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Healthy baking options

I'm not all that familiar with healthy cooking and baking - I'm a big fan of butter, eggs, and cream. But, my husband just found out he has high cholesterol and I'm trying to find a way to satisfy my sweet tooth with foods he can enjoy too.

I have 2 basic questions - 1: Can I substitute whole wheat flour for regular flour in my favorite recipes? 2: What about substituting carob for chocolate chips?

Any low cholesterol dessert ideas (that are really worth eating) would be most appreciated!

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  1. Usually when you substitute whole wheat flour for AP flour, you have to still use a small amount of AP flour to get a good consistency.

    Not a baked dessert, but you might try a little dried fruit and nut mixture to satisfy your sweet tooth.

    1. Try using white whole wheat for baking. I use King Arthur's. I wouldn't automatically substitute carob for chocolate chips. Carob sometimes contain partially hydrogenated oils which would be worst for him. Some don't but they contain hydrogenated oils/saturated oils from palm kernel (jury is out on whether it's bad for you--depends on who you listen to but it does have saturated fats just as chocolate does). Dark chocolate has some health benefits so cut down on the amount of chocolate chips but leave enough for flavor. You can use two egg whites for one egg. Look for vegan recipes that use vegetable oil instead of butter. You can also substitute applesauce, pumpkin puree or prune puree for the oil. You could also go with half oil/half applesauce so the difference isn't as pronounced. There's already another thread going about replacing cream w/ skim milk. For some good recipes, try www.theppk.com for vegan recipes. I like the vegan brownies and the pumpkin oatmeal cookies. I use white whole wheat flour for them.

      3 Replies
      1. re: chowser

        I need to try some of that white whole wheat.

        1. re: pescatarian

          It's much better than the red whole wheat. I can use all white whole wheat and it tastes fine. The baked goods end up slightly darker than normal white flour. Though, we're used to whole grains--there was an article in the Washington Post that suggested doing half white whole wheat and half white. They said no one could taste the difference.

          1. re: chowser

            Thanks, I generally love whole grains (I grew up eating whole wheat bread), but find that most recipes that call for regular (didn't know until now it was "red") whole wheat flour also call for AP flour. I will try the white whole wheat.

      2. I just tried substituting unsweetened applesauce for the fat in an oatmeal quick loaf recipe with great success so definitely give that a shot! I don't know how it works, or if it works in every recipe, but for your basic muffin or quickbread, it seems to be okay.

        1. Follow along with my Cookie of the Month Club posts, for starters! Here's my post (and the story) asking for help from the hounds: http://www.chow.com/topics/334799 And December's cookie here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/354978 I should be posting January's soon!

          Also, someone (sorry I can't remember who!) recommended buying Eating Well's Dessert cookbook, and I haven't made much from it yet, but everything sounds good: http://www.amazon.com/Eating-Well-Des... It's a great price if you buy it used right now!

          1. Thanks so much! I knew about the applesauce replacement trick, but will look more into vegan options.

            In college we had a great place called the Jungle that had a carob chip muffin that I used to love. I bought a package at Whole Foods the other day, but haven't had much success finding recipes to use them. I guess that would be more for me than for him. I'm having a hard time moving to the low cholesterol diet for him.