10 TIPS TO HEALTHIER BAKING…

A few simple tips with your baking can make your food a little bit more healthy.

  1. Avocado is a healthy fat and can be used to make a frosting, pudding, or replace butter in recipes for cakes, brownies, bread, and other baked goods.
  2. Use apple sauce instead of oil. Apple sauces are made with heart-healthy apples and they can also be low in sugar and high in fibre. Try making your own apple sauce. It acts like fat because it keeps the flour protein from mixing completely with the wet ingredients and forming a rubbery texture.
  3. Paying a little extra for high-quality products, like premium chocolate and pure vanilla extract, can pay off. More-flavorful ingredients make you less likely to miss any calories you’ve cut”.
  4. Beets add sweetness and moisture without taking away from the flavour,” says pastry chef Marisa Churchill, the author of Sweet & Skinny. Add two-thirds of a cup of finely grated raw beets to brownie batter and you can reduce the sugar by a quarter cup.
  5. For a lighter spin on cream cheese frosting, typically made with full-fat cream cheese and butter, beat together with an eight-ounce block of reduced-fat cream cheese, one cup of powdered sugar, and one teaspoon of vanilla extract. The fluffy icing contains a mere 59 calories and three grams of fat per tablespoon.
  6. Eat This also says when you’re baking try substituting the recommended oil or fat in the recipe with Greek yoghurt. You won’t lose any flavour and still have plenty of moisture in the consistency.
  7. The British Heart Foundation says using an unsaturated spread instead of butter has more benefits than simply reducing the amount of saturated fat: it actually gives a lighter texture, especially if you’re making an all-in-one sponge cake.
  8. Also, try using a drizzle of glacé (water) icing rather than butter icing for cake toppings. Or, a light sprinkle of icing sugar may be all you need to give your bake the final touch.
  9. Try a Whole-Grain Flour. White whole-wheat flour can be substituted one-for-one for all-purpose flour in most recipes. You can also replace up to half the all-purpose flour in a recipe with whole-grain flour without making any significant adjustments to the recipe.
  10. Significantly reduce the sugar in a cake by adding naturally sweet spices such as cinnamon, mixed spice, and vanilla, says Inman, or drizzle a small amount of honey or maple syrup over the top when serving. It fools you into believing it is sweeter than it is.

Source: Eat This Marisa Churchill The British Heart Foundation

NATIONAL ASPARAGUS DAY 23RD APRIL…

National Asparagus Day is on 23rd April for all asparagus lovers to enjoy lots of different recipes which include asparagus.

The website British Asparagus are counting down the days to 23rd April.

Their site is full of recipes, how to cook asparagus, facts about asparagus, where to buy asparagus, how to grow asparagus, health facts about asparagus and videos on asparagus.

One fascinating fact is that ‘Asparagus is dubbed the Usain Blot of the vegetable world as British asparagus can grow up to 10cm in one day!’ (ooh must try and grow some).

On a healthy note, eating asparagus promotes healthy bacteria in the large intestine and can help reduce bloating.

St. George’s Day has also become synonymous with National Asparagus Day, as the date marks the start of the English Asparagus.

The British Asparagus Festival is normally held on this day but due to Covid-19 is not taking place. For many years, Vale of Evesham asparagus has become more and more popular following the success of the famous asparagus auctions at The Fleece Inn at Bretforton. Talks between tourism industry providers and local growers took place to decide how the area could capitalise on this popularity and “fill in” the week between the auctions at The Fleece with other asparagus related events.

According to National Awareness Days every year, the “100 round” – comprising of 120 spears are delivered to a special recipient by Gus the Asparagus Man, together with a fleet of Morgan cars. At his side is the world-renowned asparagus fortune teller, Jemima Packington, Saint George himself and the Asparagus Fairy, together with a retinue of Morris Dancers and colourful characters, all dressed in green. Hopefully all will be back to normal next year.