Converting a 'regular' recipe to a 'more
healthy' recipe is really very easy! The basis for making all quick
breads, muffins, cakes and cookies is the same. They are all made from
the same ingredients. The thing that makes a pancake a pancake and not
a muffin has to do with the method of cooking and a minor variance in
So, when you go to convert a recipe, remember
that to make a pancake and not a muffin, you have to have the end mix
equal the orginal recipe mix in it's texture (the amount of liquids
have to equal the amount of dry ingredients).
Also, be aware that Sprouted Flours are
much drier than regular flours and that all recipes will either need
to have less flour OR more liquid added to them.
The following will give you some basic
ideas about different, healthier ingredients and how to use them.
About Sprouted Spelt. For all recipes,
except for cakes, you can use the same amount of Sprouted Spelt Flour
where the recipe calls for flour. When making cakes, I have found that
you can use LESS Sprouted Spelt Flour than the recipe calls for. I make
a Chocolate Zucchini Cake that orginally called for 2 1/2 cups of flour.
Using this much Sprouted Spelt Flour made the cake very dense.....so
I used 1 3/4 cup in the recipe the next time I made it and it came out
perfect, light and fluffy, and delicious!
About Sprouted Wheat. Like Sprouted
Spelt Flour, Sprouted Wheat Flour can be used in any recipe in place
of other flours. Sprouted Wheat Flour is high in gluten and it will
create a slightly lighter product than Sprouted Spelt Flour. It is also
a lighter taste than spelt. I prefer to use Sprouted Wheat when I don't
want the taste of the grain competing with the delicate flavors of the
product, ie. pie crusts, pastas with a delicate sauce, or shortbreads.
About Sprouted Rye Flour. We use
a mid-range rye for our flour, not a light or a dark rye. And sprouting
makes it a milder taste than regular rye. But most of the recipes I
have tried, I have used the same amount of rye flour that the recipes
have called for and they have been fine.
About Converting Sugars. You can
see from the recipes, that I frequently call for 'Sucanat'. Sucanat
is a brand name for granulated cane juice and it is wonderful stuff.
The organic sugar cane is juiced and the juice is dried. The resulting
granules dissolve quickly in liquids and so you can use them just like
sugar crystals; but they still retain the vitamins and minerals originally
in the sugar cane juice. They have a slight molasses taste.
Sucanat is also dehydrated and, unlike
sugar crystals, it will soak up moisture. So, like the drier sprouted
flours, you will need to compensate for this extra dryness by either
adding more liquid or reducing the amount of Sucanat.
Another dehydrated cane juice product
that is becoming popular is called Rapadura. To date, I have not been
able to obtain any Rapadura, but customers are telling me that they
are using it just like Sucanat in my recipes.
The other dry sweetener I recommend and
use is granulated maple sugar......but I treat it like gold because
it's very pricey. You can use it in pretty much the same quanitity as
the sugar called for in any recipe.
If you chose to use a liquid sweetener
(maple syrup, malt syrup, rice syrup, molasses or honey) instead of
a dry sweetener, the one thing you have to remember to do is balance
out this extra liquid addition in the final texture. You can do several
things......you can lessen the other liquids in the recipe, like using
less milk or yogurt or one less egg...or you can add more dry ingredients
until the texture is right (remember that this will give you slightly
more of your end product).
Also, be aware that liquid sweeteners
tend to make everything a little heavier and the baked texture slightly
sticky (esp. the tops of cakes, quick breads and muffins); this is especially
so for things like banana, pumpkin or zucchini bread. If you want a
lighter texture, use dry sweeteners.
When a regular recipe calls for brown
sugar, you can subsitute sucanat or maple syrup or a combination of
honey and a little molasses. You will end up with a pretty similar taste.
About Oils and Butter. I tend to
cut way back on the oils, shortening or butter that a regular recipe
calls for. There are very few recipes that require the amounts of fat
that are listed; shortbread-type cookies are one of these.
I almost always use butter in my recipes
because of its ease in digesting and the great taste it adds to baked
goods. But, again, I ususally cut the amount in half.....
About Dairy Products and Liquid Additions.
All dairy products are basically interchangeable! Because milk is so
hard to digest, I use diluted yogurt instead. And if I want to add more
richness, I will use diluted sour cream, cream cheese, blended cottage
cheese or diluted kefir cheese. Remember that these cultured or soured
dairy products will lower the sweetness of the end product and so will
require you adding more sweetener to get the same affect.
In most recipes. you can exchange the
liquid needed to any other liquid. You can use any juice in a muffin,
cake or pancake recipe or even just plain water. But, be aware that dairy products give baked goods a more tender texture; using other liquids may give the end product a more spongy or rubbery texture.
Experiment and taste. Since I tend to
make all my cakes, muffins and quick breads the same way I make pancakes,
by throwing everything together and never measuring, I use the taste
method to decide whether I'm going to like the end product. So, stick
those fingers in the batter and lick away.....and see if you like it....if
not, change it now.
Like most cooking, if it tastes good as
you are making it, it's most likely going to taste good when it's cooked.