Kitchen Experiment: Homer Simpson-Style Low Carb Vegan Pumpkin Almond Suprise

The ‘surprise’ was it was good.

Our cupboards are filled with the discards of good intentions never followed up on, of exotic treats and unusual ingredients that go unused, of family food-fads that peter out and leave us with excess Water Chestnuts, applesauce cups, or Quinoa that seemed like a good idea at the time but now when offered up to the kids is reacted to as a punishment.

I was looking for something different – something sweet – and something that wouldn’t totally ruin the fragile hold I had on the start of a low carb diet. I found one of those aseptic boxes of cooked, unsweetened, unspiced pumpkin – the sort of thing you’d use for a pie. I don’t ever recall seeing it – but I also don’t remember looking for boxed pumpkin, so that might have something to do with it.

I’ve tried just sweetening this stuff with some sucralose in the past but that just doesn’t do it.

Then I noticed the forgotten almond flour. I try to avoid too many Omega-6s and most nuts are chock-full of them, but I’ve promised myself that I wasn’t going to get anywhere at present if I put too many restrictions on myself. Almond flour is low carb, high fiber, and tastes good, too.

I don’t have measurements for you but the box of pumpkin was roughly the size of your regular soup can, and I kept putting in almond flour until it had thickened considerably. Maybe 3/4 cups? I mixed well, and gave a taste.

Not bad. The almond flour ratcheted back the intense pumpkin flavor and the pumpkin blunted the almond flavor. It tasted like what? A pumpkin pudding? Pumpkin cake batter? I could picture throwing in a couple of eggs as binding and baking it into a cake of sorts but I didn’t go there.

It really wasn’t bad as-is. As a young adult/dope I used to occasionally buy rolls of cookie dough and eat it raw so I have a little Homer Simpson in me – and this was way better for me than that was. It *did* need a little touching up, however, so I added about 4 drops of liquid sucralose, maybe 2 tablespoons of cinnamon, and a 1/4 tablespoon of nutmeg and mixed well until no powder showed in the mix.

If I had intended to make this rather than bumbling around it would have taken less than 5 minutes.

I ate maybe a cup of the stuff and was quite satisfied. Whatever flavor-hole needed filling, this did it, I have maybe 3 cups left and can see myself probably finishing it up in the coming week.

I also realized the purely by accident it happened to be vegan, which helped the title of the post be even more absurd than it already was.

UPDATE 5/9/15: I have received comments on this that essentially say: ‘Worst. Recipe. Ever.’ Despite this, I’m having some for breakfast today and I still think it ain’t that bad. If you like pumpkin pie, it’s not a bad substitute in my opinion. Go ahead: hate on me, hate on my recipe.

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Some Progress Made – and Caffeinated Greek Yogurt

As mentioned in a previous post I was thinking of starting slow on a new approach to what I put in my mouth as opposed to go ‘all in’ as that just wasn’t working out. Instead, I’d focus on one or two things, let the others slide, and see what happens.

So on April 19th I stopped drinking. I enjoy drinking, but never found any success in weight loss while consuming alcohol. I was 258.8 lbs. the next day, and while I am habituated to eating low carb from a decade on the diet, I wasn’t watching things too closely and simply went with the flow while I let time do it’s slow and steady work to ingrain a new habit.

I didn’t notice much difference in things at first. I’m not alcohol-dependent so there were no withdrawal symptoms to deal with – and the only noticeable difference was that I probably ate at the times when I would usually drink. My weight stayed in a narrow range though after 10 days I came within a hair’s breadth of 260 – and then something changed.

My appetite seemed to dial itself back by itself and while not following a strict ketogenic diet I was eating less in general and probably sticking to under 100 grams of carbs per day. Between 4/27 and 5/01/2015 I suddenly dropped in weight: 259.8, then 255.4, then 253.6, then 252.6, then 252.2 – a 7.6 lb. drop in 4 days.

Right now I’ve seemed to settle in a groove of:

  • Coffee and cream in the AM
  • 1 or 2 Greek yogurt during the day with a squeeze of the MiO Energy ‘water enhancer’ – perhaps making me the inventor of the first caffeinated yogurt.
  • More coffee throughout the day
  • A somewhat carb-controlled evening meal that seems – oddly for me – to remain somewhat in control and does not devolve into a constant grazing until bed.

So it’s nice to start May with what I’d like to think is a clearing out of most of my water weight, a modest weight loss to encourage me to up my game in the coming month, and leaving behind – at least until I reach 200 lbs. – an alcohol habit that ensured weight loss would never happen.