Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Every little taste counts

How many times have we spread a condiment on a sandwich, cream cheese on a bagel or stirred spaghetti sauce and without thinking licked the utensil?  Or you're making brownies or cupcakes for a potluck and you lick the big spoon or the bowl?  Most people don't track those calories but believe me, they add up!  You can have 100 calories just in licking the delectable brownie batter off of that big ol spoon.  Most don't pack that kind of punch but 10 calories here, 20 calories there can end up making a bigger difference than you might think over the course of weeks, months and year in the form of an extra pound or two.  (More if you're a taste as you go cook or chef)

Licking the spoon was one of the first habits I broke.  When I am preparing something I turn the hot water on and get the bowls and utensils immediately washed off or soaking so I'm not tempted to sneak a taste.  In the olden days, there was no way I could have extra anything lying around.  Frosting?  Forget it.  A spoonful here, a spoonful there which is at least 100-150 cals depending on how heaping.  As I was trying to get things together, I would put chili powder in it when I threw it away because I honestly didn't trust myself not to take it off the top of the heap if I was having a desperate moment.  Now?  I rarely have it in the house but when I do, it often ends up in the back of the fridge and forgotten about for months.  I never would've believed you if you'd told me that a few years ago.

So as the holiday season approaches, try to break this habit if you find you're a taste-as-you-cook/bake person.  Your waistline might thank you for it!

Are you a member of the clean utensil club or is it not a temptation/reflex?

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  1. I'm a wash-n-go kind of person, so once a spoon or bowl is used, I'm washing it and putting it in the drain rack while I'm cooking/baking. The hardest habit I had to break with "tasting" is spaghetti sauce. That was one where I had to taste to ensure the seasonings were right...but then I'd keep retasting LOL! Now I have my hubs do it for me. It is amazing how much those little things really do add up.

  2. It depends on what I'm cooking. Some things you have to taste as you go, but for me those tastes really are tastes. Dip a teaspoon into what ever I'm making, and taste what sticks to it instead of a whole spoonful. Cookie dough was my hardest one to break though. I love cookie dough.

  3. Excellent reminder! I try not to taste too often while baking. I taste when cooking savory dishes but those are done with a teaspoon and only a very little to adjust for seasonings.

  4. I don't worry so much about the licks and tastes. As long as I'm honest about what is a taste and what is a tablespoon full of cookie dough, it seems to work out okay for me. I generally run a little short of my daily calorie goals anyway, and I guess my smidges here and there get absorbed in that.

  5. Clean utensil club for me. Only when I bake, which isn't that often. But now I'll be mindful of this blog before I get out the spatula to get every last smidgeon out of the bowl to lick!

  6. I don't think I've ever noticed tasting sauces or the like. I just know it's damn good if I cooked it LOL, I'm just kidding! I used to have a problem with tasting batters, but we RARELY have cookies or brownies or anything like that. What I do (since I cook, hubster does the dishes) is put water in the bowl in the sink so I can't get at it, and it doesn't get all dried up. Great pointers!

  7. I'm definitely with you on this. I've stopped doing alllll that stuff, because like you say... a few calories here and there. ;)

  8. I used to do that a lot while baking but I am proud to say i no longer to that. Last Wednesday I baked mom's bday cake and did not taste any icing or batter.

  9. * shameful confession time* Ummmm...is this like licking the crap outta the whisk after mixing the son's birthday cake up this weekend? Or sampling the little bit of frosting that was left in the tub? Or how about when the birthday boy comes in to the kitchen and says "mom...looks like you have a little cake batter on your nose there".

    Yeah - not a good habit to have! Thanks for the reminder!!!!!!

  10. All caught up since Thursday, and before, and I look forward to a memphis blog! (The request line... ;)
    Thanks for schooling me, sista! I was in the brussel sprouts camp, too. I am afraid to look at all the comments on that blog entry! I've never had one but am pretty sure I don't like them, and would hate to see all the great prep ideas! (sort of kidding, I'll look with an open mind. Have you tried any?)
    Anyway, I used to be a big-time batter gal. Chocolate chip cookies, brownie or cake batter and my personal favorites: sour cream coffee cake or banana bread batter! GAH!
    I have two tricks. The first is to definitely submerge the spoons, spatulas and bowls in sudsy water ASAP. I trust myself more now, but like you said, just get them nasty fast. My second trick is to do any kind of baking in the AM. My control is so much better in the morning and sugar/butter/batter doesn't call to me. Now, take 4pm? I just wouldn't risk it....
    Avoid the sitch, avoid the fall.

    Great entries lately, Mrs!! Oh, and I think Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is on tonight :)

  11. Those little licks and bites really do add up . . . been there, done that, and still can if I don't pay attention. Gotta get the stuff in the sink soaking right away, otherwise it's easy to rejoin the clean utensil club!

  12. Oh no! That is my vice. I always take little tastes and lick the spoon. =(


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