Category Archives: baked goods

Here’s the Whole Truth on Whole-Grain White Bread

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When most of us hear the word “white” associated with bread, images of processed and refined slices of doughy bread that have been stripped of their nutrients and fiber pop into our heads.  Therefore, when we read nutrition labels that claim “whole-grain white bread” we are stumped by the perceived oxymoron.  Whole-grain white bread products are on the rise everywhere, boasting nutritional superiority over traditional white bread foods.  But, isn’t whole-grain white bread still just white bread no matter how you slice it? No…. read more.

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Sweet and Savory Saturday – Spoon Bread

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Spoon Bread is a southern favorite.

I was first introduced to the concept of spoon bread when we took a family vacation to Williamsburg, Virginia.  We ate atChristiana Campbell’s Tavern which is known for its delicious spoon bread.  Spoon bread is a type of corn bread that has a pudding-like consistency.  As the name depicts, spoon bread is typically eaten with a spoon.  Traditionally, spoon bread is served with butter and contains no sugar.  Over the years, makers of this dish have imparted their own variations to the recipe and so ingredients running the gamut from bacon to fresh fruit have found their way into its creation.  When I returned home from our trip, I decided to attempt to put my own signature on this dish.  I chose to make it a bit on the sweet side and added sugar.  Here is the recipe for my version this southern favorite… read more.

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Sweet and Savory Saturday – Carob Chip Cookies



 Welcome to Sweet and Savory Saturday here at the Health and Food Forum’s Blog.  The key ingredient in today’s cookie recipe is carob.  Carob comes from the fruit pod of the Ceratonia siliqua tree found in the Mediterranean.  It has the taste of chocolate and is frequently used as a substitute by individuals who are allergic to chocolate.  It is naturally sweet, contains no caffeine, and is relatively low in fat.  It contains twice the amount of calcium than cocoa and it is a source of protein and fiber; thus, it is a healthy alternative to chocolate.  Carob chips can be found in health and whole food stores.  Because carob is naturally sweet, you will want to use less sugar when using it for baked goods.  Also, it has a milder taste than chocolate, so you will want to rely on…. Read More



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The Sweet Side of Barley

For the recipe to this variation of the traditional oatmeal cookie, visit us at our new location

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Putting it on the Plate with PICKKA: Oven-Baked Oatmeal-Blueberry Pancakes

Oven-baking pancakes can cut down on the fat.

Traditionally prepared and cooked pancakes can mean consuming a lot of extra calories from fat and carbs.  But, there are a few tricks that can make this comfort food healthier.  To cut down on the fat, try oven-baking the pancakes.  You can reduce the sugar content by lightly dusting the cooked pancakes with powdered sugar, rather than dousing them with maple syrup.  The fiber content can be increased by using pancake mix made of whole-grain flour.  And, use your “Eat What?” app for the iPhone to find a pancake mix that fits into your diet plan.

The “Eat What?” app provides you with a list of recommended products in the food category that you are interested.  A great feature of this app is that it allows you to modify the search criteria for the saturated fat, sugar, carbohydrate, and fiber content of the product (e.g., choose from “no saturated fat,” “low saturated fat,” “reduced saturated fat,” or “ignore” categories).  By modifying my search, I reduced the number of options from which I had to choose and increased my chances of getting the right product for me.

I chose an oatmeal pancake mix to make oven-baked oatmeal-blueberry pancakes for my family.  Here is what I did to make them.  First, I preheated the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Then, I sprayed a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray and set it aside. Next, I followed the pancake package directions for the number of pancakes I wanted to make (14-18 pancakes).  I added 1 tsp of baking powder to the batter and combined it.  Then, I folded in fresh blueberries (about 1/4 cup per 1 cup of dry mix).  Using 1/4 cup of batter per pancake, I poured the mixture onto the baking sheet – separating pancakes by about 3 inches.**   Then, I baked them for approximately 8 minutes.  The pancakes will resemble large cookies when done.

Oven-baked pancakes will resemble large cookies when done.

**Note, my family likes pancakes from thick batter which holds its form on a cold baking sheet.  If you like thin batter, preheat the baking sheet prior to pouring the mixture onto it to prevent it from spreading out too much prior to cooking.

What is your favorite way to make pancakes?  Share with us, we want to know!


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Filed under baked goods, breakfast, Eat What?, healthy food, homemade meals, iPhone apps, PICKKA, Recipes, Uncategorized

A Box of Strawberry Cake Mix and a Little Imagination!

A box of strawberry cake mix and a little imagination equals "Gracie Cakes."

We are always experimenting with recipes at my house.  We like to try different flavor combinations and textures.  Cooking and baking together as a family is something that I have done with my children since they were toddlers.  It is an activity that they thoroughly enjoy.  Even when we are away from the kitchen they think about different recipes that we can try the next time we cook.  Earlier this week, my daughter handed me a recipe that she came up with for strawberry cupcakes.  Although her measurements were a bit off (2 TBS of salt makes for one salty cupcake!), her flavor combination – strawberry, orange, and vanilla- was quite remarkable.  After a few tweaks to measurements and a few additions of healthier ingredients we devised a doable and tasty recipe that would be a great dessert for a 4th of July celebration.

Recipe for Gracie Cakes (Crumb-Topped Strawberry Cupcakes)


1 box of strawberry cake mix (reserve 1/2 cup)

1/4 cup unbleached whole-wheat flour

3/4 cup egg whites

1 TBS dried orange peel

1/2 TBS pure vanilla extract

1 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp salt

1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal

1 cup water

1/3 cup reduced-fat or nonfat sour cream

crumb topping (recipe below)*


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Spray mufiin tin wells with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.  Combine strawberry cake mix (minus 1/2 cup to be reserved for crumb topping), whole-wheat flour, baking powder, salt, orange peel, and flaxseed meal in large bowl.  Add egg whites, sour cream, water, and vanilla.  Blend on medium-low until combined.  Fill muffin tin wells 2/3 full with batter.  Spoon 1 TBS per well of crumb mixture on top of batter.  Bake in oven for 18-20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Yield: about 20 cupcakes.

*Crumb Topping Ingredients:

1/2 cup strawberry cake mix

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

3 TBS sugar

1 TBS orange peel

1/3 cup trans-fat free margarine, melted

Crumb Topping Preparation:

In a small bowl, combine cake mix, graham cracker crumbs, orange peel, and sugar.  Add melted margarine.  Mix until margarine is incorporated.  Mixture will be crumbly.

Do you have a great dessert idea for the 4th of July?  Share with us, we want to know!


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Sweet and Savory Saturday

Fresh Rhubarb and plump raisins add sweet tang to this spice bread.

I love to bake, especially when I can get some of the ingredients fresh from my own garden.  I planted rhubarb last year with the intent to use it to make strawberry rhubarb pie.  But, when it grew back this year, I was in the mood for something else.  I thought that its use in a spice bread would compliment the flavorful undertone of this baked good. I also chose to add plump raisins to provide a sweet balance and textural interest.

I wanted my sweet bread to be on the healthier side, therefore, I chose to use unbleached whole-wheat white flour.  I used egg whites instead of whole eggs and chose to use only 1 TBS of canola oil, but added reduced-fat dried buttermilk powder to add a rich flavor.

Here is the recipe that I came up with:

Rhubarb Spice Bread with Raisins:


2 1/2 cups unbleached whole-wheat white flour

3/4 cup brown sugar (dark will provide or more robust flavor, light will give a milder taste)

1/4 cup reduced-fat dried buttermilk powder

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 TBS ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1 TBS white sugar (to be used when boiling rhubarb)

1 TBS turbinado sugar (to be sprinkled on bread batter before placing in oven)

1 1/2 cups cut rhubarb

3/4 cup plump/large raisins

1 TBS canola oil

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup egg whites

1 1/4 cups water


Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place cut rhubarb in a medium sauce pan and add just enough cold water to cover the rhubarb.  Add white sugar and cook on medium-high heat until the boiling point is reached.  Reduce heat and let simmer for 1-2 minutes.  Remove from heat, drain, and set aside.  Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.  Cream egg whites, brown sugar, and oil on low speed.  Add vanilla.  Add egg white mixture and 1 cup of water to the dry ingredients. Blend on low speed until just combined.  Fold in drained rhubarb and raisins. Place in well-greased (can use nonfat cooking spray) 9 inch loaf pan and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.  Bake for 25 minutes or until done.  Let cool on baking rack or serve warm.

Serving suggestions:

  • Serve as a breakfast bread with butter or margarine
  • Serve with lemon curd for a snack
  • Serve with a scoop of low-fat vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt for a nice dessert

Healthy, hearty snack

Great for breakfast or for dessert after dinner, this sweet bread tastes good any time.

Try this recipe then come back and let us know how it turned out!

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