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6/20/13 4:06 P

I am envious of all of you who can bake and not binge. Cookies are too delicious. I have to have a no baking policy right now to keep me on track.

LINDACONNER SparkPoints: (2,656)
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6/19/13 4:58 P

Am so going to try the chocolate banana "fake ice cream". I am allergic to ice cream! I think that sounds wonderful... might even try with some strawberries! Awesome ideas! Thanks for sharing!

6/19/13 10:16 A

I love the smell of homemade bread. So when I bake, I take to friends who need the nutrition that comes from bread. I save a small amount for my family.

BONBONM SparkPoints: (1,094)
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Posts: 38
6/17/13 9:23 P

What a great idea I do not bake a lot and when I do I pig out. So..... Freezing it keeps me safe when I think I should have a sweet

SKINMINA SparkPoints: (41,498)
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Posts: 741
6/17/13 1:28 P

When I bake, I make sure to have a plan to give away any leftovers right away!

DETOX55 SparkPoints: (1,380)
Fitness Minutes: (2,987)
Posts: 124
6/17/13 3:03 A

I grew up loving to bake etc...but since I became health conscious, I never bake...calories aside, there is no health basis for food made from processed flour, raising agents, high dense fat and sugar...!

ICEDEMETER Posts: 1,332
6/16/13 2:37 P


Just a thought --- does your hubby like gingersnaps or ginger cookies? Does he prefer muffins, soft cookies, or hard cookies?

The reason I'm asking is that I've made steelcut oat cookies with raisins (replacing the oil with unsweetened applesauce when I want more fibre, or plain greek yogurt when I want more protein), and ginger cookies (replacing the oil with pumpkin puree) and they both taste great! Replacing the oil makes them have a mouth-feel more like a muffin-top than a cookie, but both my partner and I love the taste. I have a heavy hand with the spices, and use blackstrap molasses as the main sweetener, so these end up full of flavour. I do freeze them, and eating them straight out of the freezer gives more of a hard cookie mouth-feel, as well as bringing out the spices more.

These might be something that you might want to have your hubby try to see if he likes them.

Good luck!

CMCOLE Posts: 2,667
6/16/13 6:22 A

Oh, yes, I.M. Magic

I have the rolls of parchment
I have the sheets (pre-cut) of parchment
I have silpat and no-name silicone sheets
I even have silicone muffin liners (both large and small)
I even have some silicone 'shaped' pans (like a loaf pan, and a few decorative ones)

I cannot remember the last time I 'greased' a pan to bake/cook

Non-stick isn't - so strategies are needed for that, and the above items are great.

Another thing some people do - make the batch of cookies; put them on a parchment lined pan (still raw); freeze them; then pack in zipper bags, baking them a couple at a time, as needed. I was reminded of this method on TV the other day when I was in the doctor's office.
What I'd like to try is getting more vegetables in the baked goods; but hubby is pretty much stuck on his selection of desired items, and none of those would include veggies.

Just a note on something I noticed in your post: actually coconuts are not 'technically' a nut - because people with nut allergies are not allergic to coconut, often, but have to be careful that the factory does not cross-contaminate the product - you have to read the labels or do research - I found that out because of baking for someone with nut allergies

I.M.MAGIC Posts: 13,195
6/15/13 10:31 P

I'm diabetic, too--tricky stuff, baking with that in mind! I can't use artificial sweeteners...*sigh*

NONANURSE9 SparkPoints: (8,499)
Fitness Minutes: (7,328)
Posts: 34
6/14/13 1:09 P

i was the youngest of 9 kids and because of this my Mom was very creative at meal time. On Sundays we had a big Family Dinner where most of the kids who could come home came home to enjoy the food. Lucky me I got to stand at my Mom's side. During the week we ate anything leftover. Cooking for my Husband and kids has always been a challenge. My Husband had gastric bypass and lost 200 lbs but the things we use to eat don't always work for his much smaller stomach. We still have an occasional casserole . Rarely do I bake cookies or cakes. I did make the peanut butter cookies from spark recipes. Will have to adjust the sweetener due to my diabetes but I love looking through the recipes

NONANURSE9 SparkPoints: (8,499)
Fitness Minutes: (7,328)
Posts: 34
6/14/13 12:50 P

thanks for the mentioning of instant potatoes. never ever thought ti use as a thickener. I hope you have a great Friday and then the weekend.

SCAMP2004 Posts: 30
6/14/13 7:38 A

I love baking, but I don't have a sweet tooth (savoury stuff is my downfall!) so I try and stick to baking cakes and biscuits occasionally and not the cheese straws I'd eat loads of!

I really wouldn't want to stop baking, it's my stress reliever, so this helps keep me on track...I hope!

TCANNO SparkPoints: (351,928)
Fitness Minutes: (206,169)
Posts: 69,478
6/14/13 4:05 A

Mine is to cook portion size if I can or at least a two portion size. I then put one in the freezer.

I live on my own a have to cook for myself. Try doing a casserole for one emoticon

LAST20FORME SparkPoints: (4,152)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 158
6/14/13 1:30 A

I made Chef Meg's cup chocolate cake tonight. It never crossed my mind that you can make cake in individual servings. I was so conditioned that when I thought of cake I thought of birthday cake size. The cake was great. It was so fast that you can just whip it up when you get cravings and your calories for the day allows it.

I will make an entire fruit pie because I am not tempted to eat the entire pie. I never use a top crust and I just use tons of fresh fruit from the farmer's market mixed with some sugar and bake.

I.M.MAGIC Posts: 13,195
6/13/13 9:52 A

I like your statement about the colonoscopy... I've HAD colon cancer and I like what I'm reading here for ideas too--anything you can do that adds soluble fiber to your diet will not only reduce the amount of sugar you take in, it can go a long way toward prevention of the development of polyps that can lead to cancer...

I bake my own breads (when I'm able! LOL) and I use white flour (because of another health issue I cannot use whole wheat or other grains) and no added salt--but I can add my fiber supplement to the recipe! You don't taste it, it doesn't change the texture, and the health benefits are worth it!

I've been keeping my fiber intake at 25 to 35 grams daily-- my last colonoscopy, not a single polyp!--and currently I've been in remission for 3 yrs (YAY!)

The only other thing I really bake these days is Coconut Meringue Macaroons, which is in where I took SKYSHHOOTER44's recipe and did a make-over--but I wasn't satisfied so I did a makeover of my makeover! LOL It has no salt add at all, extra vanilla, and instead of a greased baking sheet, I use parchment paper--something I highly recommend for anyone who bakes cookies, in particular. What an easy way to reduce fat! LOL

Besides, they're really easy. The recipe makes 3 dozen or so, the cookies are a bit high in fat because of the coconut oil (it IS a nut, y'know? lol) but each has about 65 calories, NO cholesterol, only 25 mg sodium, approx 9 g carbs, 3/4 g of fiber (YAY! lol) and a whole gram of protein... Even so, I don't bake them unless I have company coming. Everyone loves them and they think I've slaved away for hours--most people don't try, they LOOK like a lot of work...

Another thing I do that isn't baked but goes well with this? Chocolate banana ice cream. Just bananas whipped up in the blender with dry unsweetened cocoa powder added, and then frozen--another great time to use muffin cups! LOL I have to watch this, though--a LOT of potassium...long story! LOL

Kathy emoticon

N16351D Posts: 2,349
6/12/13 1:22 P

The only reason I like baking is because I like to eat the results! Other than that, I care not for cooking, but have to do it everyday for my family, so I try to do it well and cheerfully- certainly a challenge for me!

I look forward to trying many of the ideas listed in previous posts.

Keep them coming as I am reading and taking it all in! I love those sugar treats, but hate what they do to my waistline!

LINDAWEEKS1 Posts: 194
6/12/13 12:23 P

My husband loves cobblers and fruit pies, so I try to bake with lots of fruit and little crust on the fruit and sweeten with concentrated fruit juices for a more healthy alternative to white sugar.
I also thicken stews and chowders with instant potatoes instead of flour.

LOST_IN_NY Posts: 31
6/12/13 12:11 P

I also love to bake (although not as much this time of year) - what I try to do is (a) bake things that aren't my favorites but that my family or friends really enjoy so I'm not as tempted by them and (b) when I do bake something I really love, bring it into work or bring it to a social event so I can only have 1 serving of it (although if it's something that freezes easily I may put another portion in the freezer for another day).

Haven't experimented much with healthier/lower fat/sugar type of ingredients but very intrigued by the black bean brownies and other ideas folks have posted!

SHARONCAPPS Posts: 6,745
6/12/13 8:22 A

I am going to try baking some healtier foods and just learn to freeze and eat in moderation.

CIRANDELLA SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (34,361)
Posts: 6,094
6/11/13 11:10 P

I've baked so much for so many years, I no longer crave what I bake.

When I eat it, I have to take out something from the freezer...which means defrosting it, which means no impulse eating...or risking a broken tooth!

LENNECA SparkPoints: (832)
Fitness Minutes: (1,149)
Posts: 7
6/11/13 8:58 P

I love baking and love eating baked goods!

I find the easiest way for me to stay healthy is only to bake for an occasion when I know there will be lots of other people around to share in the desserts. Luckily enough, this happens often enough between birthdays, holidays, etc.

At home, as much as possible, I try to only have low cal desserts in the fridge, if any. Berries and ~100 cal frozen yogurt bars so that I have something around that won't break the bank when I feel like something sweet in the middle of the week.

NICKYCRANE SparkPoints: (86,671)
Fitness Minutes: (47,898)
Posts: 1,317
6/11/13 5:44 P

I feel the need for chocolate, so carrot brownies are full of cocoa and low calorie and a small piece does the trick, just over 100 cals. Ginger cake is about 136 cals for a small piece and does wonders for the morale! Those are my sweet standbys.

KPLOUNGE Posts: 98
6/11/13 9:36 A

I'm not going to avoid baking foods. NOT gonna happen. Some of my fondest memories are my sisters and I learning how to bake with my Mom during the holidays. I shared this tradition with my daughter and son and hope to share this tradition with my grandchildren.

An idea I learned from my Mom is making a big batch for cookies and putting the dough in the refrigerator/freezer. When you have a taste for sweets, bake one or two cookies from the chilled/frozen dough. By the time they finish baking just savoring the aroma and anticipating the taste should quench that sweet tooth. If you still want more, by the time the next batch finish baking, you may have come to your healthy eating senses. Then you will put aside for later or for family member/friends. Win/Win situation!!

Moderation and healthier ingredients are KEY to me. Keep sharing your healthy baking ideas with the rest of the community and we will all be better for it.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Thanks for the idea of the honey with the whole wheat. I use whole wheat flour (mixed with 1/4 cup white flour for fluffiness) and milled flax seed in most of my baking recipes calling for flour. I have got to broaden my horizon and try some other types of flour and substituting with apple sauce. Thanks for all the strategies/options input.

Edited by: KPLOUNGE at: 6/11/2013 (10:15)
6/10/13 11:17 P

If I haven't ALREADY logged baked goods into my tracker, I just need to stay away from the kitchen. Lately, I've been baking less. Maybe it seems sad, but I'm healthier! I think I'm happier with fewer baked goods than I was when I was baking LOTS.

SHARONCAPPS Posts: 6,745
6/10/13 10:10 P

chocolate is a problem for me so try not to bake with it if possible.

SIMONEKP Posts: 2,764
6/9/13 4:10 P

so many good ideas, taking some of them

6/9/13 9:57 A

This is a difficult issue for me too, because I love to bake and, of course, love to eat baked goods. My husband is very suspicious of anything made with whole wheat flour or anything healthy, and I can't make one batch for him and one for me, it's too much. I will try some of these sguggestions.

N16351D Posts: 2,349
6/9/13 9:53 A

There are some great ideas here. Baked goods and sugar are definitely my vice, and thoughts on this thread will be helpful.
Thanks all for writing!

LWADE1963 Posts: 936
6/9/13 9:44 A

Dashing has desserts you make in microwave for one person.

This is what works for me

STARLIGHTSHADOW SparkPoints: (10,750)
Fitness Minutes: (9,521)
Posts: 294
6/9/13 6:41 A

I love to bake- even here in Europe, I'm the designated baker of birthday cakes in my circles of friends and at the office.

My "trick", if you want to call it that, is to miniaturize everything. From tiny tartes au citron (which are my weekly staple atm because lemons are just SO GOOD right now), miniature lava cakes, teeny cheesecake souffles- everything I can make in regular sizes, I practice on to make smaller. I never use "healthier" versions since, quite honestly, you can rant and rave about your beet chocolate muffins with applesauce but they'll never taste as good as the real thing to me, and I'd rather spend 200cals on something I will enjoy wholeheartedly than 150 on something just OK.

So... the second part of my baking strategy is that I go for the patisserie approach. Every single item I make I try to make perfect (which in tiny sizes isn't that easy), and it takes a good four hours before the last of my spun sugar decorations is in place more often than not. By that time, I've smelled sweets (especially sugar in various molecular states) for so long I don't even want to eat them anymore, so I take them out to the office, the neighbors, my sports team, and they eat them and enjoy them. The simpler items, I usually have one just to taste, but I'm satisfied then because the smells substitute for the eleven others I didn't have.

I don't use fondant or buttercream icing very often, and if I do use it, I try to use it sparingly. If the other steps in baking were good, decorating a cake won't require hiding it under a massive layer of sugar.

In the summer, I like to make "cold cakes"- a bisquit base that gets layered with fresh fruit and differently flavored yogurt cremes that need to set in the fridge.

I also bake bread- I love having my own freshly made loaf (something I got from my mom who always made fresh bread for the entire family), and vary the grains, seeds and other ingredients that go into it every time. Bread is so amazingly versatile!

In short, I'm trying to follow a Health At Every Size approach to eating baked things while simultaneously counting calories. It works for me so far- maybe not beating myself up for what my body wants to eat at any point in time was my key.

JAMERICANYER SparkPoints: (3,715)
Fitness Minutes: (2,168)
Posts: 16
6/8/13 8:33 P

I love to bake and I love eating baked goods even more. What I find works for me is to not even bother baking at home. My family understands, plus they really don't need to be eating them either. If I just *must* have something yummy and baked, I'll go to one of the "in a cup" single-sized portion recipes.When I do that though, I try to think about how there's zero nutrition in that and let myself know that I wasted a whole day of food for some yummy stuff. That sort of keeps me from going too overboard; that's not to say that I haven't had some epic fail moments in that department, but I've found that the more weight I lose and the healthier I get, the less I crave sweets.

I heard a suggestion to try and train yourself to believe that cupcakes and the like taste like dirt. I tried, but no. Too yummy lol!!

CMCOLE Posts: 2,667
6/8/13 11:00 A

thanks for the great responses.
I'll have to try some of those tricks, too

BRIGHID3 Posts: 61
6/8/13 1:45 A

This is a killer-issue for me. More often than not, I'm either trying to rationalize the cookies I've eaten, wishing I hadn't or opting not to eat healthier food because I've already blown my daily calorie limit due to cookies. I *know* they're a problem.

And I have a husband and two sons who love sweets. One of my sons is a pretty darn good baker who doesn't mind making things. His favorite gingerbread recipe is a Betty Crocker cookbook one which he doubles and so starts with 14 cups of flour. Even keeping some in the freezer means that we have plenty.

The banana bread from The Spark Solution pretty good and filling though I suspect that I forgot to add the baking soda/powder because I made banana bricks. Note that we still ate one and froze two more! :)

I will try to have only a small piece of a doughnut, scone or cookie but then I find it hard to track over the day. It's the cookies that get me because it's so easy to break off a portion after lunch and then another in mid-afternoon and so on. If you break off a corner of scone, it's pretty darn obvious that someone's been "straightening" it.

I think I'll either need to restrict sweets to a certain point in time to aid in tracking or follow specific recipes with measured calorie counts. And as soon as we eat through the frozen treats, it'll be easier for July and August because I won't be turning on the oven.

At the moment, I'm spending my "stressed to make another change towards a healthier life" coin towards making myself do at least 10 minutes of exercise a day. I don't know it I'll manage it on Sundays but that's where my emotional energy is going.

I'd love to hear what others have done, both successfully and unsuccessfully. Perhaps teaching your son to be a good baker is part good and bad. We now have lots of yummy sweets and girls are impressed that he can bake and will clean up after himself. On the flip side, I'm eating the sweets and the girls are still impressed. :)

CAMPBELL51 Posts: 29
6/7/13 4:00 P

I like your strategy and also the system of rewarding yourself.

ABUFFKIN Posts: 2,233
6/7/13 3:01 P

I am surrounded by baked goods both at work and at home (and they are my greatest weakness).. I am really in need of some good strategies to ignore the siren song of the sugar.

6/7/13 2:54 P

I switched from baking treats to baking bread every week, instead. Whole wheat, or pumpernickel, or other artisan-style breads .... I find it even more satisfying than cookies or cakes because it's more complex, and the smell of yeast rising ... yum! When my sweet tooth is being too demanding, I'll vary it with something like cinnamon-raisin bread, or muffins or a 'healthier' cookie, and then I'll have a couple and give the rest away at work the next day.

6/5/13 9:44 P

I currently struggle with limiting my portions when I bake, and I LOVE to bake. More power to all of you! I do alright if I have decided I'm not going to eat ANY. But, if I allow myself one, my will-power wanes, and I have... more than one. So hard. OK. Time to reread my power statements.

ICEDEMETER Posts: 1,332
6/5/13 3:36 P

I really enjoy baking, too, and love the challenge of coming up with healthier versions of things that taste just as good (or better!). I've had a blast experimenting with using rice flour, nut flours, oat bran, and steel cut oats instead of white flour in a lot of quick-bread and cake recipes. We prefer heavily textured items instead of the light, fluffy style stuff, so this has worked really well here.

I have totally given up baking anything as a loaf or a full cake, though, unless I'm giving it to someone. I make everything in muffin tins now, so that it's already portioned out into servings and freezes easily.

A happy side-effect of this is that my partner and I have both discovered that we enjoy the taste of everything frozen even better than thawed! Being frozen seems to really bring out the flavours of the spices, and it takes longer to eat so you get to really enjoy it.

My other exception is the crustless pumpkin pie recipe that I found on --- that always gets made as a complete pie and gets built in to my tracker every day until it's gone... (Hey, come on - it's a vegetable, right?!? It's gotta be good for you...)

FINDNEWME SparkPoints: (4,179)
Fitness Minutes: (2,312)
Posts: 30
6/5/13 3:17 P

I love baking too and often use applesauce (unsweetened) as a fat replacer. You can also use ground flax to replace some of the fat (tons of omega 3's). I also try to use whole wheat flour and sweeten with honey. There is something about the honey that takes the bite out of the whole wheat.

I love the idea of freezing portions too! I am going to have to use that idea!

EARTH-ANGEL Posts: 310
6/4/13 9:24 P

Use honey instead of white sugar...nut flour instead of wheat flour!

SHARONCAPPS Posts: 6,745
6/4/13 3:17 P

I love to bake and love sweet things. I will have to start dividing in individual servings and freezing. I can usually eat only once or twice a week. I have been looking for lower fat and sugar recipes lately and will try some of them

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
6/4/13 2:06 P

My birthday cake this year was cupcakes!

I had one extra-fancy one with a bit of icing and a candle for "the day" and the rest went into a tupperware container in the freezer, to be drawn out one at a time.

Saved me (and my family) from eating the whole darned thing over 24 hours. I still had "cake" left a week later! (24 cupcakes/3 of us, lasts 8 days!).

FIT4MEIN2013 SparkPoints: (144,741)
Fitness Minutes: (133,893)
Posts: 4,985
6/4/13 2:02 P

I have started making individual servings. I love "in a cup" recipes!

SLASALLE SparkPoints: (272,029)
Fitness Minutes: (103,041)
Posts: 11,737
6/4/13 12:05 P

I love to bake too. I use a lot of unsweetened applesauce, bananas and plain yogurt to replace sugars and fats.

I LOVE the idea of slicing and freezing individual portions.

I don't know if you work, but I have the option of taking extras in to the office. They will eat ANYTHING, whether it's healthy or not!!! LOL

JOYFULME01 Posts: 621
6/4/13 12:03 P

Slicing and freezing in portion sizes is a great idea.

CBR0422UNCW SparkPoints: (3,423)
Fitness Minutes: (975)
Posts: 121
6/4/13 12:01 P

My granny always sliced up her baked goods and wrapped them in separate portions to freeze for later. That's the way I do it as well.

15THC_ODETTE Posts: 2,177
6/4/13 10:59 A

I have modified my quick bread/muffin recipes to include beans and a vegetable purreed. People look at the recipe for my chocolate muffins (which contain black beans and sauerkraut) and then that's going taste terrible. They taste really good and pass the pre-schooler test. In fact, when my kids see a can of black beans on the table they start jumping up and down and chanting cupcakes!

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (250,466)
Fitness Minutes: (41,449)
Posts: 26,979
6/4/13 7:39 A

I make morning glory muffins (with lots of grated carrot, pureed apple (reduces sugar and oil) sultanas, and put some pumpkin and sunflower seeds in them, as well as sprinkled on top. The muffins are only small and so easy to take one out of the freezer at a time.

I also make lemon with the lemon zest and lemon juice, using a little honey for added sweetness, and sometimes dessicated coconut. Orange and Wheatgerm is another great combination and if you like, you can add some dark chocolate chips to this combination.

Dried apricots are another favourite - I use the strong flavoured baking ones, and cook them down and then put them into muffins/loaves. Yet another favourite is Dates and Ginger. Soooo delish :-) They are all great at loaves or small muffins. With the loaves I have a number of loaf tins, but my favourite ones are the narrow ones that can be made longer. I am more inclined to just eat one thin slice of narrow loaf, OR one thin slice of wide loaf - obviously the narrow one has less calories etc.

They are all great (heated) for a dessert with a little reduced fat whipped cream, yoghurt or custard, too.

All of my baking uses Bakers Bran (wheat) and Oat Bran, reducing the amount of flour, and I also put in most of it some low-fat milk powder to increase the protein without adding extra liquid.


Edited by: SLIMMERKIWI at: 6/4/2013 (07:41)
NIRERIN Posts: 14,275
6/4/13 7:25 A

i make less. so instead of using my regular loaf pan, i might use a mini loaf pan [the kind that has 4 little loaves] and fill one or two with batter and the rest with water so that i have less to work through. or making banana bread in a mini or regular muffin tin also helps portion out and cook a little easier. if a recipe makes 24 cookies, i halve it. i have a recipe for brown bread that you shape yourself, and i never make more than half. as i am thinking on it i never make a full recipe of anything unless i am taking it somewhere else for a larger crowd.

CMCOLE Posts: 2,667
6/4/13 7:12 A

I love to bake, however, I don't necessarily want to eat the entire thing (especially Banana Bread - which hubby won't touch).

So, sometimes I'll bake and give it away instead, or slice it and freeze it (separating each slice with waxed paper or something - so I can defrost one at a time).

Do you have strategies for baked goods?

Now, I don't necessarily mean the high sugar, wheat laden products. I do work at making healthy alternatives (except for hubby, who won't even consider most of my 'healthy' options). He's set in his ways, and I'll accommodate him occasionally, which is fine with him - he doesn't want them often, but there are a few things he likes that I've made for him previously.

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