Remember that time I set fire to the microwave?
Well, the microwave/oven (multifunction-thing) caught fire while I was making some great muffins a couple of weeks back.
Muffins that were good enough for me to have cravings for them. So this morning when I had some time (one of the benefits/negatives of working from home for a company in CA is that I usually have to work late, leaving my mornings free), and saw that I had both apples and carrots that needed to be used up, I jumped at the opportunity.
You can find the recipe over at Cannelle et Vanille.I substituted a GF flour mix, and I'm sure these would also be great with regular flour. (When substituting flours, its best if you measure by weight, subbing the total grams of flour in this recipe for an equal amount of grams of the flour you have. You'll be getter results.)
In other (just as exciting news), the European Parliament (EP) vetoed a proposal to allow food companies to list "percentage less claims" on their packages. You've definitely seen these in the US, such as on the box of sugar-loaded cereal boasting "now with 30% less sugar."
This amendment would have allowed food companies to put percentage claims with lower numbers on their products, such as "now with 15% less sugar." Right now they can only put a reduction claim on their products if they reduce by 30%. While the European Commission is disappointed with the EP's vote (and food companies are probably furious), I most certainly am not.
Such claims are misleading for consumers. You see a package that says "15% less sugar" and assume that it has been made healthier. But if it is a 15% reduction from a huge amount of sugar, it is still an unhealthy product. These types of claims show up on foods that need marketing to make them appear healthy. These type of claims show up on highly processed foods, that are usually loaded with sugar, fat and salt.
The flip side of this argument is this: if companies could market that they've reformulated their products to be lower in sugar, it may entice them to reformulate their products. My take on this argument: sure, 15% less sugar is a slight improvement. But why should we let them get away with a 15% reduction, when as is stands they have to reduce by 30% (better but still not great) if they want to boast about it?
Ever seen a banana with a sticker boasting "now with fiber"? Of course not. These types of claims do not appear on the products we should all be eating: veggies and fruit, non-processed foods, raw foods, etc.
My rule of thumb: if a product has a health claim on the package, its a good sign that the product has been highly processed and should be avoided. Do your homework. If you see a label on the front, you still need to read the ingredient list. My tips for reading a nutrition facts panel are in a previous post.
The best foods are the ones that don't need any labels at all. Those muffins above, made at home with natural ingredients, and without preservatives and artificial colors/flavors, they qualify. Even without a 15% reduction in sugar.