Tales From A Hungry Life

September 14, 2016

Carb Love

by Maria Schulz

For the past year, I’ve been watching my calories and trying to eat better. I have not forsaken all of the things that I love because to do so would send me into the old, familiar spiral of binging on everything I just declared I would never touch again.

Now if this was hanging from the tree...

Now if this was hanging from the tree…

Forbidden fruit was not just Eve’s problem. I would’ve never gotten thrown out of The Garden of Eden for eating an apple. If there were cookies, pancakes, waffles, or donuts hanging from the trees, that’s another story.

I can remember playing in my family’s basement with my twin brother as my older brothers and mother milled about on a lazy Sunday morning. My Dad would walk triumphantly through the door holding a bag that smelled like heaven.

Inside of that bag were 9 glistening donuts. My mom handed me one and I bit into it, feeling the steaming hot dough traveling into my waiting belly as jelly trickled down my fingers and across my face. Meanwhile, my brothers stuck their jelly-laden tongues out at me and smiled with jelly all over their teeth.

D'oh! Donuts!

D’oh! Donuts!

The bakery down the block called to us with its siren song of fresh donuts, Italian bread, zeppole, tri-color cookies, crullers, pies, and pizza. Late at night, when the windows were open and the bakery ovens were lit, you could smell the bread and desserts baking. I could look out the window and see the stars in the skies and drift off to sleep while breathing in what I began to think of as family parties and laughter.

More recently, my cousin Eleanor has invited me over to her home for breakfast on weekend mornings. She and her husband, Bob, make light, fluffy homemade waffles. Each one comes out out thick and fresh, simultaneously soft and crunchy. I smother mine in syrup and eat it with gusto as we share stories from our lives.

From tales of growing up in Corona or Bayside, living in Alaska or Ridgewood, books we’re reading or the current state of affairs in America, there is always great food, great conversation, and lots of laughs.

Eleanor and Maria, a few years ago

Eleanor and Maria, a few years ago

From those early days of jelly donuts to my more recent waffle breakfasts, delicious carbs have always equaled good times. The trick for me now is letting myself enjoy a treat every now and then so I don’t go stark raving mad and eat every carb I can lay my hands on.

Here’s one of the many recipes that I found that offers a taste of the best of both worlds. Take the humble waffle and combine it with your favorite donut flavors, and what have you got? The Wonut, of course.

Yum! Wonuts

Yum! Wonuts

This is a pretty clever way to make an easy dessert with your waffle iron. The article above suggests using chocolate and sprinkles, which I love. Here’s the recipe.

I can’t change my love for waffles and donuts. They are so closely intertwined with happy memories for me that I will never be happy without them. Let’s face it: I’m a carb addict, and when a carb addict dreams, they aren’t dreaming of kale and protein drinks.

My carb dreams include Italian bread just pulled from the oven, ready to be slathered in whipped butter; Boston crème donuts (my favorite, and part of my Slim’s Bagels lunch special during my high school years); and Belgian waffles smothered in vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream, whipped cream, and chocolate syrup.

Did somebody say wonut?

Did somebody say wonut?

So for now, I’m rewriting the script on my relationship with carbs. They can be in my life, but our love affair has to be redefined. In the wise words of that ear-worm song that Selena Gomez sings, “I’m so sick of that same old love. My body’s had enough!” You said it, sister.

Recipe: Wonut with Sliced Strawberries, Blueberries, and Bananas

Ingredients

Waffle

¼ cup Strawberries

¼ cup Blueberries

½ Banana

1-2 tablespoons whipped cream

Let’s face facts: the Wonut is not a healthy treat. Still, you can enjoy one as long as you add some fiber, vitamins, and minerals (not to mention healthy sugars) along with our carb fix, while slashing the calories.

Strawberries are in season, and I’ve got a ton of them. I also just bought two pints of blueberries, as well as organic bananas. Slice your fruit and put it on top of your wonut/waffle creation. Add a little whipped cream and voila! You’ve got a delicious and satisfying treat that isn’t a total calorie bomb.

Yum

Yum

If you’re desperate for some chocolate, melt some and dip your strawberries. Put them in the refrigerator overnight and they’ll be ready to enjoy in the morning, or anytime. Start with a bar of high quality semisweet or bittersweet baking chocolate. Chop it up into squares. Put it in a microwave safe bowl and place it in the microwave for about a minute on medium high. Stir and repeat at 15 to 20 second intervals until it’s melted and has a smooth consistency. You can use it to dip your fruit or just drizzle a little bit over your wonut for a chocolaty hit.

Good eats

Good eats

For those of us without a waffle iron, here’s a trick: use frozen waffles. Try to get one that is higher in fiber to maximize your fiber intake.

To get the full “wonut” experience, take it out of the fridge and toast it. Then, take a large juice glass, press it into the waffle and make a circular indentation. Pull of the edges so you have a perfect circle. Take a smaller juice glass and press out the middle (less bread = less carbs). Or, buy the kind of waffles that are already round. Add your toppings and enjoy your Wonut. You’ve earned it!

So, Hungry Lifers…what’s your favorite carb-heavy treat? How would you decorate your Wonut? What food combination is your favorite? Please leave a comment and let us all know. Thanks!

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8 Comments »

  1. Maria, I too am a carb-addict. I usually have a bagel with something sweet for breakfast (dunking-donut, oh those Boston creams). Bread is my downfall. I can’t see life without these things. The memories of Sundays when we were give the treat of donuts lingers in my mind and the smells waft in as if the food was truly there. With the emphasis on food being healthy in this day and age, your Blog goes to show that it’s good that, in moderation, we don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater.

    Comment by Tony Lagalante — September 14, 2016 @ 1:02 pm | Reply

    • No wonder we are both carb addicts! I will have to come over one night (when I’m allowing myself a treat) and partake in some Entenmann’s cake! Good times with my favorite people. 🙂

      Comment by talesfromahungrylife — September 15, 2016 @ 8:09 am | Reply

  2. After reading this blog I am starving. I will hold off satisfying my hunger pangs to clear up one or two things. Sundays I used to come home with 18 goodies, 6 each of crumb buns, crullers and jelly donuts. fresh from the Bakery.They smelled as good as they tasted. They were not from the Italian Bakery which is still there on 48th. Ave. which was used back then only for Italian Pastries on special occasions but from the German Bakery which was on Bell Blvd. just off 48 Ave..For me this is an important differentiation. There was another German Bakery on Bell Blvd. near the LIRR station which also had great buns and emanated the most delicious aromas early in the morning. Nobody makes crumb buns like German Bakers. The crumbs are so good I could eat nothing but them all day long but then I would feel crummy for binging so badly. The Italian Bakery, “Joe’s Sicilian” still makes the best Italian Bread and lines spill out of their store around holidays like Christmas and Easter.I also like to mention I enjoy greatly Sfogliatella (also referred to as svilladale) I messed up that spelling, Zeppole, Cannoli and Rum Cake made with real Rum in the old days. I ate these things after a plateful of Spaghetti of any kind (we never called it Pasta). I have to stop writing because I am now going to go crazy trying to stop myself from gorging myself with all the great tasting things that will eventually kill me.

    Comment by bglou — September 14, 2016 @ 3:16 pm | Reply

    • Hey…how come I didn’t get any crumb cake? I was about 4 when you brought donuts home. I didn’t care where they came from!

      Comment by talesfromahungrylife — September 15, 2016 @ 8:23 am | Reply

  3. Nothing beats a chewy, hot bagel that was made by boiling it in NY water. Isn’t it funny that the bagel store you used to go to was called Slim’s? Great nostalgia here, Maria. As always, I loved reading your post!

    Comment by lisasafran — September 15, 2016 @ 7:29 am | Reply

    • Nothing better than NY bagels! Slim’s Bagels were always great. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Comment by talesfromahungrylife — September 15, 2016 @ 8:41 am | Reply

  4. after reading this blog – I’m eating cheese nips right now. Too bad it’s baked it kind of kills the whole cheese nip experience. Doesn’t matter the box will be empty by noon.

    Comment by Veronica — September 15, 2016 @ 10:20 am | Reply


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