Where is the whole-wheat flour? Baby steps, I’m telling you.

Although I think Not So will call in reinforcements should I begin baking with carob chips…

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