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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Pie Plant

Everybody I knew as a child had a rhubarb plant or two. It's actually a pretty plant, like Swiss Chard on steroids. Large ruby colored stalks capped with giant dark green leaves, it's one of the first to peek out of the ground in the Spring.

My mom and my grandma always made fabulous cakes, but my very favorite was when my mom would make rhubarb pie. You don't even want to know how much sugar went into that confection. It invariably boiled over in the oven, so mom would throw open the windows to the Spring air, the smoke would roll out of the oven, and we'd know we were in for a great treat for dessert.

Black rolling smoke and the smell of burnt sugar--now those are good memories!

Now, pie, by it's very definition is not Weight Watchers friendly. In fact, I think in the dictionary next to the word pie is a picture of a broken bathroom scale. I'm working on a WW friendly rhubarb pie recipe, but in the meantime, these muffins help get me a pie plant fix.

Rosy Rhubarb Banana Muffins

I replaced most of the fat in these muffins with mashed banana. I think the result is quite good. Sweet banana balances the tart rhubarb. 3 WW Points per muffin.

1 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large bananas
1/4 cup egg substitute
1 cup low fat buttermilk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cup flour
2 cup rhubarb
1/2 cup oatmeal for sprinkling over the top before baking

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place first three ingredients in mixer bowl and blend well. Add the rest of the ingredients, waiting until all are well combined before adding rhubarb. Place in lined muffin tins. Sprinkle with a little oatmeal if desired. Bake until a skewer inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean, approximately 25 minutes. Check every five minutes towards the end of baking.

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Taking a little time to play with words, to play with food, and just to play!