Healthier Ideas for Baking


I know we have our Tasty Tuesday Blog and I hate to use Wednesday to bring you yet another recipe, but sticking with our blog title – Wellness Wednesdays – I think teaching you how to modify a recipe, to a little healthier version of itself, is quite alright.

This week, I want to tackle the topic of oil. I know some oils aren’t that bad for you. In fact, I often simple grill my fish or chicken, even my bison, with an extra virgin olive oil (plus some red wine/vinegar and sea salt and pepper). What has often disturbed me, however, is the amount of, let’s say vegetable oil, that goes into a pan of brownies or a loaf of banana bread. Yep, SO much more than you’d brush on that fish filet or chicken breast, right? YUCK!!!

So, how do we fix that? Simple. Use unsweetened apple sauce. I’ve tried this in breads (banana and zucchini), as well as brownies, and I find it to be much better. I have also started using whole wheat pastry flour (Yes, it HAS to be PASTRY flour), instead of regular white flour.

For years, I’ve also baked with both Splenda brown and white sugars, but have recently switched the sugar in my morning coffee to Stevia and am in the process of switching to that when baking also. (I’ve read one cup of sugar is the equivalent of 1 teaspoon of liquid Stevia or 1/3-1/2 teaspoon of Stevia extract powder, the same as 18-24 packets of Stevia – be careful, because Stevia is very sweet.) I haven’t given Stevia a chance when baking, so maybe it’s up to you to report back to me? Regardless, here’s one of my favorite healthier recipes… Give it a try and let me know what you think:

HEALTHIER ZUCCHINI BREAD

Ingredients: 

  • Instead of 3 cups of all-purpose flour, I use whole wheat pastry flour – same amount
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Instead of whole 3 eggs, I use 3 egg whites and 1 whole egg
  • Instead of 1 cup vegetable oil, I substitute unsweetened apple sauce – same amount
  • Instead of 2 1/4 cups white sugar, I use Splenda blended sugars and use the equivalent of 1 cup brown and 1 ¼ cups white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons Pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or carob chips (or ½ and ½)

Directions:

  1. Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
  3. Beat eggs, applesauce (or oil), vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl.
  4. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well.
  5. Stir in zucchini and nuts/chips until well combined.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  7. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester, inserted in the center, comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes.
  8. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

Carri Nelsen

Do you have a ‘Wellness Wedsneday’ question for Carri? 

Send it to blogs@thezonemag.com and we’ll try to get your question answered in an upcoming post.

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