Like most moms today, I’m busier than ever but I can’t let my family’s nutrition suffer as a result. The bottom line is that I have to make every recipe as healthy as it can be. No matter what it is they’re eating, it’s got to pack some real nutrition. That’s one of the best reasons to make their favorite recipes with hidden extra nutrition whenever you can.
Take donuts for example. Kids and husbands love ’em (hey, who doesn’t?), but they’re normally store bought or even homemade with white flour, sugar and all kinds of bad fats. If you could easily make them with all the soft, sweet, cake like texture and all of the rich, smooth, satisfying taste everyone craves, why wouldn’t you?
With a few simple tricks, I can show you how to deliver the same delicious donut but with only one-third the calories, one quarter of the fat and half the salt. Throw in twice the fiber and take out two thirds less sugar and you’re well on your way to creating a real donut.
The result is a more balanced food source made with such nutritional powerhouses as spinach, wheat germ and whole grains, but disguised as the usual decadent donut. You’ll see the difference immediately in the energy level that your family maintains throughout the day. Not only that, it’ll take a top-ranking detective to identify the healthy ingredients in this seemingly sinful favorite!
Legal Donut Recipe
Ingredients (Makes 12 donuts or 6 large muffins)
- 1/3 cup plus one tablespoon whole wheat flour
- 1/3 cup plus one tablespoon wheat germ
- 1/3 cup plus one tablespoon unbleached white flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons walnut, almond, or canola oil
- 3/4 cup Purple Puree* (see Make-Ahead Recipe #1 below)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Powdered sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. If you are making donuts, spray a donut pan or a mini Bundt pan with oil (they come in 6- or 12-mold sizes–use two 6-mold pans if you don’t have the 12-mold size). If you are making muffins, line a muffin tin with paper liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together the Flour Blend, baking powder, salt, coffee granules, cinnamon, and cocoa powder. In another large bowl, whisk together the egg and sugar until well combined, then whisk in the oil, Purple Puree, and vanilla. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until the flour is just moistened. Don’t over mix. Divide the batter evenly among the 12 mini Bundt or donut molds or fill 6 muffin cups to the top.
For donuts: Bake 12 to 14 minutes, until the tops spring back when pressed lightly. Loosen the edges with a knife and turn the donuts out over a plate to cool. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.
For muffins: Bake 23 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Turn the muffins out of the tins to cool. Dust tops with powdered sugar before serving.
Make-Ahead Recipe #1: Purple Puree
- 3 cups raw baby spinach leaves
- One and one-half cups fresh or frozen blueberries (no syrup or sugar added)
- One-half teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 to 2 tablespoons water
Thoroughly wash raw spinach even if the package says “prewashed.” If using frozen blueberries, quickly rinse them under cold water to thaw a little, and then drain.
Fill the bowl of your food processor with the blueberries and raw spinach, along with the lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of water, and puree on high until as smooth as possible. Stop occasionally to push top contents to bottom. If necessary, use a second tablespoon of water to make a fairly smooth puree.
This amount of spinach and blueberries makes only about 1 cup of puree. Double the recipe if you want to store another cup of the puree. It will store in the refrigerator up to 2 days, or you can freeze one-quarter cup portions in sealed plastic bags or small plastic containers.
From the book, The Sneaky Chef: How to Cheat on Your Man (In the Kitchen!): Hiding Healthy Foods in Hearty Meals Any Guy Will Love