Posts Tagged ‘healthy alternatives’

Life Is Short. Eat The Damn Cookies

December 2, 2018

These chocolate chippers were a winner with chunks of hand-cut chocolate and a sprinkle of coarse sea salt

This week, I devoted a few days to recipe development for cookies and muffins that did not contain any refined sugars or gluten. After spending a full day baking, tasting and tweaking, I stumbled upon a few conclusions.

Although it is possible to create really good items despite the restrictions, I’m not sure they are actually healthier than their conventional alternatives. Although I only used natural ingredients and avoided artificial sweeteners, including Stevia ( which is naturally derived and then processed making its purity questionable) my stomach has been bloated and gurgling ever since.

Gluten-free flour blends are high in carbs. Most include various rice flours, tapioca flour, sorghum, and potato starch, and require something binding to replace the gluten. This is usually the addition of Xanthan gum, which is derived from a fermented, inactive bacteria. For those looking to follow a low-carb lifestyle for weight loss and energy, removing the gluten doesn’t lower the carb count.

These cinnamon streusel muffins could be a good base for add-ins and held moisture better than the loaf cake version

Store-bought gluten-free flour blends have varied calorie counts, ranging from 400 calories to 587 calories per cup depending on the contents. White, all-purpose wheat flour comes in at about 455 calories per cup.

Coconut nectar sugar is the sweetener of choice. Purported to have a lower glycemic index than white or brown sugars, it still is loaded with fructose and is similar in calories to refined white sugar. Honey and pure maple syrup have more nutritional value, but also are high in fructose, and can weigh in at a greater calorie count than conventional sugar.

Maybe some apples would help these keep moist and fresh for a longer period of time

While many people have health issues that prevent them from enjoying foods containing gluten, for the rest of us, there may be no value in avoiding it. I am guilty of eliminating foods from my diet, whether for vanity or perceived good health, but I try not to replace them with faux versions. Diet soda is actually worse for your health than the real deal, although I would strongly advocate for passing up soda in general. If you are eliminating food groups ( i.e. gluten or refined sugar) and eating a lot of replacement foods, especially those with processed and fabricated ingredients, it might be affecting your health in a negative way. In my case, too many cookies were simply too many cookies, regardless of what might be in them.

These were a winner. RIch and fudgy!

The moral of the story: Life is short. Eat the damn cookies.

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Fat Chance

January 19, 2012

Celebrity chef Paula Deen has recently announced that she has type II diabetes, a condition that is related to obesity and a lack of physical activity in 95% of the cases diagnosed.

Ms. Deen is known and loved for her style of home cooking and comfort foods that are high in calories and fat.  Butter, cream and sugar are key ingredients in her signature dishes.

With recipes like Fried Mac ‘n Cheese, Fisher Nutter Bacon Cheese Ball and Deep Fried Cheesecake, it seems that it was just a matter of time before her eating habits affected her health.

What is most surprising, is that Ms. Deen was diagnosed over 2 years ago, and kept doling out creations like her Lady’s Brunch Burger; an egg, bacon and a hamburger patty sitting between 2 glazed donuts, without batting an eyelash over what the consequences of eating like that might be.

This week, she came out of the proverbial pantry about her condition, when she announced a deal to endorse a diabetes drug.

She has claimed that diabetes will not influence the way she cooks in the future. Seriously?

Here is a woman who should be using her notoriety to show people how to eat more healthfully, rather than endorsing a drug to treat a disease she is perpetuating among her fans.

We are not saying that Ms. Deen caused her own condition, or that she is single handedly causing a diabetic epidemic. We are stating that diet and exercise play a major role in the cause and treatment of many cases of type II diabetes and Ms. Deen has an opportunity to embrace a healthier lifestyle and show others how to do the same. How about a cooking show where she does healthy makeovers of her own fat bombs?

Wouldn’t it be great if instead of hearing her say, “ Add a stick—a buttah,” she told us to “ Add a dollop of fat free yogurt” instead?

photo: The Guardian


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