Saturday, October 22, 2011

Good things

My elbow is once again on the mend. I'm happy to report that, after taking a week and a half off, I'm once again back rolling (please don't mention this fact to the nice folks over at Triangle Orthopedics). While I enjoyed all my extra free time, it feels really good to be back on the mats. And after doing so much no-gi training before the Pan Ams, it feels good to  be back in the gi again too.

pop quiz - what is wrong with this technique?

At work this week, I have been reading one of my favorite fall books with some of my  language intervention students. In Too Many Pumpkins, Rebecca Estelle hates pumpkins, after being forced to eat way too many as a child. Through an unfortunate chain of events involving an accident, a general lack of foresight, and the unstoppable force of nature, Rebecca Estelle finds herself with an uncontrollable pumpkin patch growing in her front yard.   

She overcomes her feelings of disgust for the vile orange gourds and finally decides to make pumpkin treats for all her neighbors. She makes pumpkin pies, "pumpkin tarts, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cakes. Pumpkin bread, pumpkin pudding, pumpkin cookies..."

After reading this story for the fiftieth time, I was overcome with the compulsion to go home and make a pumpkin treat for my family. I googled "healthy pumpkin bread" and found a recipe that looked good...only I thought I could make it even healthier.

Now, usually when I try to put a nutritious tweak on bakied goods, the result is disastrous - not healthy enough to eat for the sake of nourishment, but not tasty enough to have for dessert. The culinary "no man's land," if you will.  However, my version of pumpkin bread is packed with protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamin A and is low in sugar. But it tastes pretty darned good too! Good enough that I want to share it with my fellow grapplers:

Pumpkin Power Bread (make 2 loaves)

  • 1cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup vanilla protein powder 
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1.5 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1.5 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice 
  • 2 cups Splenda
  • 2/3 cup egg white substitute
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 large brown eggs
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 (15-ounce) can purreed pumpkin*
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350. Combine dry ingredients, then add wet ingredients. Divide into 2 loaf pans. Sprinkle pecans on top. Bake for about 30 min (do not overbake!)

*This came out more dry than I wanted. Next time, I will use more pumpkin puree (25 oz?)

If you've just tried the pumpkin bread sample at Starbucks and wonder if this will be as good, I'm not going to lie to you. It's not. On the tasety pumpkin scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is a stinky, rotten pumpkin and 10 is the richest pumpkin pie you've ever tasted, my bread is a 6.5. But hey, it's power food! It will make you strong.

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