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Friday, April 17, 2009

Baking Day

I haven't done baking like this for quite a while! My husband has quite a sweet tooth but also has to watch his cholesterol. We've controlled it through diet so far, but that means that we can't buy packaged goodies at the store. I have healthified some of our favorite recipes so that he can eat them. They still taste very yummy!

Today I made the following:
banana breads
a double batch of pumpkin muffins/mini loaves
Raisin Bran muffins
homemade pizza
our favorite chocolate cake (for dinner with family tomorrow)

Of course, there are a few things missing from the picture above. The cake is in the oven right now, and we each snatched a couple of goodies for a snack this afternoon!

I've found that having a baking day is a great way to stock the freezer with muffins and breads for the upcoming weeks. It's also more cost-efficient, because I only heat the oven once to bake many things. I have already put 2/3 of the muffins/mini-loaves and 1 banana bread in the freezer. The other bread will be shared with my uncle, and the muffins that aren't in the freezer will be shared for breakfast with my parents as we travel tomorrow.

Here are the recipes in case you're feeling like doing a little baking.

Banana Bread
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3 T. milk
1 cup ripe, mashed bananas
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup Egg Beaters (I use the Kroger brand.)
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the soda with the milk, and add the bananas. Set aside.
Blend sugar and canola oil. Add egg and the banana mixture.
Add the flour and baking powder. DO NOT BEAT. Mix to combine.
Spray a 9-1/2 x 5-1/2 x 3 loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Pour batter into the pan.
Bake for 50-55 minutes.

** The original recipe calls for 1/2 c. walnuts to be added after the batter has been mixed. I don't like nuts, and my husband isn't supposed to eat them, so I omit them and make no other changes.

I baked one of these banana breads in the silicone pan that I got FREE from EasyBakeware. I think I'm hooked! You can't burn anything in these pans! If you want to get your pan free, go HERE. This is my first time using it, and I'm very impressed. The bread was evenly cooked, and perfectly browned!

Pumpkin Muffins/Mini-Loaves
First, combine these ingredients in a bowl:
1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt

Then combine these ingredients in another bowl:
2 eggs **
1-1/2 c. sugar
1 c. pumpkin
1/2 c. oil
1/2 c. evaporated milk (I used fat free.) ***

Then combine both bowls, and mix.
Spray a 12-muffin pan, and fill. *
Bake 15 minutes at 400 degrees.

* You can bake this recipe in a traditional muffin pan or a mini loaf pan. If you use the mini loaf pan, just increase the baking time a bit -- until a toothpick comes out clean.
** I double this recipe and use 3/4 c. Egg Beaters (Kroger brand) and 1 egg.
*** The original recipe called for 1/4 c. of evap. milk, but I measured wrong! They came out very moist, so I'm changing this to 1/2 on my recipe.

Raisin Bran Muffins
1-3/4 c. flour
2 T. sugar
1 T. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
2-1/2 c. Raisin Bran cereal
1-1/4 c. milk
1/3 c. honey
2 egg whites (I used Egg Beaters - Kroger brand)
1/4 c. canola oil

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
Combine cereal, milk, and honey in another bowl. Let stand 2 minutes or until cereal is soft.
Add egg whites and oil to cereal mix. Beat well.
Add cereal mix to flour mix. Stir until well combined.
Spray a 12-muffin pan, and fill.
Bake 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

Homemade Pizza
1 cup warm (not hot) water
1 T. bread machine yeast
2-1/2 c. flour
2 T. canola oil
1 t. salt
1 t. sugar
Italian seasoning

Combine the warm water and yeast in a large bowl. Whisk until yeast is dissolved.
Add flour, oil, salt, and sugar. Mix well.
Set aside while you get pizza toppings ready.
Spray a pizza pan with olive oil cooking spray. *
Use a spatula to move dough to the center of your pan.
Spray hands with olive oil spray to keep dough from sticking.
Spread dough over pizza pan.
Add sauce (Dei Fratelli is our favorite!), cheese, and toppings.
Place pepperoni on top of cheese and toppings. (We've been using Kroger's turkey pepperoni.)
Bake at 500 degrees for 9-11 minutes or until cheese is browned.

* Olive oil spray causes the dough to brown more than canola oil spray does.

You can read my earlier post about the Deep Dark Chocolate Cake recipe HERE. We will be taking this to my brother and sister-in-law's house tomorrow and topping it with vanilla ice cream and chocolate Hershey's syrup. Yum!