I try not to bake. I love to bake, don’t get me wrong. But I also love to eat what I bake, so baking for me is like kryptonite. It doesn’t seem fair that a process and a product so enjoyable should be so dangerous, but it is. Apparently anything with carbs is something my body turns into vein-choking, blood-clotting, body-bulging fat. Not muscle-building, bone-strengthening, brain-enhancing, heart-healthy stuff. So I try not to bake.
However, I do love to bake. So I have decided to make a list of criteria to determine when baking is permissible. If I can answer yes to at least 5 of the following questions, then I can bake with an almost guiltless conscience. Here they are:
1. Did it snow?
2. If it hasn’t snowed all winter and it’s been a long time since it rained, did the chief meteorologist say it is going to rain at least all day and maybe more?
3. Is one of the ingredients in the recipe a vegetable like carrots or zucchini?
4. Can I use whole-wheat flour for at least half of the flour called for in the recipe?
5. Can I substitute a healthier sugar like molasses, Whey-Low, or honey?
6. Can I use a healthier fat like olive oil instead of shortening?
7. Can I add nuts, which we all know are good for you, even if it doesn’t call for them in the recipe and can I increase the amount of nuts if they are listed just to up the good-for-me factor?
8. Are there any spices or other ingredients that add needed vitamins, antioxidants, or minerals to the baked goods?
9. Do I promise to give away at least half to a WWII veteran, sick neighbor or homeless person?
10. Will I walk at least a mile a day until my weight is back to my pre-baking day splurge?
Now today almost all of these are a yes and I have zucchini bread in the oven. Yes, one of the loaves is going to a 92 year-old WWII veteran. If you need to use these questions as criteria for your baking, please feel free. Healthy eating, friends!