Baking (almost) guilt free goodies

January 28, 2009

A few small changes in your baking can make those yummy, forbidden recipes a little healthier.  Here’s my top ten.

1.  Use organic eggs.  Organic eggs will have much higher vitamin and mineral levels and a more balanced healthier omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid ratio than non-organic eggs.

2.  Switch from white sugar to organic raw cane sugar.  Health wise, sugar made from sugar cane is better than sugar made from sugar beets, and raw cane sugar is less processed and refined.

3.  Use brown sugar that is made from sugar cane.  Most brown sugar is white beet sugar with molasses added to it.  Real brown cane sugar is less refined and a higher quality brown sugar for baking.  C & H brown sugar is one brand that is pure cane brown sugar.

4.  If the recipe calls for shortening, use non hydrogenated shortening; it is available in the natural foods section of your grocery store (probably refrigerated).  Or substitute coconut oil for shortening.

5.  Skip the margarine, use REAL butter.  The taste of real butter can’t be beat, and believe it or not, butter does not have trans-fats, but margarine does.   Butter is a rich source of the essential fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and E, which are not easily found elsewhere in the diet in a simple to digest form.

6.  Use gourmet chocolate chips like Guittard or Ghirardelli for baking insurance; these top brands provide top results for baking.  Premium chocolate chips such as these are made with sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, and real vanilla; but no milk additives that can bother people sensitive to milk.

7.  Use unbleached flour instead of bleached flour, we all need a little less bleach in our diets!  White flour usually has the germ and bran removed, but I found at my local health food store a bread flour that still has the germ in.  Or look for freshly ground white wheat flour (available in health food stores in the refrigerated section) to get all the nutrients, germ, and bran not found in white processed flour.

8.  All natural sea salt has trace minerals in it that are not found in regular table salt.  Real Salt brand sea salt is available almost anywhere.

9.  Buy organic oatmeal.  Cookies, crumbles, bars, and breads; I have tons of recipes that call for oatmeal and using organic oatmeal makes all those recipes healthier for my family.

10.  If a recipe calls for a lot of oil, try substituting half applesauce and half oil for the amount required.  This might not work for every recipe, but it works for a lot of recipes.

What have you changed to bake healthier treats at your house?

2 Responses to “Baking (almost) guilt free goodies”

  1. Janel T Says:

    I use almost all of your ideas, but I also love using golden ground flaxseed. I add it to yogurt, bread, cookies and bars. I also just started using raw nuts. I grind those up in my coffee grinder, like I do for the flaxseed, the kids didn’t even notice them in the cookies. Or I add nuts to my salad. Thanks for the list of ideas, I am always striving to eat better!

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