For those of you who didn’t see my previous post I am currently compiling a list of recipes that won’t completely sabotage my diet and allow me and my daughter to carry on enjoying baking. While there are many diet bakes out there I am trying to find healthier recipes rather those that simply substitute ingredients like sugar with artificial sweeteners.
Diet Bake #2 Bakes with Fruit
This week I have been trying out recipes that use fruit for the sweetness rather than huge quantities of sugar.
My first recipe is a Baby Led Weaning one I’ve adapted. This Banana Bread basically gets all of its sweetness from the bananas and sultanas and it is actually my hubby’s favourite.
- 100 g wholemeal self-raising flour (you can use plain flour but just add 2 teaspoons of baking powder)
- ½ teaspoon mixed spice
- 50 g butter
- 75 g sultanas (or raisins)
- 200g mashed bananas
- 1 egg beaten
- Preheat oven to 180°C and lightly grease a 450g loaf tin.
- Sift the flour into a large bowl with the spices. Rub the butter into the flour or use a blender until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
- Stir in the sultanas and make a well in the centre of the flour mixture.
- In a separate bowl mash the bananas and add the egg.
- Pour the banana mixture into the flour mix and fold in.
- Put the mixture into mould and place the oven. Turn the oven down to 160°C and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. When it is done a skewer should come out clean when it is inserted.
For this bake I actually used 3 mini loaf tins instead and baked than for 25 minutes in a same temperature oven. This meant each loaf gave 6 slices (so 18 slices in total). I sometimes think choice of tin is everything. 2 smaller slices seem more satisfying to me than one big one and sometimes a small slice of a square bake can seem like more than one of a round cake. I guess it is like that experiment where they use highball glasses and tumblers to distort perception of quantity by Wansink, B. & van Ittersum, K. (2007). We are so easily fooled by optical illusions we might as well use it to our advantage.
With 18 slices 1 slice was 2 WeightWatchers points, while 2 slices was only 3 points (yay!) and this came to only 64 calories per slice!
N.B. These banana loaves also freeze really well.
Next I had to try out an apple recipe. You can’t do a fruit bake series without one but surprisingly trying to find a good recipe to work off was pretty tricky as they all tend to be laden with sugar and butter.
I eventually found a one but lowered some of the sugar quantities as I found them unnecessary Next time I might try lowering them further – it depends so much on the fruit you use.
Apple and Pear Cake
- 3 ½ medium apples or pears (you can actually use any fruit e.g. peaches or plums)
- Juice from one lemon
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 230 g caster sugar
- 125 g plain white flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 120g butter
- 2 medium eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 190°C and line a 20cm square tin (or 23cm round one)
- Peel, core and chop the apple and pears into slices and place in a bowl.
- Add the lemon juice, cinnamon and 30 g of sugar and leave the apple to sit.
- Sieve together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In another bowl or a mixer cream together the butter and 200g of the sugar and then add the eggs and vanilla.
- Add the flour mixture and beat until combined.
- Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared pan.
- Arrange the apple and pear slices on top and place in the oven for 45 minutes until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- Cool in the tin on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
This cake gives 12 slices at 6 WeightWatchers points a piece or 224 calories. Ok, it isn’t the lightest cake but its really yummy and it could be so much worse.
I love Mary Berry but her recipes are generally not very WeightWatchers friendly. She generally seems to use more fat in all of her recipes than anyone else. They are darn good though. You can understand my surprise though when reading through her book I came across one that looked like it might fit the bill. Here are Mary Berry’s Blueberry muffins.
- 250 g white self-raising flour
- 1 level teaspoons of baking powder
- 50 g butter
- 75 g caster sugar
- 175 g blueberries
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2 large eggs
- 250ml semi-skimmed milk
- Preheat the oven to 200°C and grease a muffin tin or place cases in a 12 hole muffin tin (I use silicon muffin trays so I don’t use cases)
- Measure the flour and baking powder into a large bowl and rub in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs (you can do this in a blender).
- Stir in the sugar, zest and blueberries (don’t do this bit in the blender though or you will destroy your blueberries).
- Mix the eggs and milk and add it directly to the dry mixture the mixture and blend quickly.
- Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases (almost to the top).
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the are well risen, firm and golden,
- Cool in the tray for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack and serve warm.
These muffins are suspiciously healthy at only 4 WeightWatchers points a piece or 157 calories.
I’m going to finish on a very healthy sounding one Banana Bran Muffins.
- 115g butter
- 100g brown sugar
- 3 bananas, mashed
- 115ml milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 175g wholemeal flour
- 100g wheat bran
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 190°C and grease a muffin tin or line with muffin cases.
- In a large mixing bowl or blender, cream the butter and brown sugar until fluffy.
- Add the bananas, milk, vanilla and eggs and mix well.
- Combine the flour, bran, baking powder, baking soda and salt and blend into the banana mixture.
- Pour the mixture into the muffin tray or cases.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the muffin comes out clean. Cool in the tray for five minutes then place on a wire rack to cool completely.
This mixture makes about 14 muffins. They are also only 4 WeightWatchers points a muffin or 212 calories but you could add a handful of chopped walnuts to the mix which would bring them up to 5 points or 276 calories a muffin.
With all of the banana recipes I find that if you can keep them a couple of days they just get stickier and yummier! So try to hold off a bit.
Wow, thats a lot of cake. Don’t worry we aren’t going to eat all the cakes ourselves we have the whole family including our 93 year old Granny coming to tea so hopefully they will all get eaten.