Pantry Staples: Healthy Baking

As you’ve read, I make a lot of my own food from scratch. I also substitute things frequently in recipes. So here are my pantry staples for baking. Note these are only staples for my healthy baked goods. The fat kid treats have their own staples which I’ll touch upon in a later post.

Pantry

 

This is the most organized this shelf has looked in a long time. Don’t be fooled.

1. Gluten Free Oats

6 months ago I was told to eliminate gluten from my diet. During this time period, I got REALLY creative with baked goods. The gluten free flours are treacherous. I did a lot of process of elimination to find a good one. If you are in the market for a decent all purpose gluten free flour, I highly recommend King Arthur’s Gluten Free All Purpose Flour. This is in almost every grocery store now and has the least weird flavor. Be sure to do your research on adapting regular gluten filled recipes for gluten free.

Anyways, it was during this time that I found gluten free oats. Not all oats are safe for a gluten free diet so you have to buy the ones labeled gluten free. These oats from Bob’s Red Mill are thicker than normal and have a decent texture. They don’t go to complete mush. I use these a lot in muffins, granola bars, and other quick breads.

GF Oats

2. Organic Whole Wheat Flour

I pick and choose what I buy organically. Flour is something I’ve recently started to buy organic. It honestly makes my baked goods better, especially using organic whole wheat flour. Any “quick bread” recipe that calls for white flour, I will either use all whole wheat or do 1/2 white, 1/2 whole wheat. Whole wheat flour adds some fiber and whole grains to the dish. My mom used King Arthur Flour growing up which means I use the same. I can’t use any other brand. I’m convinced stuff won’t taste the same.

WW Flour

I need a manicure and a better camera. Ignore both discrepancies please.

3. Ground Flaxseed

Isn’t this exciting guys?!? FLAX! Ground flax meal is an easy to addition to almost any baked good. It adds some fiber and omegas. If you have never cooked with flax before do some Googling on it. It’s nothing something you want to add too much of.

Flax

4. Unsweetened Flaked Coconut

You all know my love affair with coconut. Coconut oil, milk, or raw coconut I love it all. You can add unsweetened flaked coconut to a lot of baked goods. I’ll add some to muffins or even to cookies. It adds a nice texture and coconut is rich in the MCT fat I talked about yesterday. Sometimes I’ll even add it to smoothies or on top of yogurt.

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5. Natural Applesauce (Just Apples – Nothing Else)

I cannot speak highly enough of applesauce. You can replace any oil / butter in a quick bread / brownie / muffin recipe with applesauce. You won’t notice a thing different. It saves you so much fat in a recipe. You can also use less sugar by replacing the oil / butter with applesauce. I would not recommend swapping applesauce for butter in things like cookies or cakes though.

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6. Coconut Milk

More coconut! Surprised? I hope not. I will bake a lot with coconut milk because it helps any type of dish last longer. Plus, I love coconut anything. And no, this will not make your baked good taste like coconuts. It’s pretty much flavorless.

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7. Real Good Vanilla Extract

A quality vanilla extract will change any dish. The higher the quality, the better the flavor. It’s one item I splurge on.

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This is from my last trek to The Fresh Market. I do not shop there anymore because frankly it’s just not healthy. They put up a good front but it’s not filled with healthy stuff. 

8. Baking Quality Peanut Butter

Listen, I know I’m a big advocate for minimally processed food. However, if I were to buy the all natural PB every time I made a PB based baked good, I’d go broke. My fellow office mates are big fans of PB. So when I bake stuff for work I try to incorporate PB into whatever I bake. Those Peanut Butter Blondies I made used almost a whole jar of PB. It’s wild. Anyways, I try to look past the processed-ness and get Skippy’s Natural Peanut Butter. It’s less expensive and bakes really well. I try to keep a jar of smooth and a jar of chunky on hand at all times.

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9. Pirate’s Booty for Good Luck

This is not what I use for baking. But this is what I snack on while I bake, especially with fat kid treats. To avoid eating all the ingredients and / or dough, I’ll portion out a serving of Pirates Booty to snack on. I LOVE this stuff. Seriously think I could live off of it.

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3 thoughts on “Pantry Staples: Healthy Baking

  1. Tasting is definitely my hardest problem while baking! I love the idea of a healthy treat next to it…I usually go for wine unfortunately. Ha!

  2. This is SUCH a helpful post! I have recently gone gluten free and am getting used to the recipes but it is so useful to have this advice. One thing I am finding difficult is the “lack of spontaneity” around cooking, particularly baking, i have to plan every recipe and ingredient ahead. having a well stocked cupboard though will make things a lot easier!

    • I agree it’s tough! I would definitely recommend the gluten free oats and the King Arthur GF All Purpose Flour. The easiest gluten free swaps are with muffins and quick breads. Generally dessert bars (brownies / blondies) come out okay as well. Cookies were tough for me to replicate and I relied heavily on the pre-made mixes. Any of the King Arthur GF Baking Mixes came out pretty yummy. I also recommend the Bob’s Red Mill GF Pizza Crust Mix. Tastes SO GOOD!!!

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