Have you ever stopped and thought about how you grocery shop. Are you a quick reader, reading the front of the “flashing neon sign” package of food or do you stop and actually read the ingredient list and nutrition fact panel? If you shop for most of your groceries from the outside perimeter of the store—meat, produce, dairy, juices etc., you are way ahead of the game. If you start shopping for most of you groceries down the middle aisles, pre-packaged items, you need to read your labels more carefully. As a consumer you must always be aware of the healthy-sounding or healthy-looking products. Whatever the product promotes—high in fiber, made with whole grains, cholesterol free, low sodium, vitamins—they should be listed first in the ingredient list. The further down the ingredient list the less there is of the “healthy” product.
My practice always has been to buy and eat items that don’t need labels, and if you do buy items with labels (as we all must do) buyer beware: the marketed “better-for-you” version isn’t always healthier. The healthiest to me is to make as much of the food that you eat in your kitchen, as that is where you are in control!
Crunchy Banana Bread
This light-in-fat loaf has lots of banana flavour plus a crunchy texture, thanks to the millet. Millet is not only good as bird seed but has health benefits for us. Millet is a smart carb with lots of fibre and low simple sugars, has magnesium and niacin.1/2 cup milk 11/2 tsp white vinegar 3/4 cup brown sugar 1 Tbsp butter, softened 1 cup mashed bananas 2 eggs 1 cup graham flour (I used spelt) 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda 1/4 tsp salt 1/3 cup millet
Combine milk and vinegar; set aside.
In large bowl, beat sugar with butter; beat in bananas and eggs. Combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir into banana mixture alternately with milk mixture, making three additions of dry and two of milk. Stir in millet.
Pour into well-greased 9×5 inch loaf pan. Bake in 350°F oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until tester inserted in center comes out clean. Makes one loaf.
Chocolate Mocha Cake
One of the simplest cakes to make. You can bake it in a square pan or two round pans for a fancy birthday cake. Make the cake mix first. It will keep up to 2 months in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
Cake mix:8 cups cake-and-pastry flour 6 cups granulated sugar 1/4 cup baking powder 2 tsp salt In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt until well combined. Transfer to an airtight container. 2 tsp hot water 1 Tbsp instant coffee granules 31/3 cups Best Cake Mix 3/4 cup buttermilk 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/2 cup vegetable oil 2 eggs 2 tsp vanilla
In small bowl, stir water with coffee; let cool.
In a large bowl and using an electric mixer at medium speed, best cake mix, buttermilk, coffee, cocoa, and baking soda for two minutes. Add oil, eggs and vanilla; reduce speed to low and beat 1 minute.
Pour into greased 9-inch square pan; bake in 350°F oven for 35 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Let cool in pan. Ice with your favourite icing.
White Vanilla Cake3-1/3 cups best cake mix 3/4 cup milk 1/2 cup vegetable oil 2 eggs 2 tsp vanilla
In a large bowl and using electric mixer at medium speed, beat best cake mix with milk for 2 minutes. Add oil, eggs and vanilla; reduce speed to low and beat for 1 minute.
Pour into greased 9-inch square cake pan; bake 375°F oven for 30 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool on rack. Ice with your favourite icing.