When it comes to baking, calories and fats are your biggest concerns. Almost no sweet recipe tastes good without these two ingredients. However, we can substitute unhealthy fats, sugars and other sources of calories with better options and still have a tasty recipe that is healthier. Below are some common baking substitutions. These substitutions are not calorie free, but they reduce the calorie content in your recipes while adding fiber and nutrients:
If you have an egg allergy, choose to eat vegan, or want to avoid eggs for another reason, you can use:
Recipe of the Week: Vegan Banana Bread Muffins
2 tablespoons flax meal + 6 tablespoons water; plus 2 teaspoons flax meal for sprinkling over the top of muffins, if desired
1 cup whole-wheat flour (can substitute all-purpose flour)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups mashed overripe bananas (about 4 medium bananas)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
1/3 cup vegetable oil or melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 12-cup standard-size muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray or vegetable shortening.
In a small bowl, stir together 2 tablespoons flax meal and 6 tablespoons water. Let sit for 5 minutes to thicken.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, and salt.
In a medium bowl, mash the bananas. Stir in the brown sugar, applesauce, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and flax/water combination.
Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir until the ingredients are just incorporated. Batter will be thick.
Divide batter between 12 muffin cups. If you prefer larger muffins with big, domed crowns, divide the batter between 9 muffin cups instead of all 12.
Sprinkle remaining 2 teaspoons flax meal over the tops.
Bake for 18 – 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean.
Remove from oven and place tin on a rack to cool for about five minutes. Transfer individual muffins to a wire rack to let cool completely.
These muffins keep for 3 – 4 days in an airtight container at room temperature, or you can freeze them in a Ziploc™ bag.
Nutrition information per standard-size muffin: Calories 194, total fat 8g, sodium 157mg, total, carbohydrates 28.6g, dietary fiber 2.5g, sugars 9.3g and protein 3.4g.
Enjoy your weekend!
Karen Ambrosio, OWS