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what do you bake when you are...

lilmomma Jul 19, 2010 04:53 PM

trying to eat healthy? And what does your typical daily menu look like when trying to eat healthy?

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  1. alkapal RE: lilmomma Jul 19, 2010 05:01 PM

    i don't associate eating healthy with baking -- unless it is some "health" muffins.

    cakes and the like are out, right?

    veggie casseroles are good, and they can be made lighter. summer is a perfect time to enjoy the abundance of squash, corn, tomatoes, eggplant. each one of those makes a fine casserole. a little onion, sauteed, blend in with the chopped veg, sprinkle in a little broth or water (or half-n-half, depending), add salt and pepper, and any herbs, then sprinkle with some bread crumbs and parm. bake it up! maybe add in some chopped bell peppers for extra flavor.

    1 Reply
    1. re: alkapal
      melpy RE: alkapal Jul 19, 2010 05:14 PM

      I agree which is probably why I do very little baking.

    2. j
      jenni49 RE: lilmomma Jul 19, 2010 05:12 PM

      I bake a banana bread, with pecans, cherries, blueberries or whatever fresh fruit is around. Healthy enough for me!

      1. NYCkaren RE: lilmomma Jul 19, 2010 05:48 PM

        I bake bread. A slice of bread with dinner doesn't seem decadent. Sometimes I bake cookies or muffins and bring them into the office.

        1. enbell RE: lilmomma Jul 19, 2010 06:01 PM

          There are healthy-ish fruit cobblers and crisps. I guess an angel food cake is better than other cakes - serve with fresh berries of course. Bakes apples and pears, and grilled peaches and pineapple are also pretty good.

          1. alanbarnes RE: lilmomma Jul 19, 2010 06:30 PM

            Whole-grain bread. Not right now, because it's just too damn hot. But replacing refined carbs with whole grains is always a good thing.

            As far as the daily menu goes, Michael Pollan said it: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

            2 Replies
            1. re: alanbarnes
              Val RE: alanbarnes Jul 19, 2010 06:53 PM

              Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

              Yep, and I've cut out.almost.all.red.meat.period. For me...not saying everyone should do this (just lost my 57 year old brother to colon cancer in May and our dad died of it) And I've started to include sea vegetables...I eat a sheet of nori every day. I hardly bake anything except sweet potatoes!!! (too hot, here in SWFL to be baking right now)

              1. re: Val
                nofunlatte RE: Val Aug 18, 2010 10:24 AM

                Sorry to hear of your loss, Val.

            2. m
              maxie RE: lilmomma Jul 19, 2010 07:05 PM

              When I really want to have a baked good, I make a variation of these: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/...

              No gluten, no dairy, no sugar (if you leave out the chocolate). I change out the fat, and add veggies in lieu of coconut.

              Depending on your definition of healthy, you may find other recipes of interest at 101cookbooks, and delicious savory delights as well.

              2 Replies
              1. re: maxie
                lilmomma RE: maxie Jul 21, 2010 07:26 AM

                These sound great! I will make these a nd sub flax seed meal for the almond meal since we have nut allergies in the family!

                I will buy whole wheat pastry flour instead of white flour from now on. Can I sub it for everyhthing? Can I use it to make roux?

                ANd finally, we are getting zucchinis from the garden so I will be looking for moist, nut free zucchin bread and use applesuce for the fat, right?

                1. re: maxie
                  greygarious RE: maxie Aug 2, 2010 11:57 AM

                  I made the linked recipe, Nikki's Healthy Cookies, today. Looking at the ingredients, I decided an egg was needed for binder (later read the comments on that blog and there were several mentions that they fall apart, so my instinct steered me well). My measurements erred on the generous side. I also added 3 Splenda packets and a glug (maybe 2 Tbsp) agave nectar. A heaping amount in my smallest ice cream scoop was closer to 3 tsp than the 2 in the recipe, so the 24 cookies on the parchment sheet took 30 min to brown well, but I made the remaining 12 in a mini-muffin tin with paper liners. Same amount of dough per cookie but these browned better and I would recommend baking them this way over the larger parchment-lined baking sheet. I think they are not bad but unless I have aging bananas to use up, wouldn't rush to make them again. They score higher in terms of health than taste, IMO. The eggless original version is probably good as far as vegan recipes go, but I do have a sweet tooth and rarely enjoy vegan dessert items.

                2. visciole RE: lilmomma Jul 19, 2010 07:33 PM

                  I bake all the time and I consider my diet pretty healthy, although I do not completely eschew sugar or fat -- I just try to consume them in moderation.

                  Here's what I do: I substitute most or all of the white flour in every recipe with whole wheat pastry flour. I usually cut down on the amount of sugar by one third to one half. I concentrate on fruit desserts (someone mentioned cobbler, which is a favorite of mine) and I use very little sugar because the fruit usually has plenty of flavor. I usually cut down on the amount of fat called for as well.

                  Another good way to bake more healthfully is to make tea breads and use a lot of fruit and/or nuts, whole grains and oats, and not too much sugar. I also love cookies and make them frequently, with most of the modifications noted above, and I tend to make small-sized cookies and practice portion control.

                  The more you make yourself, and the less you buy pre-made baked goods, the more you can control what goes in there and get to know what you like, and what healthy substitutions work for you.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: visciole
                    gansu girl RE: visciole Jul 20, 2010 05:17 PM

                    This is my M.O. too - although I admit that I have trouble with portion control when it comes to baked goods, so I don't bake all the time. Freezing is a great tactic - make a batch of something, eat a couple, freeze the rest and pull them out when you "need" a treat. I made these zucchini muffins recently and they're terrific. I have them in the freezer now, and when I am craving a delicious baked good, I pop one out, let it thaw on the counter or else in the micro and sit down w/a cup of tea. http://www.semisweetonline.com/2010/0...

                    As for "trying to eat healthy" - it helps to approach it as a lifestyle choice, rather than an effort you make for a brief period . . . think of limiting processed foods and go for lots of fruits, veggies, & whole grains. Your diet should be varied, and most of all, you should enjoy your food! Cooking for yourself is probably one of the best ways to healthy-up your diet . . . like visciole says, then you're in control of what's going in your body.

                    Good luck!


                    1. re: visciole
                      Isoldamay RE: visciole Jul 20, 2010 05:23 PM

                      Replacing white flour with whole wheat is one of the best things you can do when baking certain breads, cakes, pizza dough. etc. Obviously, this won't work with angel food cake, but in general, you can have your cake and eat it, too. And I totally agree with the suggestion to reduce the sugar. Many recipes call for far too much sugar (2 cups for zucchini bread? Please!!) I also recommend trying other flours, such as bean flours, in place of wheat flour. I've made some really nice shortbread with garbanzo flour.

                      1. re: Isoldamay
                        gansu girl RE: Isoldamay Jul 21, 2010 03:21 AM

                        I'm not sure what zucchini bread recipe you're referring to - but the one I reference above only calls for 1 1/3 c. (2 loaves) and it's just enough to make it sweet, but it's definitely not over the top . . . .


                    2. Emme RE: lilmomma Jul 19, 2010 08:15 PM

                      are you willing to use xylitol or Splenda?

                      10 Replies
                      1. re: Emme
                        buttertart RE: Emme Jul 20, 2010 11:49 AM

                        I would be interested in xylitol, a customer deals in it and I've always wondered about how it would work in baking.

                        1. re: buttertart
                          Emme RE: buttertart Jul 20, 2010 02:34 PM

                          i've been using Ideal with good results...

                          1. re: Emme
                            buttertart RE: Emme Jul 20, 2010 04:42 PM

                            Textures come out the same? Using special recipes?

                            1. re: buttertart
                              maxie RE: buttertart Jul 20, 2010 05:14 PM

                              Some people get gastric distress from xylitol, so I would tread lightly. Also it doesn't have the same properties as sugar. It absorbs moisture and kills yeast. I would imagine baking success would vary from product to product. Disclaimer: I have only read about it and used it in very small quantities in beverage applications.

                              1. re: maxie
                                buttertart RE: maxie Jul 21, 2010 06:07 AM

                                It has a slight cooling/minty aspect too, no? I really wonder how it would work. Sugar is so important for texture and browning.

                                1. re: buttertart
                                  alkapal RE: buttertart Jul 21, 2010 06:40 AM

                                  xylitol makes people runny. 'nuf said.

                                  1. re: alkapal
                                    buttertart RE: alkapal Jul 21, 2010 06:48 AM

                                    Gotcha, no go then ;-). (Your riposte on the thread on car bombing in AU is needed btw, I can't wait to see it.)

                                    1. re: buttertart
                                      Emme RE: buttertart Jul 21, 2010 02:39 PM

                                      that's your decision of course, but personally, i find the least upset with xylitol. i like stevia as well, but find xylitol bakes better. i haven't done "special" recipes. i've used it in cookies, muffins, and my own egg white - almond milk custards...

                                      1. re: Emme
                                        buttertart RE: Emme Jul 21, 2010 04:40 PM

                                        I'm still intrigued. Cup for cup substitutions?

                                        1. re: buttertart
                                          Emme RE: buttertart Jul 21, 2010 08:49 PM

                                          roughly... i tend to taste too...

                      2. d
                        DukeOfSuffolk RE: lilmomma Jul 19, 2010 08:25 PM

                        honey wheat bread, which I then eat a slice of as a snack. I love homemade wheat bread with some (GASP!) country crock spread (yeah, I know..) or even ev olive oil, jam, etc

                        I have used this recipe:


                        and it just about always doesn't rise in the oven as much as I'd like (many have this problem with this recipe) but is still yummy, especially after being popped into the toaster!

                        1. ipsedixit RE: lilmomma Jul 20, 2010 09:58 AM

                          When I want to be healthy? I bake the same things when I am trying "not to be healthy". Only difference is I just eat less of what I bake.

                          I don't believe it's "healthy" to ever deprive yourself of anything.

                          Eat everything, but in moderation; otherwise, eat nothing at all.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: ipsedixit
                            jvanderh RE: ipsedixit Jul 20, 2010 10:44 AM

                            Baked oatmeal (courtesy GHG)

                            Muffins made with yogurt:

                            Kale chips:

                            Banana bread:

                            Or angelfood cake, biscotti, or meringues.

                            1. re: ipsedixit
                              souschef RE: ipsedixit Aug 2, 2010 01:51 PM

                              I agree with you completely. We go around just once so why deprive yourself.

                            2. JerryMe RE: lilmomma Jul 20, 2010 06:06 PM

                              I like quiches. Leftovers are good hot or cold. (I prefer cold) Quick breads (w/o yeast as I've yet to master that skill). Cakes are usually put into cupcake tins. They don't dry out as much.

                              I do bake probably once a week, except when it's so hot. I don't usually have a problem w/ portion control as mentioned by Ipsedixit. If the portion is more than I'll eat in a week, neighbor gets first dibs as he's a happy guinea pig. A cupcake after lunch is actually a highlight of a mid-day meal in a hectic day.

                              I had a problem w/ the Xylitol as mentioned above. SEVERE blah, blah, blah. you don't want to know the details. I shy away from those options. I will cut the sugar in a recipe after I've made it the first time, if I think it needs it.

                              1. iluvcookies RE: lilmomma Jul 21, 2010 06:39 AM

                                I make cookies... they are easier to share than a cake or pie. I bake tons of them (per ususal) and hand them out to my friends in ziploc bags. This way I get to enjoy just a few of them but still get to bake.

                                I don't use any sugar or fat substitutes in my baking... I never feel that the texture/taste is the same. I'd rather have the real thing in moderation. I also try not to eat any sweets that I don't make myself.

                                1. buttertart RE: lilmomma Jul 21, 2010 06:49 AM

                                  I bake whatever I want, keep enough for me and the Beast, and give the rest away. Very rarely do I have more than one or two pieces from a batch of anything except bread.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: buttertart
                                    bushwickgirl RE: buttertart Jul 21, 2010 07:03 AM

                                    Sorta my m.o. also, love sweet stuff but don't eat much of it. Mrbushy gets his "fair" share, which is bigger than anyone else's, then the neighbors get the rest. Healthy baking for me is baking with fruit, so, apple pie is healthy.;))

                                    Heh, heh, one guy, who lived next door, was the recipient of many big slices of chocolate cake last fall and winter; he moved away quite suddenly without saying goodbye, and we were wondering for a time whether my baking (or the quantity of) had anything to do with it.

                                    1. re: bushwickgirl
                                      buttertart RE: bushwickgirl Jul 21, 2010 07:14 AM

                                      Hahahaha I love it! I sometimes wonder if people just take a look at and bin what I give them, but if they do at least it's not me wasting food.

                                    2. re: buttertart
                                      sbp RE: buttertart Aug 18, 2010 05:27 PM

                                      Me too. I just made one of my 10 lb apple pies (it's in a foil turkey roasting pan) that I froze last November. For my son before he goes off to college. But we had two nights for the family, and the rest went to my office. My office gets a lot of pseudo-leftovers.

                                    3. livetocook RE: lilmomma Jul 22, 2010 09:24 AM

                                      Breakfast : piece of whole wheat toast with peanut butter. Bowl of fruit. example

                                      Lunch: No more than 1cup to 1.5 cups of leftovers from supper the night before (meat/carb). Side salad

                                      dinner: 1/2cup of carbs, small piece of meat (cooked whatever way I want. Sometimes two pieces if it's fish!), and half the plate is vegetable. To which I'll cook 2-3 different kinds in one meal to mix it up.

                                      Snacks, 2/day: usually a small bowl of whole grain cereal with some milk (morning) and a banana in the afternoon

                                      Dessert. 1/2 cup of icecream or 2-3 cookies.

                                      No juice or sugarly pop. Usually just water and tea throughout the day. Sometimes I'll have a diet rootbeer at supper. And I have one cheat daya week. But, I don't do the cheat day until I'm at the weight I want!

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: livetocook
                                        lilmomma RE: livetocook Jul 22, 2010 06:23 PM

                                        That sounds like a diet that is reasonable. How much have you lost. Have you been able to follow this diet for a long time and lastly, does your cheat day make you gain back the weight you lost?

                                        1. re: lilmomma
                                          livetocook RE: lilmomma Aug 18, 2010 10:10 AM

                                          I had lost a bunch of weight "the wrong way" when I first dieted. Went from 190-145 back in 2001. When I was at 145 I started eating this way and walking daily and lost another 15-20lbs. Right now I'm back at 142 only because I had a baby. She's 15months now and I've found myself in a bit of a rut. I know I need to get out walking more and cut back on my meal choices but, I'm kind of "Meh" about it. haha. Oh well, I'm sure before next summer I'll get outta this funk. I can't go another summer with 3 pairs of pants that fit properly. And I'm not buying new when I have so many great outfit!! LOL

                                          Oh and to answer your questions (D'uh), I ate like this for 2 years no problem. The cheat day added about 2-3lbs that'd be gone by the end of the week (and hence the next cheat day was upon me). I'm sure it was water weight from the sodium consumed. It was a good thing, to eat what I did those days, b/c it made me realize how I don't want to eat all the time. I'd feel sluggish and normally felt pretty gross by the end of it..haha.

                                          I honestly think the key is not to cheat until you've gotten to the weight you want. It's easy to add that day and then fall back into the rut you may have had before. I spend years eating really, really well so it was a welcome to have the cheat day, if only to say, okay that's why you eat well. :) Oh and also, it reaffirmed that I only ate what mattered. I didn't put something into my mouth unless it was really, really worth it.

                                      2. d
                                        dct RE: lilmomma Aug 18, 2010 12:22 PM

                                        When I try to eat healthy (I'm always TRYING, heh) I still bake. The rule is I can't just buy cookies, cakes, pie, etc. I have to make them. This has two advantages--1) I actually have the activity of baking, which is more fulfilling physically and mentally than opening a packet and 2) it weeds out casual snacking--only if I reaalllly want it will I bake something, esp. if it's complex like a torte or croissants.

                                        Similar thing with Coke. I can have it, but I don't keep it in the house. Since I work from home, I think I have actually gone out to get a Coke twice in 5 years. If I had it in the house, I'd drink one every day--and did when I worked in an office that gave out free soda. That doesn't mean I never have it--usually at the movies or with pizza.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: dct
                                          souschef RE: dct Aug 18, 2010 12:44 PM

                                          You forgot a third advantage - it tastes better!

                                        2. Cynsa RE: lilmomma Aug 18, 2010 07:59 PM

                                          Gluten-free and flour-less brownies:
                                          15 oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed
                                          3 eggs
                                          1/3 cup butter, melted
                                          1/4 cup cocoa powder
                                          1/8 tsp. salt
                                          2 tsp. vanilla extract
                                          1/2 cup + 2 Tbl. cane sugar

                                          1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
                                          1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts

                                          Butter 8-inch square baking dish. Preheat oven 350°F
                                          In food processor: puree black beans, eggs, butter, cocoa, sugar, salt and vanilla.

                                          Remove blade. Stir in walnuts and chocolate chips. Pour into prepared pan.
                                          Bake for 30-35 minutes until just set in the center. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: Cynsa
                                            buttertart RE: Cynsa Aug 19, 2010 07:49 AM

                                            Hi Cynsa, are these really good? As good as regular?

                                            1. re: buttertart
                                              Cynsa RE: buttertart Aug 19, 2010 06:43 PM

                                              hehehe. of course it's not as good as 'regular' but it is certainly surprisingly 'good' and healthful.

                                              1. re: Cynsa
                                                souschef RE: Cynsa Aug 20, 2010 09:06 AM

                                                I've always had the philosophy "what good is healthful?" :)

                                                And no, I don't weigh 300 lbs.

                                                1. re: souschef
                                                  Cynsa RE: souschef Aug 20, 2010 03:39 PM

                                                  -this is 'good' for my friend on a restrictive gluten-free diet. It's allowed for celiac disease.
                                                  -for some, eating healthy or 'healthful' is controlling sodium/fat/carbs in moderation.
                                                  -for my type 2 diabetes, it's weight management-exercise-meds; fortunately I LIKE whole grains, soy, yogurt and all veggies - unfortunately, I also LIKE carbs, shortribs, bbq, fried anything and all this spikes fbg numbers skyward. No - I do not have a Sweet Tooth, but my DH has a big one. chortle here.

                                                  1. re: Cynsa
                                                    souschef RE: Cynsa Aug 20, 2010 04:55 PM

                                                    Guess I'm lucky that I don't have to watch what I eat, except for an allergy I developed several years ago - to beef, of all things. And I love beef !

                                          2. chef chicklet RE: lilmomma Aug 20, 2010 09:26 AM

                                            Carrot bread, Zucchini bread, and a muffin with prunes and oatmeal. Another one with bran.
                                            Quiche, using more egg whites, loaded with vegetables. I'm not too sure how healthy that is though, I don't claim to be a nutritionist, but it's better than a cheese and ham omlette.
                                            French bread. No oil or butter, little bit of salt. Can use wheat flour too. Low calories and low fat.
                                            Even though I prefer baquettes this one goes into the breadmachine, so there's less heat in the kitchen.

                                            When I make cooked oatmeal, sometimes I'll make extra. Add spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, and whatever you like, nuts, seeds, cranberries or cherries, or blueberries and flaxseed. Cut into bars for a quick snack. Quite easy and waste not want not.

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