Hi. When I start on a weight reduction diet, I need to eat a lot of food or I just end up with cravings that blow the diet out of the water. Therefore I need food that is very low calorie for lots of bulk. I can't eat just fruit and veg or my stomache gets acidy and then I need to eat something starchy to stop the acid (kind of defeats the purpose). So, I have been playing with recipes that satisfy my need to eat eat eat, but don't have a stack of calories and don't make me acidy. Once I 'train' my body to expect fewer cals then I can start also cutting back on the amount of eating, but I find it too difficult to do both at the same time.

So, this recipe is one I rely on when I start cutting down on cals. It is a bit tedious to make, but worth it for me.

WARNING; this recipe is very high in roughage, and some people will not tolerate that well. If you don't know that you can tolerate this much bran, then eat only part of the recipe each day, until you build up your tolerance.

I usually don't eat any more than half of this recipe each day, but some people won't be able to tolerate that much. You could end up in a lot of pain if you don't know that you can handle this much roughage. If your normal diet has little roughage (ie you eat a lot of processed foods, no whole grains or little fruit and veg) you might even do real damage, so start with one or two muffins only.

You need a non stick or silicone muffin pan to make them.

VERY LOW CAL, TOASTED BRAN MUFFINS
(12 toasted rounds with cheese on top for 180 cals total)

3 cups bran
1 cup white flour
1 cup fake sugar
4 generous tsp baking powder
lots of cinnamon, ginger or whatever spice you like
1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt
1 egg white
tsp molasses
water

Mix all the dry ingredients thoroughly, add a cup of water then the egg white and molasses. Mix thoroughly, add a bit more water til you have a very thick batter, just slightly wetter than a paste.

Make just 6 muffins at a time;that will make 12 toasted rounds, which is enough for a meal or large snack.

Very lightly oil the muffin forms. Put only enough batter in each 'cup' to fill it to about 3/4 inch. Put in oven at 400 F for 20 minutes. (I use a toaster oven, so other ovens may be different). When the muffins are browned on top, remove from oven and remove from pan. If the bottoms are also browned, then skip next step.

If bottoms are not brown, then put them back in the oven just on a rack not in the muffin pan. Leave them for about 10 minutes, til bottoms are toasty.

Remove them from the oven, then cut each muffin in half horizontally (ie you end up with two round pieces). You will notice the center never cooks, no matter how long you leave them in. So, put them back in the oven, with the broiler on, gooey side up, on a rack or a baking sheet. Toast them until crispy (about 10 to 15 minutes in my toaster oven, but will depend on how far from the broiler you put them).

All together the recipe takes about 50 minutes to an hour and a bit of fussing.

I like the muffins best with a bit of a very thin cheese slice on top.

The recipe has less than 500 cals for the whole thing, especially if you don't count the calories in the bran, which I don't because I don't believe it is digested at all.

Six muffins gives you 12 toasted rounds, with about 100 cals for the whole snack. Add two thin cheese slices (divided up over all the muffins) for 40 cals each gives you a very filling snack/small meal for 180 cals.