Whoa, whoa, whoa. Let me rephrase this. I happen to be the only one in my family at the moment (or ever) who is into healthy eating. Not that we don’t eat well. In fact, our family eats relatively well, MUCH better in comparison to how we ate about 10-15 years ago. Oreos, Cheez-its (still a dad favorite), salami, etc.
When I started taking better note of what I was eating, I found that I really did enjoy eating vegetables, pure foods, and enjoyed altering recipes to reflect this new change. Some people (family and a few school friends cough cough) think I’m a little crazy because I can feel the immediate effect of certain foods such as some ice creams, candies, breads or starches, and meats. Too sugary, too greasy, too processed, just too much. I started (and continue) to alter recipes, add things, substitute others, and make the recipes my own.* That’s what I love about cooking. You don’t have to worry so much about the proportions; you just sort of throw it all together. Now baking is another thing, but luckily so many other people are doing the same thing, you either learn from their success or mistakes, or you make your own. The beauty of experimentation my friends.
*When I do alter recipes, there are times that I get caught, sometimes my privileges to cook for the entire family are revoked, and other times when the meal is approved.
So last night I was mixing up a Ghirardelli box of brownies for my dad’s work party this weekend (I swear, we’ve been baking all week so I’m just praying they all have a sweet tooth), and decided to insert applesauce instead of oil. Now, I know this has worked in the past, even for the box cake I made for the cake class the other day, but there was a catch. This applesauce was cinnamon flavored. I realized this as I poured it into the bowl. It was just the applesauce in the bowl and I had the chance to start over. Nope, I thought, “Hm, let’s see how this turns out.” When they came out of the oven, they looked alright, but it was too late to test them out. In the morning, my mom says she is going to just try a smidgen of the brownies. Note: I still haven’t revealed to anyone my alteration of the ingredients at this point.
Mom: Mmm, it’s interesting. There’s something different. (Looks at me, even though Meghan is sitting there too) Kaitlin did you add anything healthy?
Kaitlin: What do you mean healthy?
Mom: Oh, I don’t know, maybe I still have the carrot spice cake taste in my mouth (we had sampled the cake I decorated on Monday, which was carrot cake)
Kaitlin: Hm, yes, that must be it.
I don’t know why they don’t like what I create. Ok, maybe some of the recipes appear a little foreign and maybe I have goofed up a few times, but it’s all in the name of love, right? When Meghan was home, she would “save” the day by taking over the kitchen, but now that she has left for college, maybe I can win over their affection once more. 🙂
Let’s review some of the other secret substitutions I made to foods, some successful, others not:
– Whole Wheat Lemon Bars (no one noticed the difference and actually said they tasted better than the boxed variety…duh)
– Whole Wheat Popovers (fail…the problem was they appeared too different and really didn’t taste like the popovers we grew up with or those served in restaurants – privileges revoked)
– Applesauce instead of oil (great when the applesauce is plain…not so great when it is cinnamon going into a brownie recipe)
– Wheat Pasta (“It’s actually alright” – Meghan)
– Chocolate Chip Cookies (included applesauce, Splenda, egg substitute… somehow thought it was better)
– Shepherd’s pie (included onions, which didn’t fly well with dad)
In terms of baking whole wheat bread products and sweets, I’ve found it is best to start off with half wheat and half white flour until you learn the perfect ratio or complete wean your audience off of white flour. Wheat flour, as well as many other healthy products, has a distinct flavor, which could win over a crowd or be a complete bust.
Now my mom hasn’t gotten into the habit of reading my blogs (yet?) so I doubt she will discover my secret. That is, if she hasn’t already. Crossing my fingers I still have my chef privileges tonight 🙂