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Stretching

March 28, 2011

When I met Mike four years ago, I wasn’t interested in spending time in a gym and certainly not running.  Mike was a runner though so the bug caught me and in about six months I had my own gym membership.  I remember the day I got on a treadmill with the sole goal of being able to run one mile and I was so proud of myself when I finished.  I’ve kept up running for most of the last four years and have even run a couple of 5K’s.  The problem for me was that I continually got hurt.  I would run regularly, building up to 3 or 3-1/2 miles then have an ankle or knee problem that would sideline me long enough to lose the conditioning.  Then I’d have to start over again.   Mike regularly reminded me that I needed to stretch after a run to avoid the injury but I never listened so the cycle continued.  Mike’s brother Mark trains people to run marathons through Team in Training and Mark runs several marathons a year himself (learn more about Mark here and here).  When I told him of my injury cycle he also recommended stretching and even sent me a great packet of stretching exercises.  Somewhere along the way the light switched on and since I’ve started stretching after every run I haven’t had any more injuries, knock on wood.

Learning to stretch isn’t just limited to exercise.  I’m working hard to expand what I cook by trying to use ingredients I’ve never used before or to use them in a way that I hadn’t ever considered.  That’s what intrigued me about this recipe – the use of chickpeas as the main ingredient in a dessert recipe.  Chickpeas don’t have a lot of flavor on their own so in this recipe  they simply carry the chocolate flavor and give the dip substance.  Give this recipe a try as a fruit dip like I have here or as a filling for sweet crepes or maybe in a sweet french toast.

The only changes I’m making to the recipe as originally posted by Weight Watchers is to expand on the instructions some.

Creamy Chocolate Dip
Weight Watchers on-line
14 servings – 2 tbsp each

1-1/2 cups canned chickpeas, drained (about a 15 oz can)
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp fat free sweetened condensed milk
3 tbsp hot water

After draining the chickpeas, it’s important to remove the loose skins.  I found the easiest way to do this was right in your hands.  Take a small handful of chickpeas, and rub them together vigorously and the skins will loosen.  Then just pinch the skins off and discard.

Add all the ingredients to a cuisinart or blender and mix until smooth, about a full minute, stopping every 10-15 seconds to scrape down the sides of the bowl.  The chickpeas aren’t going to blend down perfectly smooth but you want the dip to be as smooth as possible.

Refrigerate dip for at least 30 minutes so that it sets up a bit.

Calories – 71
Total Fat – 4.8g
  Saturated Fat – .064g
Cholesterol – 0.0g
Total Carbohydrate – 15.84
  Dietary Fiber – 1.25g
Protein – 1.77g

Weight Watchers PointsPlus – 2

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One Comment leave one →
  1. MikeG permalink
    March 28, 2011 7:43 pm

    Great post sweetheart and you’re a pretty good stretcher too

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