On my recent trip home, I felt compelled to seek the wisdom of my sister Sara about some ways I could start to work on losing my baby bulge…
Wait…let me give you some context.
1. Sara is…well, she’s the fitness expert in my life. She weighs approximately 23 pounds, wears a size 0, and generally looks fabulous. She works out as much as I read food blogs and has the body we all wish we had…plus an amazing tan, which no, is not simply all her freckles combined, as one of her first grade PE students asked.
2. I was eating chips and salsa during the entire conversation that follows:
Me: So, Sara…I’m starting to think about losing this baby bulge…what would you recommend doing? Mostly cardio.. or like an ab muscle work?
Sara: Both…you’ll need to do both. Plus diet.
Me: ………(crunching on chips, continuing to wait for her to say “Just keep nursing [and eating like a horse] and eventually that belly flab will come off.”)
Sara: In fact, there’s this great Jillian Michaels’ ab video that combines both cardio and ab work. It’s only like an hour long.
Me: Dieting, huh? And an hour workout? (At this point, I start panic-eating chips, one after the other, in nonstop succession.)
Sara: Yeah! You could do it while Owen naps.
Me: …(inwardly spluttering…but, but, I have a food blog! But…it’s summer vacation!”)
And therein lies the problem, friends. Since I left school to have Owen, summer kicked in, giving me all the excuse I need to sleep in ’til nine, go outside instead of organizing my linen closet, and have my daily bowl of “I-deserve-this” ice cream. But the problem is…I’m not going back to work, so theoretically, I’m trapped in an endless, peaceful summer vacation, and I’m having a hard time gearing up for General Jillian Michaels and the Battle of the Baby Bulge.
And so, I guess my first official step towards returning to my pre-baby body is a modest one… Brownies… Zuchinni Brownies!
These brownies are more fudge than cake. They are gooey and chocolatey. You can use them to sneak zucchini into your friends and family…as well as to eliminate one more zucchini from the hoards taking over your gardens and CSA boxes. I love how moist these brownies stayed, thanks to the zucchini and yogurt in the recipe. I ended up putting these in the fridge after a day, unsure of how the yogurt would fare on my summertime countertop, and I found that I liked them better chilled.
With some vanilla ice cream on the side.
Like I said…baby steps.
recipe from Simply In Season
(yields: one 13x9-inch pan of brownies)
This fudge brownie recipe is a great way to use up all that summer zucchini. These brownies are moist, gooey, and really chocolatey.
1 c. flour
3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1/3 c. baking cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2-3 c. zucchini, shredded
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. plain yogurt
1/2 c. oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. semisweet or milk chocolate chips (I used milk)
1/2 c nuts, chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 350*.
Combine dry ingredients (flour, wheat flour, baking cocoa, baking soda, salt) in a large bowl.
Stir in the shredded zucchini.
In a small bowl, combine the wet ingredients (egg, sugars, yogurt, oil and vanilla). Once combined, add the wet ingredients to the zucchini/flour bowl. Stir until thoroughly combined.
Pour batter into a GREASED 13x9-inch pan. Sprinkle the chocolate chips (and nuts if using) on top of the batter.
Bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean.
*By accident, I discovered that I liked these chilled better than at room-temperature.
Bonus! You can make these any time of year, using frozen, shredded zucchini. Read how!