Posts tagged whole wheat
Reading the description of chocolate yogurt loaf in Debbie Koenig’s Parents Need to Eat Too cookbook I was struck by two ideas: the recipe was inspired by New York City delis (as a former New Yorker I was intrigued) and it’s chocolatey goodness is hypnotic while still being dietlicious.
I’m all for chocolate treats that taste decadent but don’t pack too many calories or fat (think: brownie craving satisfier right here). But I wondered if I could boost the nutrition just a bit. That way I wouldn’t feel too bad adding in some chocolate chips too (hey, we all need more anti-oxidants in our diet and dark chocolate happens to have them, which is why I try to get a little dark chocolate in each day–it’s tough, but I somehow manage).
I figured this recipe with a hefty dose of yogurt would be perfect paired with whole wheat instead of all-purpose flour. I also added a tablespoon of ground flax, 1/4 cup chopped almonds, orange zest, and mini Ghirardelli chocolate chips.
Kid reactions: Well, it’s chocolate, of course they loved it! My teen who has quite the discerning taste buds didn’t like the added orange zest. In her words, “the orange zest brings out the flavor of the whole wheat instead of the chocolate so I’d skip it next time.” If your kids are begging for brownies but you want to try something that might be just a little healthier than your standard recipe, you might consider making this loaf.
Prep time: 15 minutes + baking
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt (I used Greek)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease a loaf pan. (I thought two mini pans would work nicely here too).
- In a small bowl, mix together the dry ingredients, except for the chocolate chips.
- Beat the butter and sugar together on high speed. Then add in the egg and vanilla.
- Add half of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture; blend.
- Add half of the yogurt into the batter; blend.
- Repeat with the remaining dry ingredients and yogurt. (The batter will be stiff.)
- Mix in the chocolate chips and chopped nuts, if using.
- Spread the batter into the pan and cook for 35-40 minutes or until cooked through.
Muffins are my comfort food. So this week as the temperatures dipped into the teens and the snow finally came rolling in (it’s still a blur of white outside the window), I decided to play around with the ingredients of an apple muffin recipe I’ve had since high school.
The original recipe calls for mixing in the buttermilk and apples separately just before turning out the batter into the muffin cups. Recalling an oatmeal cookie recipe that keeps the raisins soft by marinating them in whisked eggs and almond extract, I thought I’d try letting my apple dices take a dip. I wanted them to bathe in flavor so I mixed in the cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon zest too.
I wasn’t done experimenting. I wanted to keep the calories and fat to a minimum in these snowy day treats, so I used Land ‘O Lake Light butter that nixes half the fat of the good stuff (my take: using it in baking is fine, but it’s too stiff for spreading and using in frosting as you would regular butter).
Now for the sugar. I cut part of it, and then replaced it with something I found at my local natural foods grocer, Mustard Seed Market. Coconut sugar. I love the flavor of real coconut anyway. I’m not convinced that there’s any real health benefits from the coconut sugar, the brand is Madhava and it’s organic. It still has 15 calories per teaspoon just like your average table sugar. But what intrigued me was the flavor: kinda a cross between molasses and shredded coconut, the package calls it “a caramelized maple flavor.”
You don’t have to use light butter or coconut sugar in your muffins, but please, do soak the apples!
Prep time: 15 minutes
Servings: 16 regular-sized muffins
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2/3 cup white sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups diced apple
1 cup flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or almonds
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
3 tablespoons ground flax (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Peel and dice the apples and then soak them in the buttermilk, cinnamon, and nutmeg (if using) for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cream the sugar with the butter until it’s light and airy.
- Add the egg and mix well.
- In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients.
- Gently stir the dry ingredients in with the creamed mixture, then add the buttermilk-soaked apples and nuts.
- Divide batter in 16 regular-sized muffin cups and top with a few oatmeal pieces.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until just browned.
Bananas are a wonder food. They’re packed with potassium, fiber. They help build stronger bones. They’re better than Tums for achy stomaches… I could go on, but you get the idea. I really like bananas, which is why banana bread is an infrequent treat at our house. I eat them before they ever get ripe.
But occasionally I do buy a large bunch so that I’ll have a few leftover for bread. Now I’m a bit picky with my banana bread—I don’t like it overly moist, which makes the crust gooey by day two. I like hearty slices that can stand up to a little slathering of butter. This recipe is a tweak from the America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. It uses yogurt to give the bread just the right smooth consistency. And it’s moist enough that I can substitute half of the regular flour for whole wheat without it becoming too dry. I also toss in some ground flax for an added nutrition boost (and then usually some chocolate chips because you can’t go wrong with bananas and chocolate…I mean, because you want added anti-oxidants).
And instead of a large loaf pan, I bake mine in two smaller pans. My favorite part of the bread is the crust anyway and smaller loaves equal more crusts–and more heels for everyone to argue over.
Ready to break out some bananas?
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2 mini loaves
2 cups flour (I use 1 cup whole wheat, 1 cup all-purpose)
¾ sugar (I use ¼ cup brown, ½ cup white)
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
3 ripe bananas
6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
¼ plain yogurt
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon ground flax seed (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Coat each pan with baking spray.
- Whisk the dry ingredients together in a small bowl.
- In a large bowl mash the bananas with a spoon and then use the blender to puree them. Add the melted butter, eggs and yogurt and blend again.
- Stir the dry ingredients into the wet. Add in the walnuts.
- Gently mix until just moistened.
- Add the batter into the two pans.
- Bake for 45-55 minutes or until cooked through and golden brown.