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levels of health | what level is your baking?


I have tons of cookie and baking recipes I want to share but first I want to share with you my thoughts on the “degrees” of “healthy” that I use to mentally rate my recipes.  I have THOUSANDS of recipes. They range from the artery-clogging recipes that I grew up on to the super-ultra-healthy-no-flour-no-processed-sugar-no-organic-sugar-sweetened-with-fruit-healthy-fats kind of baking.  There are places in between though as well. Many recipes now are substituting half and half whole wheat with all purpose flour. I personally HATE all purpose flour but may occasionally try a recipe with it (if I still have any in the house…not quite sure).  More often you will see my baking (if I have not pre-shopped for it) include whole wheat flour (which the FITfamily feels best eating…and we know it is better for us) and healthy oils or fats but may include some sugar (mostly organic if possible).  I have some super-duper healthy recipes that include only fruit as a sweetener (no agave nectar, no honey, no processed sugars) such as the Paleo Carrot Banana Muffin that was recommended by my friend Joy.

I wanted to make it clear that when I post a baking recipe I will divulge it’s “level of health.”  Most of my recipes are only “moderately healthy” while others are super-de-duper healthy recipes that can be substituted in your meal for a carb.  I may someday post a family favorite that is artery-clogging and awful and for once -a-year, perhaps on holidays!

So, to not make it too confusing but to make sure I narrow it down a bit for you, there are 3 different “parts” that I break down my recipes:

  • Flours
    • all purpose flour (which I rarely use in anything. We just don’t eat this if we can help it)
    • whole wheat flour
    • many of my recipes have no flour at all! yay!
  • Fats
    • there are artificial fats like crisco and margarine (which you will not see here!)  There is one old family recipe I make that has crisco in it but you can find Organic, 100% vegetable Shortening though I still say use this very infrequently
    • I use butter & coconut oil mostly.
  • Sugars
    • processed sugar and brown sugar (brown sugar is simply granulated/processed sugar with molasses) so it’s not the best choice but SO many recipes have it. I’m working on taking this out our diets too….baby steps!  These kinds of baking should be occasional treats anyway, so keep that in mind!
    • more natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, etc are good but they’re still sweet so they are to be used sparingly. So, they still may be better nutrient-wise for the body.
    • natural sweeteners – apples, pineapples, bananas, oranges, carrots, sweet potatoes etc – YUMMY!!!

You’ll probably see the following in my headings for my baking recipes so you can try and determine if they are SUPER-DUPER healthy or just a better choice than OREOS (please don’t tell me if you’re eating oreos….stop it!)

  • Super Healthy = All healthy substitutions – Uses natural sugar sources or no sugar sources, uses all healthy fats, and whole grains
  • Kinda/Sorta/Moderately Healthy = Still uses an unnatural sugar source or maybe butter rather than canola oil.  Most of my recipes use whole wheat flour though

Hope that made some sense. If not, please tell me and I’ll rework this post!  BTW, these cookies will be posted soon!  They’re YUMMY!!

What type of baking are you accustomed to? Are you trying to slowly phase out all-purpose flour? or granulated sugar?

sandi - okay…i don’t eat the oreos (or pop tarts)…but my hubby and kids do. i’ve switched to no calorie sweatners like splenda. are those better or worse than natural sugar? i can’t wait to see your recipes so i can try them out on the kids!!! are you going to give any tips for taking an unhealthy recipe and making it healthy?

tori - I have some tips but I’m bad about not experimenting w/ baking. I can post them! Maybe I’ll do some experimenting and post what I’ve found and then tried!

The artificial sweeteners are personal preference vs natural sugar. I say anything natural is better than artificial so that’s what you’ll read on my blog but everyone has their own opinions!

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