Wednesday, January 30, 2013

What's Baking? January Round-up

It's that time again, the What's Baking? round-up! This month I chose a theme of healthier version of our favorites, since in January we're always surrounded by new year's resolutions to live a healthier lifestyle. Even if you haven't made that healthier resolution, you can't escape low fat recipes and new exercise routines, they're everywhere.

So I decided to embrace it. I also needed some good recipes I would feel less guilty about.

Heather Lynne of Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks made lowfat blueberry lemon chip muffins.

Eva of Eva Bakes baked healthy fudge brownies.

Colleen of The Redhead Baker made a lightened chocolate bundt cake.

Cara from The Boys Made Me Do It made a pineapple angel food cake

Ange of the Tiny Tyrant's Kitchen made lighter carrot cake cupcakes

Steph of Brownies and Blondies made a healthier raspberry crisp. 

Jenna of Jenna's Cooking Journey made banana oatmeal cups with chocolate chip

Joanna from the Kosher Kitchen made Flu Fighter cookies.

And I made cranberry oatmeal bars.

Enjoy these healthier recipes and happy baking in 2013!

Monday, January 28, 2013

What's Baking? January: Baking Healthier

I'm hosting our What's Baking? Bakealong this month! Since come January we are always surrounded with healthy recipes and talk of exercise and the like, I thought it'd be nice to take a look at our favorite recipes and improve their nutritional value a bit. I fully intended to improve one of my own recipes, but then I had to go and get a job and suddenly be all busy.

What's that? A job? Yes, my friends, I got a job! I'm now an adjunct professor of chemistry at the local State U. No, chemistry is not exactly my subject, and no, I don't have much teaching experience. An adjunct position is a great way to get experience, though, so this is a great opportunity. I'm in my 2nd week so I'm still adjusting to my new schedule and new habits, so I'm not cooking all that much- and I wasn't able to improve on one of my own recipes.

Instead, I turned to Cooking Light, which always seems to have some good recipes, healthy but delicious.

I decided on the Cranberry Oatmeal bars partly because I had all the ingredients on hand- I also haven't had much time to go to the grocery store. They were incredibly easy- I didn't even have to get out the stand mixer! And they were quick to throw together, even if I planned poorly and ended up sauteing brussels sprouts instead of roasting them for dinner, since I'd already put the bars in. Oops. (sauteed brussels sprouts are much quicker, although I think I prefer roasted)

Cranberry Oatmeal Bars
recipe from Cooking Light

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup flour
1 cup oats (I used old-fashioned)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4t salt
1/4t baking soda
1/2t cinnamon
6T butter, melted
3T orange juice

1 and 1/3 cup dried cranberries (or other dried fruit)
3/4 cup sour cream (I used low fat)
1/2 cup white (I used about 1T less than 1/2 cup)
2T flour (I used whole wheat)
1t vanilla
1t orange zest
1 egg white

Preheat over to 325F

For the crust: combine all the dry ingredients and mix. Pour in melted butter and orange juice and mix til combined, it'll still be a bit crumbly. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the mixture and press the rest into the bottom of an 11x7 baking pan (a 9x13 works too). Set aside.

For the filling: combine all the filling ingredients and stir til combined. Spread over the crust in the pan, and then sprinkle the reserved 1/2 cup crust mixture evenly over the top.

Bake at 325F for about 45 minutes. Let cool and cut into squares.

Nutritional info: (this is from CL's site, and doesn't factor in the whole wheat flour, low fat sour cream and slightly less sugar that I used)
24 servings
133 cal
4.6g fat
0.9g fiber
1.5g protein

They had some suggestions for maple date bars (omit the sugar in the filling and use 2T maple syrup and 2T brown sugar, and dates instead of cranberries), or using cherries and lemon zest instead of cranberries and orange zest. I want to try the maple date bars next time!