Many people will make resolutions to eat less baked goods, or cut them out all together. Especially so as many people have put on weight due to Covid and lockdowns. But many people have also taken up baking during that time. So how can we get them to keep on baking, but not feel as guilty?
The answer is ‘healthier baking’. Using different ingredients we can reduce some of the ‘bad’ ingredients. I use wholemeal flour a lot and even use with white flour. It still is high in carbs but has a lower Glycaemic Index than white flour. It is better for your intestines too (my son had a terrible problem with eating too many heavy white carbs, and simply switching to a 50/50 split between white and wholemeal flour in my recipes, he is pain free and doesn’t need medicine daily.)
Another flour I use, well initially used for a diabetic friend, was coconut flour. It is unrefined, and the majority of the carbs are actually dietary carbs as opposed to sugar ones. In addition to the coconut flour, I started using coconut sugar. Also unrefined, I was able to use 25% less than when using white granulated sugar.
A note on cutting out all sugar in recipes: sugar is not just in the recipe for sweetness. Sugar provides some structure for the bake. Similarly, when you ‘cream’ butter and sugar, you are incorporating air into the batter and for example producing a lighter cake. So if you use artificial sweeteners, these don’t have the same structure to them (and are often very fine, almost like icing/powdered sugar) and in the case of creaming, the particles are too small to cause the required friction that in turn creates air pockets and a bake that isn’t dense. So same principle if you use liquid sweeteners. Sugar serves to make the bake tender and also enhances the texture and crumb of the bake. Brown sugar actually interacts with baking soda (bicarbonate of soda), causing the batter to rise. Sugar is also important for yeast to feed off and assist growth. It also attracts and retains moisture, which prolongs the freshness of the baked goods. So basically, when reducing sugar, you want to do this in a controlled manner, and not change any other element of the recipe, so that you can monitor results accurately. Slight changes can have bigger effects. As a recipe developer, the best advice I can give, is go slowly, keep a notebook for all your ideas, what changes you make and your results. It’s also good practise to take photos as comparisons too. But be advised, that it can take many attempts to get a recipe just right. But having an understanding of how the ingredients interact does help. So if you want to read a little more about how everyday baking ingredients work, go to my article.
Alternatively, let me do the work for you. I have several sweet and savoury healthier recipes on the old website and some what I call ‘small servings’. It’s taking time to get them all copied on here. But here are links to them below. I have developed a few more, but still to write those up. So look out for them coming soon.
‘HEALTHIER’ SWEET RECIPES
COCONUT FLOUR BLUEBERRY MUFFINS – Good For Diabetics – go to review
WHOLE-WHEAT ORANGE DRIZZLE MUFFINS – go to recipe
LOWER CARB & GLUTEN FREE CREAM CUPCAKES – go to recipe
‘HEALTHIER’ PEAR & CINNAMON RING CAKE – go to recipe
‘HEALTHIER’ CHOCOLATE & COURGETTE/ZUCCHINI CAKE – go to recipe
WHOLE-MEAL BLUEBERRY & LEMON DRIZZLE MUFFINS – go to recipe
PINEAPPLE & CREAM CHEESE SPONGE SQUARES – go to recipe
WHOLE-MEAL BANANA CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS – go to recipe
SAVOURY HEALTHIER BAKES
QUICKER WHOLE-WHEAT FANCY BREAD ROLLS – Photo Tutorial – go to recipe
90 MINUTE HEALTHIER BURGER BUNS – go to recipe
WHOLE-WHEAT TEAR-AND-SHARE ROLLS – go to recipe
WHOLE-WHEAT & WHITE QUICKER SANDWICH LOAF – go to recipe
QUICKER WHOLE-WHEAT PIZZA – Thin Or Deep Crust In Under 90 Mins – go to recipe
WHOLEWHEAT & WHOLEGRAIN ROLLS – go to recipe
QUICKER WHOLE-WHEAT CHEESE STUFFED ROLLS (POĞAÇA) – go to recipe
WHOLE-WHEAT SOFT FLOURY BAPS AKA Sandwich Rolls – go to recipe
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