Eating Healthier

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by expiated, Jul 17, 2020.

  1. expiated


    I need to broaden what I'm eating for breakfast beyond old-fashioned-rolled-oats-based concoctions, so I'm comparing whole-wheat pancake recipes to one another (and to a traditional old-fashioned pancake recipe) to see if I can't come up with something acceptable that is sugar free.
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    #41     Aug 3, 2020
  2. expiated


    Whole Wheat Pancake ingredient ranges:
    • Flour - 1 to 2 cups
    • Milk - 1 to 2 and 1/4 cups
    • Baking Powder - 1/2 to 4 and 1/2 teaspoons (1 tablespoon)
    • Baking Soda - none to 1/2 teaspoon
    • Sugar - 2 teaspoons to 2 tablespoons
    • Salt - none to 1/2 teaspoon (usually 1/2 teaspoon)
    • Melted Butter - none to 3 tablespoons (usually 2 tablespoons)
    • Eggs - 1 to 2
    • Cinnamon - none (or 1/4) to 2 teaspoons
    • Vanilla Extract - none to 2 teaspoons

    What is the difference between baking powder and baking soda?

    Baking soda contains one ingredient, sodium bicarbonate. Consequently, it requires an acid and a liquid to become activated and help baked goods rise.

    On the other hand, baking powder contains sodium bicarbonate, monocalcium phosphate and either sodium acid pyrophosphate or sodium aluminum sulfate. Since it contains an acid as well as sodium bicarbonate, it only needs a liquid to become activated.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020
    #42     Aug 5, 2020
  3. expiated


    Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes:

    This recipe worked out great as far as I'm concerned. The pancakes were comparable to regular old-fashioned pancakes and a lot more enjoyable than the "date, apple (or banana) and oat-meal spread" I've been eating for breakfast when not eating regular oat-meal hot cereal. The pancakes were exceptionally light, so perhaps I will try leaving out the 1/4 tsp baking soda next time, but other than that, there's nothing I feel a need to change.

    I could probably leave out the salt as well, but since I add salt to nothing else I eat, I'm not really worried about it. Since whole-wheat flour costs a little more, I decided to cut the recipe in half, also because I'm sure the standard recipe is meant to serve several people. Even after cutting it in half, I had enough left over for one or two more breakfasts.
    • 1/2 cup flour
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 2 Medjool dates
    • 2 teaspoons to 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon melted butter
    • 1 egg
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 banana
    I originally planned to use 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, but in looking at how much that was, I decided to use 1/8 teaspoon instead. Also, I forgot to add the cinnamon. A half of a teaspoon seems like kind of a lot to me, so perhaps when it comes right down to it, I will only use 1/4 teaspoon.

    I started by heating the two dates (taken out of the refrigerator) in a microwave on high for 30 seconds to soften them up and make it easier for me to remove a lot of the skin. I then flattened them out with a fork, removing the seeds/pits in the process, and poured about an equal amount of ground flax seed on top of them.

    Using the fork, I mixed the ground flax seed into the sticky date pulp as I do when I make the "date and oat-meal spread." I continued using the fork to work the 1 egg into the date and ground flax seed "putty" and then used the fork to "whisk" or beat the egg, ground flax seed, dates (and 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract and melted butter) in the same way I do when making scrambled eggs.

    When I'd blended this as well as I could, I added the half cup of milk. I mixed all the dry ingredients separately, and them added them to the wet mixture. I fried a teeny-tiny pancake to make sure I wasn't about to have a disaster on my hands, and it came out fine. I suppose I should have fried it in extra virgin olive oil, but I don't like olive oil's flavor, so that's not what I used.

    I then realized I'd forgotten about the banana, so I mashed up half of a banana with a fork and then mixed it into the pancake batter, which made it taste that much better! Had I spread butter on them, I'm sure they would have been even yummier, but I opted not to. I ate one with some maple syrup just out of curiosity, to see if it could compete with how I always ate old-fashioned pancakes in the past, and it was on (a) par with what I was used to. I ate another with some honey on it, and the rest I ate plain.

    I didn't miss the refined sugar at all!

    Also, there was not even a hint of the date texture or flavor (which I personally dislike).
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
    #43     Aug 6, 2020
  4. expiated


    Using Oil and/or Butter?
    Aaisha Aslam
    November 27, 2017

    Oil is generally comprised of unsaturated fats, i.e. mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated, whereas butter (commercial butter, not the white butter we often take out at home) has a salty taste and has more saturated fats in form of butterfat and milk protein, and also some amount of water in it. Although butter contains saturated fats but these fats are heart-healthy while the poly-unsaturated fat (omega 6 fatty acid) in oils are unwanted fats which may cause inflammation, and should be avoided.

    "I believe one should try and get all the essential fatty acids in small quantities. My formula is three teaspoons of fat a day for cooking: One teaspoon from ghee or butter etc., two teaspoon from any vegetable oil (sunflower, safflower/rice bran etc.) any seed oil (sesame seed, flaxseed, mustard etc.) says Shalini Manglani, Bangalore based Wellness and Weight Management Expert.

    Olive oil is considered one of the healthier oils as it contains unsaturated fats. But how does it compare to Butter? Experts say that the presence of poly-unsaturated fats in Olive oil can lead to inflammation while Butter which has a higher amount of vitamin K2 may be better for heart health. A recent study has suggested this too. "The new study analyzed nine papers that included more than 600,000 people and concluded that consuming butter is not linked to a higher risk for heart disease and might be slightly protective against type 2 diabetes." says study author Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts in Boston.

    In addition to this, it is a known fact that Butter is safer for high heat cooking as olive oil is not heat stable and easily gets oxidised in high temperatures. Deep frying using Olive oil as medium should be avoided, as suggested by experts.
    #44     Aug 7, 2020
  5. expiated


    I need to take another crack at making microwave cookies. Next time I'll try a mix based on a recipe from wikihow. So, I was wondering, what is the difference between cookie dough and pancake batter? From what I can tell, cookie dough has a lot more butter and a lot less milk.
    #45     Aug 7, 2020
  6. expiated


    Strawberry Panna Cotta
    Serves 4

    For the Panna Cotta:
    2 cups frozen strawberries
    2 cups soy, hemp, or almond milk
    3 Medjool or 6 Deglet Noor dates, pitted
    1/2 cup vanilla bean, split lengthwise, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 tablespoon agar powder (if using flakes instead, double the amount)

    For the Sauce:
    1 and 1/2 cups frozen strawberries
    1/2 cup soy, hemp, or almond milk
    3 Medjool or 6 Deglet Noor dates, pitted
    1/4 cup raw cashews

    Blend strawberries, nondairy milk, and dates in a high-powered blender until smooth. Add blended mixture to a medium saucepan. If using a vanilla bean, scrape pulp and seeds from the pod with a dull knife. Add pulp, seeds, and pod to the saucepan along with the agar powder. Cook over medium heat until mixture starts to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove vanilla pod.

    Pour into four glasses or small bowls. Refrigerate overnight. It should be firm.

    To make the sauce, blend frozen strawberries, nondairy milk, dates, and cashews in a high-powered blender until smooth. To serve, spoon some of the berry sauce on top of each panna cotta.
    #46     Aug 9, 2020
  7. expiated


    Agar Agar preparation instructions from the back of the package...

    1. Add 4 Tbsp. flakes to 4 cups of fruit juice or stock.
    2. Bring to a boil.
    3. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes or until flakes have dissolved.
    4. Add fruits or vegetables and cool until firm.
    So then, I suppose I could just at 1 Tbsp. to 1 cup of fruit juice or stock. The package goes on to say...

    Easy to use, the flakes are good for pie fillings, jellies, preserves, custard, kanten, and vegetable and fruit aspics. Flakes dissolve in hot liquids and thicken as they cool. Made without chemical softening or whitening agents. Zero calories and sodium free.
    #47     Aug 9, 2020
  8. expiated


    Because the microwave cookie I tried a week or two ago was not much like a cookie; and since the way you know certain cookies are done is when they brown around the edges (which doesn't tend to happen in a microwave); and given that a lot of cookies, when they first come out of the oven, do not look like they have finished cooking, even though they have; I decided to look into the possibility of frying a cookie (since baking is not an option for me).

    But I could only find deep fried cookies, which called for batter in addition to cookie dough, and sometimes looked all gooey on the inside in the pictures, which is not what I had in mind. So I tried frying a dough with less milk and more butter, that did come out a bit more solid like a cookie, but just was not the same (probably in large part because of not having a ton of sugar in it) and was more like a pancake wanna be. (Also, I no longer had my half of a banana from the other day, which I was planning to add to it. I added a box of raisins instead, but if I try it again, I think I'll add two boxes next time.)

    Also, though the "cookies" were okay, I nonetheless ate them with honey on them, which kind of defeats the goal of avoiding a lot of sugar. So, not happy with the cookie experiment, I'm curious to see what happens if I try the cake I copied and pasted below instead...

    Easy Microwave Chocolate Cake

    This is a quick and easy chocolate cake you can cook in the microwave in 2 minutes. And it tastes great. Really! The consistency is dense and cakey. It would go well with chocolate (or your favorite) chips, nuts, or served warm with hot fudge. This cake, 'born' out of a pregnancy craving, worked out amazingly!
    • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
    • ¼ cup white sugar (three or four Medjool dates instead?)
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • ¼ cup milk
    • ½ cup all-purpose flour (whole-wheat flour instead?)
    • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
    • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 pinch salt
    Step 1
    Spray a medium microwave-safe bowl with non-stick spray and set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine the butter, sugar, egg, vanilla extract, and milk; blend together. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt; blend into the mixture until smooth. Pour into greased bowl.

    Step 2
    Cover and cook in the microwave on high for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes, or until cake springs back when touched. Since all microwaves cook differently, adjust the cooking time to accommodate your machine. To serve, let the cake cool five minutes, then cover the bowl with a plate and turn both bowl and plate upside down so the cake falls onto the plate.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2020
    #48     Aug 9, 2020
  9. ph1l


    Use an air fryer instead of deep-frying.
    #49     Aug 9, 2020
    wrbtrader likes this.
  10. expiated


    I would categorize this experiment as a success.

    I cut the recipe in half, substituting three Medjool dates for the sugar, omitting the salt (since I used salted butter), and used a whole egg (since I couldn’t cut it in half).

    I mixed some flaxseed in with the dates, and then mixed in the cocoa and baking powder as well. I next added the softened butter so it wasn’t so stiff and to help ensure that all the ingredients were mixed evenly. I combined the egg, vanilla extract and milk separately, after which I poured them on top of the first ingredients and mixed it all (with a fork) as thoroughly as I could. I was happy to find that at this point, it looked pretty much like normal cake batter.

    Rather than preparing a greased dish, I simply cooked the batter in the same bowl in which I mixed it. I left it in the microwave for two minutes and fifteen seconds rather than two minutes exactly in an effort to avoid undercooking it—until I could smell it well enough to suggest it was done, and that if I left it in any longer it might end up overcooked.

    After letting it cool six minutes, I loosened the edges with a spoon and with my fingers before flipping it over, and it came out just fine.

    There was just one tiny section that looked a little wet, so next time I plan to leave it in for the full two-and-a-half minutes. Also, I had intended to include a couple of 1.33 oz. boxes of raisins, but forgot to do so. Given the way it turned out, I think when I make it again, I will try just one box instead and see what that’s like. (Or better yet, how about some chopped nuts?!!!)

    I have to admit that, to my surprise, the cake did indeed spring back when touched, just like it was supposed to. Moreover, it had the texture and consistency that one would expect in a cake, and none of the “graininess” of the so-called cookies I tried to make yesterday.

    I ate half of it for my breakfast, and will eat the other half after dinner tonight in that it will most certainly serve as an adequate substitute for eating something like cookies, as I used to do—the role that these dishes I’m searching for are intended to fill.

    Its flavor is more along the lines of dark chocolate, but that doesn’t surprise me given the use of cocoa and the replacing of granulated sugar with Medjool dates. If I were to cover it with chocolate icing, I might be hard pressed to tell the difference, but again, that would defeat the whole point.
    #50     Aug 10, 2020