Yeah that old saying really is true and we seem to hear more about it these days.
But people still like cookies, muffins, biscotti, cinnamon rolls... So my philosophy is eat those things, but healthier versions and in moderation. When I say my cookies are better for you I don't mean substitute one for the piece of fruit you were going to eat! There is room in a healthy diet for treats.
So how do I make "healthier" treats? Pay attention to the ingredients I cook with. Yes using higher quality, healthier ingredients is more expensive, but I don't want to sell baked goods that I wouldn't bake for my own family. So let me break down some of the products I use and give you more information. I think for now I'll touch on sweeteners and leave the other ingredients for later.
Honey- I use local organic honey to help support our local farmers and to decrease the amount of pesticides we are ingesting. Here is a link to some nutrition info.
Blackstrap molasses- I love the flavor of this nutritious syrup, so hearty & rich. I use it in my ginger cookies, wheatberry bread, pumpernickel bread. The organic, unsulfured molasses I use has the best flavor of any molasses I have ever tasted. I love the fact this is a great source of calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium among other nutrients.
Sucanat- b/c I can't always use molasses in baking I use this unrefined dried cane juice in place of brown sugar. It is in my cinnamon rolls and ginger cookies. I figure it's better to get some nutrients with your sugar. On the very bottom of this page is some info nutrients found in sucanat.
Organic raw cane sugar- in some recipes (toffee biscotti, chocolate cherry muffins) I don't want the flavor of molasses overpowering more subtle flavors. So instead of using completely refined sugar I use this. Although it is not as nutrient rich as molasses it does have some of the nutrients that refined sugar is void of.
Organic barley malt syrup- has a distinct malted flavor that is nice in my barley apricot bread. This is not the brand I use but here is some good information malt.
Boiled apple cider- it is what it sounds like, a fruit juice that has been reduced to a syrup. It is sweet, but in a mild unassuming way. B/c it is mild & expensive I can't use this for everything. It is a nice subtle sweetener for my malted apple bread & the only sweetener I use in that bread. Certainly it can not be considered a fruit, I know the fiber & nutrients were lost in processing, but it is a less refined sugar for sure.