Terrible Advice from TreeHugger on Healthy Baking

Almond Meal Cookiestimlewisnm/CC BY 2.0

Treehugger, a usually trusted source for advice on food and the environment has it wrong this time….

The article they wrote (you can read it HERE) says there are three things you can change when baking that will make your desserts healthier.  The 3  suggestions they have are not any healthier, in fact one of them makes those desserts WAY less healthy!  Let’s look at each one;

1) They suggest that you replace the white flour with whole wheat pastry flour.

There is NO difference nutritionally whatsoever.

2) Use fruit puree instead of oil or butter.

Using fruit puree simply increases the carbs, an easier way to gain more weight. Remember carbs are what makes us gain weigh, NOT fat.  In fact, having more fat with a higher carb dish or meal means you will absorb those carbs slower.  This helps in the management of regulating blood sugar, thus helping with weight and diabetes.

That being said, USE ONLY butter, preferably organic.  Never heat or cook with vegetable oils, they are highly carcinogenic when heated and become sticky…increasing our chances of heart disease and stroke. 

3) Use Succanat instead of sugar.

While there might be slightly more nutrients in Succanat, it costs $24.00 A POUND!   And it acts exactly the same way in the body; raising blood sugar quickly.

In fact ALL carbs, even fruit, do the same, raise blood sugar quickly.  So whether you use, agave, honey, sugar, Succanat, rice syrup, fruit puree…the body reacts the same. 

SO, when you are going to bake…use real butter, use alternative flours like almond meal or coconut that are far lower on the glycemic index.  Use nuts in your desserts or with meals, increasing the protein.  Here are a few recipes for chocolate chip cookies that are FAR healthier than the normal ones…and taste divine! One uses almond meal, one uses coconut flour.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 30 cookies

2 cups blanched almond flour
¼ teaspoon Celtic sea salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup butter
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks

1. Place almond flour, salt and baking soda in a food processor

2. Pulse in butter, honey and vanilla until dough forms

3. Remove blade from processor and stir in chips by hand

4. Scoop dough one level tablespoon at a time onto a parchment lined baking sheet

5. Press balls of dough down gently

6. Bake at 350 for 6-8 minutes

7. Cool for 15 minutes (do not handle prior or cookies will break)


Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup tapioca flour
1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup potato starch
1 cup almond flour
1 Tablespoon xanthan gun
2 Teaspoons baking powder
1/ 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter- room temperature
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temp
16 ounces dark chocolate chips

1) mix all dry ingredients, use a whisk to mix, it’s almost like sifting.

2)  Mix wet ingredients briefly, do not over mix.  Add eggs one at a time, mix briefly.  Add vanilla, mix in.

3) Add dry ingredients, 1/2 cup or so at a time.  Briefly stir in chocolate chips.

4)  Refrigerate for 24 hours. Really.

5) Using walnut size balls of dough. Place on a cookie sheet.  You can make them any size you want.  Push any chocolate chips sticking out back into the dough.

6) Bake 18 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.  Cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes.  Remove to a cooling rack. Eat warm or wait to cool.

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