February 28, 2012

Sneaky Switches

I again apologize for my lack of postings. My poor computer is still not fixed, but hopefully it will be back soon!

Anyways, onto the food!

Today I wanted to talk about a little something different.... substitutions. My whole future profession of nutrition/ dietetics essentially centers around substituting one food for another in an effort to have a well balanced diet.

In my experience, some people just really don't want to substitute one food item for another based on a pre-conceived notion that the "healthier" item doesn't taste as good (even if there is no noticeable difference). My mother and I have had many arguments regarding this exact subject which can lead to interesting "discussions" (slash arguments) that take place in the middle of the grocery store.
"Improved" Banana Bread Muffins

My favorite types of ingredient substitutions to make are in baked goods! They are super simple and it doesn't affect the overall taste! This past weekend, I used ALL of the sneaky switches in some banana bread muffins and they were some of the best breakfast muffins I've ever had! I really hope you try these tips out in your next baking adventure!

Sneaky Switch #1: Replace oil with applesauce
Oil is a very common ingredient in breakfast breads and cakes, however one of the only purposes it serves is to keep the baked product moist and tender. Oil is nothing but 100 calories per tablespoon of "tenderness" in a cake, and you could achieve the same result with applesauce (just be sure the applesauce doesn't have any added sugar). Replace the oil with applesauce in a 1:1 ratio!
(ex: 1 cup oil = 1 cup applesauce)
Look for "All Natural" Applesauce
Sneaky Switch #2: Replace eggs with ground flax seed
The eggs in baked good recipes are typically used as an emulsifier. However, ground flax seeds are a  plant based way to do the same thing! This is a really easy switch and is particularly useful if you are watching your cholesterol. For each egg called for in the recipe, substitute with 1 Tablespoon ground flax seed + 3 Tablespoons water.
Easily found at many grocery stores
Sneaky Switch #3: Use almond instead of cow's milk
Let's do some math: 1 cup of skim milk = 80 calories. 1 cup of whole milk = 180 calories. 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk = 40 calories. Almond milk has WAY less calories and once it has been baked into something, you'll never know the difference. An easy way to save your precious kcals!
My favorite brand!
Sneaky Switch #4: Use whole wheat pastry flour
99% of all baked good recipes call for the use of all-purpose flour. All purpose flour has been processed and stripped of all of its nutrients and then bleached to make it white and pretty. Nothing good can come from using white flour. Whole wheat pastry flour can easily be used in its place, and because pastry flour is finer than regular flour, your finished product will be just as light and fluffy, but with a lot more nutrients. Replace in a 1:1 ratio (You know the drill: 1 cup AP flour = 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour)
Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
Sneaky Switch #4.5:
If you can't find whole wheat pastry flour, you can use regular whole wheat flour. However, to make sure your baked goods don't turn into rocks, only replace half of the flour called for in the recipe with whole wheat flour.

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