A couple of weeks back I found this blog Making Food and Other Stuff, by the lovely Katie (newly appointed, Dr Katie), where she talked about cooking with stevia. I'd been wanting to try healthier alternatives to sugar and her post was just the push I needed.
You see, I sometimes worry about our diet around here. I try to avoid granulated sugar, oil, and empty calories. I do my best to add lots of vegetables and fruits to our diet at home. But I also love baking - cupcakes, cookies, breads, etc. N. always joins me too, which makes it that much more special to me. The result is that we always seem to have plenty of sweets and treats in the kitchen....
So, I took the plunge and decided to make a good recipe into a healthier one. My chosen victim came from Parents Magazine - a messy-looking but potentially-yummy Zucchini and Blueberry bread.
Why this one? Not only does it use a whole lot of zucchini (veggie) and blueberries (fruit), but it also calls for whole wheat flour. All good. So what I did was to substitute NuStevia powder for the granulated sugar in the recipe and applesauce for the oil.
It came out awesome! It looks messy, but it was delicious - just enough sweetness but not too overwhelming, and the applesauce made it so mushy and soft. If you've never tried to substitute oil with applesauce, do it. Baking with applesauce is not only healthier, but tastier too. Anyway, I digress...
N. loved it too and with every bite, she took in a whole lot of zucchini, whole wheat, and blueberry goodness. Bonus points all around.
Here's the recipe I ended up with, with substitutions in red:
- 1 cup of whole wheat all-purpose flour (I like the King Arthur brand - their flour seriously makes a difference)
- 1 cup of whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/4 cup of packed light-brown sugar
- 1 small packet of NuStevia powder
- 1 tsp of baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp of coarse sea salt
- 1/2 tsp of baking powder
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup applesauce
- 1 tsp pure, non-alcohol vanilla extract
- 2 cups of shredded zucchini
- 1 cup of blueberries
- Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly coat the bottom of a 9-inch bread pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.
- Mix the eggs, applesauce, and vanilla in another bowl. Add it to dry mixture and stir until combined.
- Gently stir in zucchini and then blueberries.
- Spoon batter (it will be thick) into pan and bake for 1 hour or until golden brown (do the toothpick test).
- Allow it to cool, remove from pan, and enjoy it.
|Don't let the gooey-ness scare you. Those berries are delish!|
What have you experimented with in your kitchen lately?