TAG: Baking

Classic Treats (Without The Sugar)

Baking with Stevia

In a world full of packaged foods, homemade delicacies from the oven are, to many, a rare treat that is eagerly accepted. And they are often better in taste and quality, as well as better for you. But there are still improvements to be made in the staples we use if we wish to create a healthy diet that provides us with the best possible nutrition to support us in our daily lives. For most, sugars and artificial sweeteners make up a big portion of baking staples– it is essentially a tradition in American baking. And like most traditions, the… read more

Nutritious Molasses

Nutritious molasses

Molasses is a nutritionally concentrated by-product of the sugar refining process. The nutrients that white sugar loses during processing are retained in molasses. Molasses is a source of calcium, manganese, potassium, and iron. In fact, it actually provides more iron than red meat with fewer calories and no fat. There are several different types of molasses. Light molasses (also known as Barbados), which is less viscous and higher in sugar, is produced the first time the sugar cane is boiled during processing. Dark molasses, a thicker molasses created during the second sugar cane boiling cycle, is darker in color and… read more

Marvellous Maple Syrup

Marvellous Maple Syrup

Obtained from the sap of red, black, silver, and sugar maple trees in certain regions of North America, maple syrup is less calorific and richer in minerals than honey and healthier than white sugar. Maple syrup provides important minerals such as manganese, which boosts antioxidant activity, and zinc, which promotes heart health and reproductive health (especially for men). Both minerals also aid immune function. There are several types of maple syrup. In the United States, they are categorized using U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grades. Grade A maple syrups include Light, Medium, and Dark Amber types. Lighter maple syrup has… read more

A Healthy Alternative?

agave plant

Agave (pronounced ah-GAH-vay) nectar is derived from the agave plant, a spiky cactus native to Mexico that is also the source of Tequila. Agave is approximately 84% fructose, the sugar that gives fruits and vegetables their sweetness. Agave nectar is similar to honey, but not as thick, and it’s higher in calories than white sugar. It’s also 1.5 times as sweet as regular sugar, which means that if you want to use it to replace sugar in baking, you need to reduce the amount. To substitute agave nectar for white sugar, for each cup of sugar called for by the… read more

Gluten-Free Baking

muffins

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, spelt, rye, triticale, and barley. Those with celiac disease (which causes a severe autoimmune reaction to gluten) must avoid gluten completely. Some people also avoid gluten due to allergies or sensitivities. Many people believe that avoiding gluten means avoiding all grains, but there are gluten-free whole grains. These include amaranth, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, rice, sorghum, and teff. Flours made from nuts, beans, peas, and arrowroot are also gluten free. Oats are technically gluten free, but they are often contaminated with wheat at some point while growing or during processing. However, there are companies… read more

Cottage Food Industry

Home Baked Is Best

On January 1st, 2013, California enacted its Homemade Food Act which was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in September 2012. The act makes California the largest state with a cottage food law covering anything produced by the state’s more than 11.5 million home kitchens and marks a high point for a movement that got seriously underway with the recession four years ago. We’re talking homemade cookies and brownies, jams, jellies, fruit pies, mixed nuts, flavored vinegars, dried teas, roasted coffee, and other yummy stuff that’s already legal in more than 30 other states including Oregon, Washington, Texas, and… read more

Baking Whole Wheat Bread

Whole wheat bread

Whole wheat flour is far healthier than white flour, which loses most of its nutrients to processing. As a whole food, whole wheat flour retains its fiber and high antioxidant content, which means that it’s not only more nutritious, but also helps to prevent disease. Research has also shown that those who eat whole grains regularly tend to weigh less (Slavin, 2004). Unfortunately, many people don’t like making bread with whole wheat flour because they find that the bread has a heavier texture or they just don’t like the taste. If texture is the issue (loaves of bread turning out… read more

Baking with Whole Foods

Healthier Baking with Whole Foods

1. Replace fats with fruits and vegetables: You can replace some or all of the butter or oil in many recipes with apple sauce, mashed banana, pumpkin puree, or other healthy substitutes. 2. Use whole wheat flour: Brown flour is loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, making it a far healthier choice (white flour loses most of its nutrients during processing). 3. Replace up to half the sugar with molasses: Molasses is a great source of iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Use 1+1/3 cups of molasses for each cup of sugar, add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, and reduce… read more