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6 tips to make any baking recipe healthier, part 1 of 2

Robyn Openshaw - Jan 21, 2011 - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links

At the Zermatt in December, I taught these six tips for making a baking treat healthier. You don't have to know anything about recipe development. These are no-brainers. Three tips today, three tomorrow. (All of this information is in Ch. 11 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods.)

1.           Substitute finely ground whole wheat instead of white flour.

What you see on recipe labels as "wheat flour" is actually a toxic, nutrition-less white gluey mess. It's the grain with the germ (vitamins) and bran (fiber) removed).

Ask for a good grain grinder for Christmas. I love K-Tecs, which you can find here. They aren't terribly expensive, and you'll need one in an emergency where you have to make your own bread, so it's a good preparedness item.

For cookies, cakes, pastry recipes, I like SOFT WHITE WHEAT, ground on the finest grind setting your mill has. Your kids won't even know the difference. A coarser grind will cause a heavier product, and red wheat will make it look darker. (I use red wheat for breads, etc.)

Some people think they don't like whole wheat flour products, when in fact they're just used to eating RANCID whole wheat. When the grain is ground, the protective shell of the grain is destroyed and oils inside begin to deteriorate. Consequently, those milled grains go rancid quickly and taste bad in baked goods. (Plus, rancid oils are carcinogenic.) Bags of whole wheat flour sometimes have spent months in warehouses and in transit before arriving in your home, and then you store them even longer.

Thus a grinder becomes essential, so you can have FRESHLY milled grains anytime you want.

2.           Substitute coconut palm sugar, or Sucanat, for sugar.

I recently mentioned coconut sugar in a blog entry and since then, we've gotten many queries from readers who can't find it, to buy. I spent some time looking for it and have obtained the best organic product I could find for a good price in the GreenSmoothieGirl store: get some here.

I'm thrilled about this product because of its low glycemic index for far less impact on your blood sugar and pancreas. It has high vitamin and mineral content, it is highly sustainable, more so than cane sugar, and it tastes lovely. Sucanat is in my baking recipes in 12 Steps (it's dried, unrefined cane juice) but coconut sugar is my new favorite and is an easy substitute.

Substitute it 1:1 for any white or brown sugar called for in a baking recipe.

3.           Baking powder

Please buy the kind in the health food store that is ALUMINUM FREE. Don't buy giant quantities because it's good for only 1-2 years. Aluminum is a toxic metal your body has a very difficult time eliminating, and it's linked to Alzheimer's and many other health problems. And it's in commercial baking powders. Substitute the aluminum-free version 1:1 in your recipes.

Posted in: Recipes, Whole Food

5 thoughts on “6 tips to make any baking recipe healthier, part 1 of 2”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I am interested in learning more about the bio-identical hormone you take. I do not live near you, so how would I go about finding a doctor who would prescribe this?

    Also concerning kale and hypothyroid, it may be an individual reaction. When I started using it with the spinach in my smoothies, my levels actually got better, not worse.

    1. Robyn Openshaw says:

      Heather, look for clinics run by nurse practitioners specializing in bioidentical. There are several here locally. Me too–greens HELP my hypothyroid. This is why I get so frustrated by this internet-spread idea that somehow greens are bad for people with low thyroid. On the contrary, they underpin thyroid function in many ways. People will low-functioning or malfunctioning endocrine systems are in desperate need of nutrition and it’s tragic that someone has spread the rumor so far and wide that these folks need to eliminate all the most powerful foods.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thanks again for the helpful tips! I am however concerned about an article I found regarding the coconut sugar and would be interested in your opinion. This site is full of good information and I have trusted it so far.

    1. Robyn Openshaw says:

      Lisa, sounds like Tropical Traditions is frustrated with the supply problem with coconuts. However, it’s a good product, I trust the market system to adjust and create more supply over time, and this is a positive thing for tropical third-world countries.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Speaking of iodine, does anyone know of a good sea salt with iodine added. Any ideas of other sources of iodine?

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