Healthy baking hacks

I love to bake, but I almost never follow the original recipe. I’m always looking for ways to pack more nutrition into my treats without sacrificing flavour or that light, cakey, crumby, chewy, flakey texture we all love! I thought I’d share some of the swaps and substitutions I make when I’m in the kitchen, and what nutritional value you’ll get out of these changes if you try them too!

There’s no reason why baked goods can’t be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet. But by baking your morning muffin at home instead of picking one up at the drive thru on your way to work or popping into your favourite cafe, you control the nutritional value and portion size. Loading up your homemade baking with whole grains, healthy fats, and keeping the sugar content in check can really boost the nutritional value and make your treat more of a nutrition powerhouse than a guilty pleasure.

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Butter v. margarine

Butter. First we loved it, then we feared it. We started spreading margarine on our toast after being told it was the healthier alternative. Now it seems the tables have turned once again with people second guessing whether hydrogenated oils are really benefiting us. I thought it fitting to address this topic, seeing as we will all be faced with a shortbread cookie or two, and maybe even some pastry around the table this holiday season. I’m here to tell you that there’s no need to pass on that flakey shortbread cookie made with real butter. And to all those people out there who scrape only the pie filling from their slice because they say they don’t like the crust: I kind of don’t believe you.

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Food Revolution Day, and Jamie’s own orange + polenta cake

I think that the majority of people out there, kids included, know what they are supposed to eat to maintain and protect their health. So why then do we struggle so profoundly with diet-related diseases, obesity, and a vast array of chronic health issues. Because of the perception that making the healthy choice isn’t the easy choice, or the delicious one.

Notice I used the word perception. It’s not true, it just appears that way! Healthy, wholesome foods can be simple, quick, and yummy, all at the same time! I talk about it a lot, but that’s because I think it’s really important. One of the barriers we experience in this area is education. People aren’t sitting down to home-cooked, nutritious meals because they don’t know how to cook. Kids are buying poor quality food from their school’s cafeteria at lunch time because they don’t know how to prepare simple foods which they can pack in a school lunch. We lack education. In this case, knowledge is everything, and Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day is a worldwide campaign to get our governments on board with making practical food education a compulsory part of our schools’ curriculum. Every child should have the opportunity to learn where food comes from, how to cook it, and how it affects their bodies. That right there, is a recipe for better health! Read More

Cherry + cocoa green smoothie

While some people may be new to the Green Smoothie Club, others have been adding handfuls of spinach, kale, celery, and parsley to their blends for years. For all you prospective members who may be hesitating due to the muddled green colour of some of our green smoothie concoctions, I’ve got a smoothie recipe for you. Full of healthy greens, but no green colour in sight! How about that?

Green smoothies have been all the rage as of late. A more substantial alternative to juicing, blending up your ingredients instead of separating the juice from the pulp drastically increases fiber content which helps slow digestion, keeping your fuller, longer! Smoothies are also a quick, easy and convenient way to pack a few extra servings of fruits and veggies into your busy life, and I think it’s safe to say we could all use a little more of that.  Read More

Secret ingredient gingerbread cookie dough bites

Sometimes, life can feel like a race – a competition. As if there is this pressure to be everywhere, do everything, and jump on every opportunity that comes your way, for fear of missing out or falling short. As a dietetic student in Ontario, competing for internships upon graduation puts me in this exact situation. Even though I won’t start my applications for another 2 years, time is of the essence when it comes to building my resume and accumulating experiences that will get me where I need to go.
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