Eating Sweets AND Keeping Your New Year’s Resolution to Lose Weight?
Local Bakery shares simple, healthy tips for baking
With countless resolutions to lose weight in the New Year, people all across Tampa Bay will be looking for ways to eat healthier. For those with a sweet tooth (who wish not to cut out their favorite treats altogether), local bakery Nicola’s Donuts, with locations on West Busch Boulevard and North Dale Mabry Highway, offers simple, healthy tips to keep in mind while baking goodies.
“When most hear the word ‘diet’ they think about ditching dessert and trashing treats,” said Rachel Waatti, owner of Nicola’s Donuts. “At Nicola’s, we like to educate our customers about healthier options and methods of preparation that can allow them to indulge without ruining their diets.”
With that idea in mind, Nicola’s Donuts offers the following tips for healthy baking in 2013:
• Dial back the dairy. Many recipes call for heavy creams or whole milk, but these ingredients are high in fat. As an alternative, bakers should experiment with other products like almond milk, skim milk, reduced-fat sour cream or low-fat plain yogurt. In many cases, your taste testers won’t even notice the difference!
• Forego flour. Whole grains are a great substitution for flour, but only in part. Try substituting whole wheat flour for half of the all-purpose flour in the recipe.
• Switch out the sugar: Sugars, whether white, brown or raw, are relatively equal in terms of nutritional value. Natural sweeteners, like agave (which Nicola’s has experimented with) and honey, can be swapped in and, since they are sweeter than sugar, less can be used.
• Forget frying. It doesn’t take an expert baker to know that fried foods are a dieter’s worst enemy. So be sure to seek out recipes that involve baking instead. And be sure to use parchment paper or a vegetable spray instead of butter or margarine to coat baking pans.
• Eliminate eggs. Eggs are high in saturated fat, so use egg whites or an egg substitute instead.
• Butt out the butter. Butter is loaded with fat, but there are easy substitutions, like canola oil or almond oil. Some fruits also work well as butter (and oil) replacements, like pureed prunes, applesauce or pumpkin. Just be sure to remember some additional salt (a pinch per every half cup of butter you swap out).
• Hunt for healthy options. Not enough time to bake? Bakeries often offer healthy options in the form of muffins and other pastries. Nicola’s is proud to serve low-fat, but power packed, muffins that provide energy for the day. The Banana Oat Bran Muffin is baked with fresh bananas and walnuts. The Carrot Muffin is made with whole wheat flour and generously topped with walnuts. Nicola's will also serve “healthier” baked donuts soon.
• Protein pack your treat. Use chocolate or vanilla protein powder as substitutes in your baked goods. You will be adding protein and keeping taste.
“Even if you opt not to adjust your recipes, it’s OK to have a sweet treat every now and then,” added Waatti. “Forgoing treats altogether may result in a binge eating event. Instead, we recommend indulging in moderation and focusing on portion control.”
About Nicola’s Donuts
Nicola’s Donuts was founded in 1982 by Joe and Kathy Nicola. They moved from the north with a plan and a recipe. Today, Nicola’s has two locations in Tampa, one at 902 West Busch Boulevard and one at 14390 North Dale Mabry Highway. Now celebrating 30 years of providing the area’s tastiest treats, Nicola’s Donuts continues to make all menu items fresh daily using no preservatives and no trans fats. Both locations are open daily and their menus include more than 50 donuts, 30 cupcakes and 13 pastries including seasonal options and weekly specials. For more information, visit: http://www.nicolasdonuts.com/.