Ready for Fall Baking? Here’s how to Bake it Healthier!

By Carrie Camin
Assistant Vice President, Wellness
Methodist Health System

There’s nothing like the first cold snap — which for Dallas means our temperatures drop below 90 degrees — that sends many people to the kitchen for fall baking. After all, Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Celebrating the fall harvest means richer flavors, but it doesn’t have to mean that these delectable treats are packed with calories. Here are some tips and substitutions for healthier baking this season.

Substitutions: Use ingredients that are natural like agave nectar, honey, or applesauce instead of refined sugar or chemicals.

  • Try using half the amount of butter called for in the recipe.
  • Use mashed bananas to hold your ingredients together rather than eggs and oil.
  • Substitute applesauce for sugar.
  • Instead of coating a pan with oil, use nonstick cooking sprays.

Did you know?

  • If the recipe calls for three eggs, use only one yolk and the egg whites of the other two eggs.
  • Most recipes still taste great if you simply cut salt in half.
  • Nuts are good for us, but they also add a lot of calories. In the spicy pumpkin bread recipe below, 1/3 cup of black walnuts is 255 calories — so use nuts wisely.

To get your holiday baking off on a healthy note, here’s a recipe for spicy pumpkin bread. Enjoy!

Spicy Pumpkin Bread This particular pumpkin bread gets its kick from a blend of allspice, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Top with a sprinkling of chopped walnuts for a salty crunch that pairs perfectly with the sweet, moist bread.

One serving of this dish is about 1 slice.

3 1/2 cups All-purpose white flour, enriched
2/3 tablespoon Baking powder
1 teaspoon Allspice, ground
1 teaspoon Cinnamon, ground
1 teaspoon Nutmeg, ground
1 teaspoon Salt, table
1 teaspoon Baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Cloves, ground
1 1/3 cups Brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup Nonfat milk, calcium fortified (fat-free or skim)
2 tablespoons Vegetable oil
2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
2 Eggs with yolks or 1 egg and 2 egg whites
1 cup Pumpkin, canned without salt
Cooking spray, 1 squirt
1/3 cup Black walnuts, chopped
198 calories; 34 grams carbs; 6 grams fat; 4 grams protein
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups and level with a knife. Combine flour and the next 7 ingredients (flour through cloves) in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of mixture. 3. Combine brown sugar and the next 5 ingredients (brown sugar through pumpkin) in a bowl. Stir well with a whisk until smooth. Add to the flour mixture, stirring just until moist. 4. Spoon batter into 2 loaf pans (8 x 4–inch) coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts. 5. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. 6. Cool loaves in pans for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from pans, then cool loaves completely. Cut each loaf into 12 slices.

Servings: 20
Note: This recipe is public and was created by a dietitian.

Methodist Health System supports our employees’ efforts to make healthy food choices. We include healthy recipes on the wellness page of our employee intranet site, and we just opened cooking light cooking stations in the cafeterias at Methodist Dallas and Methodist Richardson Medical Centers.

If you’re looking for a career you can truly be thankful for, then it’s time to choose Methodist. Learn more by visiting Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

© Methodist Health System


Posted Diabetes, Employee Health