Cooking Tool of February, Let’s Get Baking!
Cooking Tool of the Month – Silicone Bakeware
Hello blissful beings! Hope you are enjoying the Cooking Tool of the Month series! Are you burning in anticipation of what the rest of the year may bring? February we don our oven mitts and do some baking with Silicone Bakeware! I heard about these from my friend Chef AJ last year. I was leery to give them a try; are they safe, worth the money, will my muffins really not stick?? I’m an adventurous baker so I thought what the heck!
First, research suggests that silicone bakeware is totally safe up to 428 degrees F, will not leach any toxins into your food, is an environmental alternative since you do not need to use oil or parchment paper, and is the only non-reactive non-stick cookware available (though I’m curious about these new ceramic pans). Is the jury still out? Do some say silicone is not safe? Yes. So make your own judgment and do what you feel is best, as always. This is the set that I bought because I knew I would use the muffin and loaf pans the most.
I have a love/hate relationship with baking. It’s not my forte but healthier baked goods have become a passion of mine. I eschew most sugars, use whole grain flours, and reduce the oil/fat without sacrificing taste or texture. I want to enjoy my desserts, but not have to worry about it adding pounds or putting me in a sugar coma.
Do not be afraid to play around with different flours and sweeteners.
Yes dessert is a “treat”, an occasionally thing, so it should be delicious. But I enjoy my treats even more if I know they are not demineralizing my body (from the sugar). And that means I get to eat more without feeling like crap
I must give credit to the woman who sparked my interest in a healthier way of baking. More Great Good Dairy-free Desserts Naturally by Fran Costigan was the first vegan baking cookbook I ever bought. Fran introduced me to using barley flour and mixing granulated sweeteners with liquid sweeteners. She’s just brilliant and not called the “Queen of Vegan Desserts” for nothin’!
I use this method of mixing different flours and sweeteners together in almost all my baking now. It makes it fun and more enjoyable knowing I’m making something that doesn’t cause my health suffer. I have an enormous sweet tooth, so if I didn’t make healthier baked goods my health would be shot. Believe me.
Orange Coconut Cornmeal Muffins
Makes 6 muffins
1/2 cup corn meal
1/4 cup barley flour
1/4 cup garbanzo flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon flax meal
1 teaspoon arrowroot
Dash sea salt
1/4 cup unsweetened dried coconut (+1 tablespoon extra for topping)
1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/3 cup orange juice
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with liners or use silicone bakeware. Set aside. Whisk together the first eight dry ingredients in a medium bowl. In a smaller bowl whisk together the rest of the ingredients. Mix wet into dry until well combined. Spoon batter into muffin liners until almost full. Sprinkle extra coconut on top of each muffin. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out dry when inserted into the muffin.
Do you like playing with different flours or sweeteners? Do you value whole grain flours and more healthful sweeteners or do you not care so much?
Don’t forget to try these cookies that are sort of like a Samoa girl scout cookie. Kind of. But you can see the combination of different flours and sweeteners represented here.
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