I love rainy days! Something about the steady drizzle of rain on my back window makes me want to cuddle up with a hot cup of tea, a fresh-baked goody and a favorite book. March is National Nutrition Month and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has been celebrating by a sharing healthy eating tips, including a great article on healthy baking alternatives where they discuss ways to cut down on the saturated fat and sugar in your favorite baking recipes. The cold rainy weather and my hankering for baking up something sweet felt like the perfect opportunity to put some these tips to the test!
I grabbed my trusty copy of Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything and got to work on the standard Pound Cake recipe inside. Inspired to use some of the beautiful Meyer Lemons sitting on my counter to make a bread worthy of tea time, here is what I came up with:
I took the plain pound cake recipe and cut the sugar by 25% based on the Academy’s baking recommendations and replaced half the fat (in this case: butter) with non-fat Greek yogurt. I used this as my base, and then added lemon and blueberry goodness.
I started by creaming butter and sugar together, and then beating in yogurt, egg yolks, vanilla, and that lovely lemon juice and zest. I mixed in the dry ingredients (which I had previously sifted together) until JUST incorporated, then gently folded in whipped egg whites and blueberries. Once I had poured the batter into my prepared loaf pan, I popped it into the oven and began cleaning up the huge mess I had made (did I mention that I am not a clean baker?) while the heavenly smell of baking blueberries and Meyer lemons slowly filled my house.
When the bread was a golden on top and had begun to pull away from the edges of the pan, I took it out of the oven and let it rest in its pan for 5 minutes. I then removed it to my cooling rack, with a piece of wax paper slid underneath it to catch any drippings, and drizzled a glaze of powdered sugar and lemon juice over the still warm bread. The end was lemony fresh loaf packed with blueberries and just the right amount of sweet. It’s texture was closer to a quick bread than a cake and it was the perfect complement to my afternoon tea.
|Blueberry Lemon Tea Bread
Servings: 18 half inch slices Prep time: 20 min Cook time: 1-1.5 hr
|Nutritional Information: 107 kcals, 6 g fat, 4 g sat. fat, 29 mg cholesterol, 40 mg sodium, 12 g total carbohydrate, 11 g sugar, 0 g fiber, 3 g protein|
The changes I made to the recipe brought the calories of this bad boy down about 50 kcals from about 150 kcals per slice to 100 kcals, including cutting the fat content in half. It certainly made me feel a bit less guilty when I popped a second slice in my mouth as I sipped on a steamy cup of of tea this afternoon!
Next time, I think I will try incorporating whole grain flour to give the bread a little fiber and an extra nutritional punch. What are your favorite healthy baking substitutions? Leave me a comment bellow!