Baking Healthier Cookies Cakes and Pies
Bake a Little Love Into Every Dessert You Make
I love cookies so I had to come up a way to have my cake and eat it too (so to speak). So this is exactly what I did. I took out as many unhealthy ingredients as I was able to and replaced these with nuts, berries, and other more heart friendly food options.
You can easily adapt most recipes by reducing the not so healthy ingredients and increasing the more nutritious ones that you add into your desserts. Your baked goods will be more nutritious but you won't lose any of the sweet delicious flavor that you love.
There are many little tricks that will help to make your home baking a little healthier. These simple tips can help to insure that your cookies, cakes, pies, and other sweet desserts truly are created with love baked into every bite.
You Know What is Good for Your Family so Give it to Them
My kookie cookie theory is that cookies can be good for you. You just have to insure that you are eating cookies with healthier ingredients in them. Making healthier food choices for your family is a wonderful way to show them how much you care.
Fortunately if you are baking at home you are already likely creating healthier foods for your family by eliminating preservatives that might otherwise be in pre-made foods. The other fabulous ideal of cooking at home is that you get to monitor the ingredients that go into your desserts and meals.
You can adapt and adjust to insure your ingredients are healthy while still allowing for maximum taste tempting enjoyment. Desserts can be a delicious way to get the family to enjoy the nutritious goodness of oats, fruit, berries, and nuts.
The number one issue with most baking is that big bad SUGAR word. It is the ingredient makes those sweets what we so desire they be. If you can get the amount of sugar in your baking under control then the rest of the nutritious dessert equation is pretty easy to master.
Whenever you reach for a dessert recipe try this little experiment. Cut the amount of requested sugar by one third. If the final result comes out okay then the next time you use that recipe cut the recipe's original sugar amount by one half. If the finished product once again tastes acceptable then this new amount of sugar will be what you apply to all future batches. You may find yourself pleasantly surprised by how many recipes this method can effectively be applied to. (Just not on my recipes because I have already adjusted them.)
Use Natural Food Coloring Whenever Possible
Yellow / Orange: Turmeric
Pink / Red: Pomegranate, beet, or raspberry juice.
Green: Spinach juice. Leftover water after boiling spinach.
Blue / Purple: Blueberry or grape juice. Leftover water after boiling red cabbage.
Brown: Cocoa, cinnamon, tea, or coffee.
Read the Nutritional Facts on the Products You Purchase
It can all seem so complicated. Which basically means that you are going to have to start catching things at their source and that means reading the product labels before you make a purchase.
After awhile this quick nutritional scan will become second nature and actually a very interesting addition to your shopping trips. It can be quite surprising what you discover in the foods that you thought were so good for you.
Make it a habit to read the list of ingredients and nutrients before you purchase. This includes all prepared foods as well as the margarine and oils that you purchase. Every product has an ingredient list which begins with the main component of that product and works its way through the list to the least existing element. They will also feature a nutritional list as well which can provide you with some vital information on how healthy that product really is.
Most people do not want to feed their family foods that are not good for them and especially when there are healthier options readily available at about the same cost. Read the ingredient label on the foods you are considering purchasing. They contain a wealth of nutritional information.
Good Fat - Bad Fat - Low Fat - No Fat
Baked goods can be quite rich in fat and that is a simple fact. So let's separate the good fats from the bad fats.
There are four major types of fats: Polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats are good fats while saturated fats and trans fats are classed as the bad fats. Omega 3 fats (polyunsaturated) are the super good guys in this picture while trans fats are the really bad dudes.
All fats are definitely not created equal. Trans fats are the fat which is all too well known to clog the arteries. Trans-fats are so hazardous to your heart that they are actually being banned in some countries. It is important to note that completely eliminating them can be difficult.
Eliminate the use of trans-fats where ever possible and especially when they show up in margarine. There are many soft margarine including no name products that do not contain trans-fats so you don't have to break your budget to remove these from your home cooking.
Butter contains trans-fats so use it sparingly or eat sparingly of baked goods containing it. Yes, I am a butter lover so I know that it can be the deciding factor in why a recipe tastes great. Shortbread and butter tarts are two desserts that just would not be the same without using real butter.
When recipes call for lard or margarine insure that you use a non-hydrogenated zero trans fat margarine. The price is usually very comparable or just a few pennies more than regular margarine and the benefits for your heart are amazing.
In cake mixes you can replace the requested oil with fruit. My cake mix requires 2/3 cup of oil but I eliminate that oil and add in 2 to 3 ripe mashed bananas instead. I have done this in every cake type including white and it is a delicious replacement. It adds body and a wonderful moist richness to the cake.
Good Fat vs Bad Fat?
All You Have to do is Add in or Substitute
Antioxidant rich raisins, blueberries, or cherry bits can be used to replace chocolate chips, candied jujubes, or other sugar filled add ins.
Fruit pies and crisps are a great way to add a healthier twist to your desserts. Antioxidant rich fruits and berries in your cookie, cake, and pie recipes can be the difference of serving up a sweet dessert or serving up a nutritious one.
Switch to 1% milk instead of evaporated or whole milk to cut the fat content in your baked goods and puddings. Something as simple as this can make a substantially difference. This is very important for people who are on a low cholesterol diet plan.
Oats are soluble fibre and a grain we are encouraged to consume. That advice is very sound. You can bake it up in cookies or in a hot apple crisp. Oatmeal creates a delicious and nutritious fibre rich dessert. Don't skip it.
Crack Open a Nut or Two They Are Good for You
Ask any squirrel or chipmunk in your neighbourhood and 99 percent will agree that they love their nuts. Walnuts are a food that should never be disregarded for their super health benefits.
These nuts go great in most cake mixes, dribbled onto fruit desserts, and tossed into oatmeal or raisin cookie recipes as well. Chock full of healthy protein and Omega 3 fats studies show that people who consume a handful of walnuts per day have an easier time maintaining their ideal weight.
Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fats which are a good fat required by your body for optimum health. Classed as healthy for you heart and brain they are a nut that is wonderfully tasty in so very many dessert recipes.
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