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Baking on St Patrick’s Day

Zucchini Bread Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting
Zucchini Bread Muffins with Cream Cheese FrostingMarissa Burke

St Patrick’s Day can be tough for those pregnant; no Irish coffee with cream, no green beers and corned beef and cabbage, loaded with salt and carb heavy may sit heavy while you’re sitting watching the festivities. Well, there’s still plenty of time to bake your way into some festive St Patrick’s Day dishes. Plus you can make some quick healthy changes so you can have your cake and eat it too.

Interestingly, classic Irish Soda bread lacks “Americanized” raisins; it’s simply flour, baking soda, salt and buttermilk. While crusty on the outside and chewy on the inside the aforementioned raisins add sweetness to this hearty bread, plus fiber and minerals good for pregnancy like magnesium and potassium. Throw in caraway seeds, even orange zest for a flavor combination you’ve never experienced.

When baking for St Patrick’s Day throw out the old recipes and embrace some new ingredients. For example, when using vegetables oil feel free to substitute ½ cup of all natural apple sauce for ½ cup of needed oil. Vegetable oil has 120 calories per tablespoon or 1, 900 calories per 1 cup! Cutting out ½ cup of olive oil will save you 955 calories but NONE of the flavor or, most importantly, the moist cake-like texture.

Go easy on the chocolate or use bittersweet chocolate when topping baked goods. If you add ¼ cup of bittersweet chocolate pieces, sprinkled over the top of a simple vanilla cake, when still warm, it will melt and you can zig-zag the warmed chocolate to cover the whole cake. This can satisfy your chocolate craving without all the chocolate calories.

St Patrick’s Day can be filled with delicious baked goods to eat and don’t be afraid to add vegetables like zucchini, carrots or cauliflower, grated or shredded, the kids will never know and you’ll add vegetables to baked goods they’re dying to eat. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!