Now here's a little tidbit that might throw you for a loop... I don't bake much. I know. Shocking. I cook daily. Baking? Not so much.
The trouble with baking is twofold:
you have to clean up after you bake
you have to NOT EAT everything you just made after you bake
These are two challenges to which I don't care to subject myself on a regular basis.
When I was pregnant I baked all. the. time. And I gained weight. Thumbs up! I was pregnant. Now I am not pregnant and baking is a very occasional treat around our house. See, I don't tolerate grains very well and limit my carbohydrates somewhat... and I've yet to find a baking recipe that does not involve grains. sugar. fruit. carbohydrates in general. Which is, of course, why baked goods are so freaking delicious.
When I do bake I try to choose recipes that provide some nutritional value. I don't, however, buy into the whole putting black beans in your brownies and subbing in carob for good old-fashioned chocolate. I believe treats should taste like treats. Because they are, well, treats. Kids (and adults) should enjoy the taste, texture and excitement of a delicious treat.
Did I mention I am drinking a glass of red wine as I write this?
Here's a great compromise. One of my favourite muffin recipes that rivals a cakey bakery muffin, with a fraction of the sugar, fat and tons more fiber. It tastes like a treat and it is a treat. It just isn't going to give you a coronary. My kids and I have made this recipe time after time after time after time, and it always tastes fantastic.
Spiced Carrot Muffins
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour (white will also do - no judgement here!)
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup plain yogurt (I recommend a higher fat yogurt, like a balkan, not a 0%)
4 tbsp. canola, grapeseed or other mild oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 carrots, shredded (about 2 to 2 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, ground
1/2 tsp. nutmeg, ground
1/2 tsp. ginger, fresh grated (or 1/4 tsp. if using dried)
Line or spray muffin tin and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In large bowl, stir flour, sugar, powder, soda, salt & spices (except ginger if using fresh).
In separate bowl, whisk egg, yogurt, oil, vanilla and fresh ginger.
Add wet mix to dry mix and stir just until combined.
Fold carrots into batter.
Spoon into muffin tin and bake 18-20 minutes.
OK, I know what you're thinking...
A baking recipe from a personal trainer? No thanks. I'd rather take medical advice from my plumber.
Try it. I promise.
* Adapted from a recipe from Martha Stewart