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Be good to your heart for the holidays.

Improve on Christmas baking traditions by replacing butter-filled recipes with hearth-healthy, high-fiber snack breads and desserts.

Before beginning your holiday baking, take a close look at your recipes. If they contain large amounts of butter, margarine, eggs, and whole milk, they certainly aren't contributing to your family's health. Sweet snacks and desserts can harbor as much fat and cholesterol as red meats, and because it's hard to eat just one helping, it's easy to overindulge.

Splurging on sweets can be bad for your health, especially if you are at high risk for heart disease. Recent studies show that eating a single meal high in fat and cholesterol may cause the body to release a hormone, thromboxane, that makes arteries constrict and blood clot faster. This may be one reason some heart patients get chest pains and end up in the emergency room after a high-fat Thanksgiving or Christmas feast.

Fortunately, you don't have to give up your favorite recipes. Most can be altered by reducing the fat and adding whole-grain flour and fiber. Because sugar is not very strongly linked with coronary hear disease, you need only modify the amount. Cutting back sugar by one-third will not harm the flavor of most recipes.

The following substitutions will help your baking pass heart-healthy muster:

White flour - Substitute all whole wheat or a combination of whole wheat and unbleached white flour. When possible, substitute wheat or oat bran for some of the flour in cookies, cakes, sweet breads, and plain breads.

Whole milk - Substitute nonfat (skim) milk.

Whole eggs or egg yolks - Use egg whites (two extra-large egg whites for one whole egg). Or use egg substitute.

Chocolate - Substitute cocoa. Three tablespoons of cocoa plus one tablespoon of vegetable oil will equal 1 ounce of chocolate.

Butter and margarine, shortening - Substitute canola oil or safflower oil. Remember that even the most healthful, high-monosaturated oils contain some saturated fat; many recipes can get by using less oil than called for.

Melted butter and margarine - Instead of melted butter or margarine for glazing pastries and coffeecakes, use slightly beaten egg white. Coat pans with butter-flavored nonstick spray.

Nuts - Nuts are generally high in fat, but most have more polyunsaturated than saturated fat. You may want to cut down on nuts in recipes and substitute crushed cereals or such dried fruits as raisins and dates. Cashews, macadamia nuts, and Brazil nuts are the highest in saturated fat. Avoid coconut completely.

Whole-Wheat Bran Bread Mix

(Makes about 11 cups)

3 cups whole-wheat flour 3 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 cup baking powder 2 teaspoons salt 1 package (18 oz.) bran cereal

In large mixing bowl, stir together flours, baking powder, and salt until thoroughly combined. Stir in bran cereal. Store at room temperature in air-tight container.

Note: Stir Bran Bread Mix before measuring for recipes.

Cherry-Cinnamon Bread

(Makes 1 loaf, 16 slices)

1/2 cup honey 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1 jar (10 oz.) maraschino

cherries, chopped, well-drained 3 cups Whole-Wheat Bran

Bread Mix (see recipe

above) 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 2 egg whites, slightly beaten 1/3 cup vegetable oil 1 1/4 cups skim milk

In small bowl, mix together 1/8 cup honey, cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons cherries. Set aside. Stir Bran Bread Mix before measuring. In large mixing bowl, stir together Bran Bread Mix, remaining honey, and nutmeg. Mix in egg whites, oil, milk, and remaining cherries; stir only until combined. Let stand 3 minutes. Spread in greased 9" x 5" x3" loaf pan. Place cherry topping evenly over batter.

Bake at 350 [degrees] F. about 50 minutes or until wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean. Remove from oven' cool 10 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely before slicing.

Vegetable Bread

(Makes 1 loaf, 16 slices)

2 cups bread flour 1 cup whole-wheat flour 1/2 cup instant nonfat dry milk powder 1 teaspoon salt 1 package active dry yeast 1/4 cup honey 1 1/4 cups warm water (110 [degrees] - 115 [degrees] F.) 2 cups bran cereal 2 egg whites 1/4 cup softened margarine 1/3 cup finely chopped green onions 1/3 cup finely chopped celery 1/2 cup finely chopped carrots 1 tablespoon dill weed

Stir together flours, dry milk, and salt. Set aside. In large electric mixer bowl, combine yeast, honey, and water. Stir in bran cereal; let stand about 2 minutes or until cereal is softened. Add egg whites, margarine, and 1/2 of flour mixture. Beat at medium speed on mixer 2 minutes or about 200 strokes by hand. Mix in vegetables and dill weed.

Stir in remaining flour mixture by hand to form stiff, sticky dough. Cover lightly. Let rise in warm place until double in volume (about 1 hour). Stir down dough to original volume.

Spoon into greased 2-quart round casserole dish or 9" x 5" 3" loaf pan. Bake at 350 [degrees] F. about 55 minutes or until loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when lightly tapped. Place loaf on wire rack and cool.

Banana Grapefruit Bread

(Makes 1 loaf, 16 slices)

3 cups Whole-Wheat Bran Bread Mix (see recipe above) 2 tablespoons skim milk 1 cup mashed, fully ripe bananas 1/3 cup softened margarine 1/3 cup honey 2 egg whites 1 cup chopped pink grapefruit sections (about 1 large grapefruit)

Stir Bran Bread Mix before measuring. Stir together Bran Bread Mix, milk, and bananas. Let stand 3 minutes. In large mixing bowl, beat margarine, honey, and egg whites until well-blended. Add grapefruit and continue beating until combined. Mix in cereal mixture.

Spread batter evenly in greased 9" x 5" x 3" loaf pan. Bake at 350 [degrees] F. about 50 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes before removing from pan. Cool loaf completely before slicing.

Applesauce Bran Bread

(Makes 1 loaf, 16 slices)

2/3 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup whole-wheat flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon cloves 1/3 cup softened margarine 1/2 cup honey 3 egg whites 1 cup bran cereal 1 cup applesauce 1 cup raisins

In small bowl, combine flours, soda, salt, and spices. Set aside. In large mixer bowl, beat together margarine, honey, and egg whites until thoroughly combined. Mix together bran cereal and applesauce. Let stand 2 minutes or until cereal is softened. On medium speed, add cereal mixture alternately with flour mixture to margarine mixture. Stir in raisins.

Spread batter evenly into greased 9" x 5" x 3" loaf pan. Bake at 350 [degrees] F. about 55 minutes or until wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean. Remove from pan; cool.

Currant Swirl Bread

(Makes 1 loaf, about 16 slices)

1 1/4 cups bread flour 1 cup whole-wheat flour 1 cup bran cereal 1 teaspoon salt 1 package active dry yeast 1/4 cup honey 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon

skim milk 3 tablespoons margarine 2 egg whites 1 tablespoon water 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 cup currants 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

or granulated sugar

Stir together flours. In large electric mixer bowl, combine 1/2 cup flour mixture, bran, cereal, salt, yeast, and honey.

In small saucepan, heat 1 cup milk and margarine until very warm (120 [degree]-130 [degrees] F.). Gradually add to cereal mixture and beat 2 minutes on medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Add egg whites and 1/4 cup flour mixture. Beat 2 minutes on high speed. Using dough hooks on electric mixer or by hand, stir in remaining flour mixture.

Knead on low speed or by hand 5 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough in lightly greased bowl; turn once to coat top. Cover and let rise in warm place until double in volume. Punch down dough and let rest 10 minutes.

Roll dough on lightly floured surface into 14" x 8 1/2" rectangle. Wet surface with1 tablespoon water. Sprinkle cinnamon over wet dough. Spread currants evenly over cinnamon. Starting with shorter side, roll dough lengthwise.

Place seam side down in greased 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" x 2 1/2" loaf pan. Let rise until double in volume, about 1 hour. Lightly brush top of bread with 1 tablespoon milk. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar.

With sharp knife, make 1/8" deep cut lengthwise down center of loaf. Bake at 375 [degrees] F. about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

Note: Turbinado sugar is also called raw sugar.

Carrot Cake

(Makes 10 slices)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground allspice 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour 1/3 cup wheat bran 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 cup grated carrots 1 can crushed pineapple well-drained 3/4 cup honey 1 1/2 cups water

Preheat oven to 350 [degrees] F. combine first 10 ingredients and mix well.

In separate bowl combine honey and water. Fold dry ingredients into wet ones and mix well. Do not overbeat or mix. Pour into nonstick 9" x 5" x 3" loaf pan. Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Perfect Pumpkin Pie

(Makes 1 9" pie)

4 egg whites, slightly beaten 1 can (16 oz.) solid pack

pumpkin 1/2 cup honey 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ginger 1/4 teaspoon cloves 1 2/3 cups (13 oz.) evaporated skimmed milk 1 9" unbaked pie shell with high fluted edge

Preheat oven to 425 [degrees] F. Mix filling ingredients in order given. Pour into pie shell and bake at 425 [degrees] F. 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 [degrees] F. and continue baking 45 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool completely on wire rack.
COPYRIGHT 1990 Saturday Evening Post Society
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:includes recipes
Author:Kreiter, Ted
Publication:Saturday Evening Post
Date:Nov 1, 1990
Previous Article:Talking turkey.
Next Article:Sunday Nights at Seven: The Jack Benny Story.

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