JOANNA'S FOOD: family cooking, from scratch, every day

Monday, October 01, 2007

HotM 8: Baking

Baking, for those watching their cholesterol and seeking a heart-healthy diet, is a minefield. I am the sort of blogger who would enthusiastically join the Daring Bakers - but all that cooking we can't eat ... it seems a little crazy. All those eggs, all that butter. There's only so much bread you can eat.

In the three years since Lucius's heart attack, I've found delicious ways round lots of the problems - what to do instead of cheese, how to make delicious heart-healthy puds that feel indulgent - but I've never really cracked cake. Or biscuits. I bought by mail-order a book called Low-fat Baking by Linda Fraser. I've never cooked anything from it, or felt remotely tempted to do so. I nearly threw it out last month. Now, this October, I'm giving it one last chance. And I'm going to share the results with you.

You'll have realised by now that this post is a cry for help ... we're looking for heart-healthy baking recipes. That means NO butter and not much marge. Not many egg yolks. No cream. No cheese to speak of. Not a lot of oil, even if it is olive oil. You see the problem. Off the top of my head, we're down to meringues and macaroons. As we're all after a healthier lifestyle, and as SO many food bloggers like to bake, I feel sure that you've all got at least one delicious yet low-fat cake or biscuit recipe that you use in your kitchen ... you'd be doing me, and countless others, a huge favour if you'd share it.

I'm sure many of you know the "rules" by now, but here's a recap: all you have to do is to send me the link to your entry at joannacary AT ukonline DOT co DOT uk before 23 October, make a link to Joanna's Food and to the HotM blog as well if you like. I'll post the round up on both blogs. In order to keep the focus on heart health we ask you to consider this as a one-entry event, i.e. we prefer that you don't use your post for other events as well.

I'm really looking forward to reading all your recipes and tips ...

PS you CAN include bread in this if you want, but I think we might save that for another time ....


Figs, Bay, Wine said...

Ooo, tough challenge! I shall have to see what I can drum up - and I'll do my best not to make it a pavlova!

bee said...

what a great theme. i created a recipe just for you, joanna. will post it in the next couple of days.

i have linda fraser's book, and i must say i was disappointed. the measurements always don't work out to achieve the pictured end result. the recipes have to be heavily tweaked. i use them as starting blocks to create my own dishes.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Slacker that I have been, I really will try this month! It's really the way I try to eat 90% of the time but butter and sugar are on the blog much more often.

Anonymous said...

now this is some real challenge - love such challenges though, the previous theme dint need any thinking at all :D - the minimum butter that i have used in baking is about 1/2 a stick (i normally omit/substitute eggs). let's see if i can come up with something.

Anonymous said...

Pumpkin Bread

8 egg whites
2.5 C sugar
1 C applesauce
1/2 C water
2 C pumpkin
3 1/2 C flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 C walnuts

Combine ingredients from top to bottom, mixing as instructed. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees. I like to add more cinnamon plus some nutmeg, cloves and allspice. Also, if your family prefers, add raisins and/or leave out the nuts.

Anonymous said...

I just saw a recipe for brownies from BabyCakes in New York yesterday that looked good. I myself do not have the ingredients on hand, but I wouldn't mind getting some and trying them, Apparently, although they are wheat, gluten, dairy, casein, and egg free, they have been voted as some of the best brownies in the NY area. The link to the store is
and a link to the recipe is

Hopes this helps a few people and gives you another jumping off point in your search for healthy food.

zlamushka said...

perfect theme, Joanna. I am sorry to hear about what happened to your family, but it is a lovely gesture and will keep many people allert. And I love the logo, so unbelievably cute. I have tons of recipes for you, since I only bake vegan sweet treats. I ll surely come up with something ;-) I am also hosting an event dedicated to Xmas yummy gifts. Come and see what it is all about ;-)

Joanna said...

Anon 1 ... this looks very good, one to try. Thanks for sharing

Anon 2 ... not sure if you're the same person ;) .... I found the recipe, thanks for the link. Not sure I'll be making it though, because it has lots of ingredients I don't normally keep - what is xanthan gum?? But FANTASTIC for people with allergies, so thanks for sharing

Zlamushka - thanks for your kind words ... I'll look forward to reading your entry. It does seem as if vegan baking is often heart-healthy as well


mva said...

I'm not a baker but heart disease/conditions do run in my family including in my own heart. I haven't been taking care of my heart all that well but you've definitely opened up my eyes to starting now. I will try my best to drum up a healthy heart baking recipe.

Joanna said...

ma-m, I'll look forward to seeing your recipe ... every little helps, both for the HotM recipe bank, and in terms of tiny changes in diet which are so hard to do

Good luck with it!

Ed Bruske said...

Joanna, I'm happy to let you use my post on muffins, probably appearing tomorrow. Feel free to copy the link as you choose.

DK said...

sent my entry..hope u like it!