Friday, August 15, 2014

Don't Be Fooled By Martha Stewart's
"Bake It Better" Recipes!

Healthy baking tips in Martha Stewart's
September issue fall way short!

Follow Foods For Long Life on Facebook and Pinterest.

Forgive my Rant, but....
I ordered a facial product a few months ago and it came with a free 12 month subscription to Martha Stewart Living magazine. I love perusing through magazines to get new ideas on cooking and decorating. But this month's issue just made me mad.

The article starts on the right foot by saying that bake sales, though "often planned with a noble cause in mind- funding a school library, helping fellow congregates who've fallen on hard times.... don't often translate to great nutrition." Well I don't think that anyone would disagree with that. Martha then attempts to take delicious, unhealthy recipes and make them equally delicious and much healthier.

Great concept!!! There are so many things you can do to make baked goods healthier. I write about that all the time in this blog and in my book. It bothers me to no end when someone as famous and loved as Martha Stewart convinces people that a recipe is healthy when it is not.

Let me give you several examples that are in the September Issue of Martha Stewart Living titled "Better (for you) Bake Sale.

Martha's Half-Moon Cookies
These cookies claim to be healthier because they use some whole wheat flour and berry puree to color the icing instead of harmful food coloring. But these cookies still have 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar, 2 whole cups of confectioner's sugar and 4 teaspoons of honey. I don't think a little berry puree is going to make this a recipe you'd feel good about serving your children.

Martha's Muesli Coffee Cake
In this recipe she introduces her readers to white whole-wheat flour. I commend her for this as I've been touting the benefits of white whole-wheat flour for years. In fact, it's the only wheat flour I use for baking or cooking. But her recipe still uses 1 1/2 sticks of butter, 1 3/4 cups of sugar, 4 large eggs, 1 cup of full fat buttermilk and another few tablespoons of honey. The goodness of the whole grain flour pretty much gets cancelled out with the rest of the recipe.

Martha's Lemon-Yogurt Cupcakes
These cupcakes also benefit from the white whole-wheat flour and once again she avoids food coloring by using fresh raspberries but she weighs the recipe down with 3/4 cups of granulated sugar, 2 whole cups of confectioner's sugar and a CUP of butter. This recipe is starting to rival one of Paula Deen's!

Healthy doesn't always mean Healthy
So be careful when some big name chef or celebrity says the word "healthy." Everyone wants to believe that making a tiny change to a recipe that is full of saturated fat and sugar makes it OK. 

But these are good tips. White whole-wheat flour is much better than all-purpose processed white flour. And berries are better than food coloring. But why stop there? You can do other things to improve your baked goods.
Things like:
* Using flax eggs instead of eggs
* Substituting a good bit of the sugar with stevia
* Substituting half or more of the oil with applesauce

For recipes and tips on healthy baking, download my eBook, Health Begins in the Kitchen. I think I'll send a copy to Martha.


Unknown said...

I agree whole heartedly with what you are saying. If it is supposed to be a healthier for you treat, then it had better not fall short. That being said, I still enjoy my not so healthy baked treats, but my family and I eat them sparingly. On the other hand, I have added many "better fat", "lower fat", "less refined sugar" options to my baking repertoire so that we can munch on healthier treats to go with our green smoothies!

Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams said...

I'm not saying that people can't enjoy a "not so healthy" treat. I just had a cookie at a friends house that definitely was in that category :-)
But for someone to advertise recipes that have over 2 cups of sugar in them as "healthy" for the purpose of selling more magazines is just not right.
Thanks for your comment Michelle!

Unknown said...

And yes... Do send her some recipes for treats that ARE healthy. School her! It's just like the fast food places advertising their healthy meals which in fact are NOT or the processed food companies pretending to be healthy! ACK!