15 Jan How to Add a Healthy Oomph To Your Baking
I’m always looking for ways to add a healthy twist to my recipes. Call it stealth health. Baking recipes that totally cut out fat or sugar don’t appeal to me. They usually taste like something’s missing. I still want that satisfaction after eating my baked yummies, so taste cannot be sacrificed.
[I appeared on Canada AM to showcase some delicious baking recipes. While that segment was partially sponsored, this blog post was not.]
Here are two simple tweaks you can make to your baking recipes:
1) Amp up the flour power
- Swap in whole wheat flour for half the all-purpose flour in a baking recipe. Add 2 tbsp wheat germ to the recipe, as many whole wheat flours in Canada don’t use the whole grain.
- Whole wheat flour needs more liquid than all-purpose. For every one cup of whole wheat flour and 2 tbsp wheat germ, add ¼ cup liquid.
- For something that shows your true patriot love, try barley flour, one of my baking heroes (see below)
2) Keep fat in check with fab fruits
- Cut the fat and sugar in a recipe by using mashed/pureed fruit. Don’t get rid of all the fat, but swapping out half the fat should do the trick.
- For every cup of unsweetened applesauce, reduce liquid by ¼ cup.
- Swap in equal amount of mashed avocado for butter – this works well in chocolate baked goods.
- To make prune puree: combine ¾ cup prunes with ¼ cup boiling water. Whirl in blender.
- To make date puree: cover dates with water and soak overnight then puree until creamy in a food processor (or for a quick fix, microwave it for 2 minutes in a glass bowl, then puree)
Five baking heroes to dial up the goodness factor
- Lentils — Lentils are part of a hot food trend as 2016 is the International Year of Pulse (pulses are the edible seeds of legumes – think lentils, chickpeas, dry peas and beans). Lentils amp up protein & fibre in any recipe. It is also naturally low in sodium and high in potassium. To make ½ cup lentil puree, blend 1 cup cooked/canned lentils with ¼ cup water.
- Canola — Canola is the vegetable oil with the most heart-healthy plant omega-3 fats. Canola can be used to cut the amount of fat in a recipe. For example, ½ cup butter can be swapped for 1/3 cup canola oil.
- Barley flour — Take advantage of the whole grain goodness of barley flour. Swap in for all-purpose flour. Barley contains beta-glucan, which can help lower your blood cholesterol.
- Hemp seeds (hemp hearts) — Use hemp hearts to bump up the protein and healthy fats in your baking. These super seeds also add a nutty flavour to your baked goods.
- Greek yogurt — While this ingredient has been hot for a few years, I love the extra protein, calcium and moisture Greek yogurt adds to baking.
What’s your favourite stealth health baking tip?