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Food Science

Healthy Baking

Healthy Baking
Hi all! I thought that I’ll share something on healthy eating!  In this week, we will focus on baking versus deep-frying, and why we should start getting more accustomed to baking.
Food is cooked in one of the five ways! They are conduction, radiation, excitation, induction and convection. Oven-cooking and deep-frying are both forms of convection cooking; meaning heat is carried to the food by another source.

Source: Pinterest

When it comes to deep-frying food, the convection’s source is hot oil. While in an oven, the convection’s source is hot air. Oil is significantly denser than air and where as making deep-frying is a much faster form of convection cooking than oven-baking. Since oven-baking works by using heated air, many dishes tend to dry out during baking. Marinating meats or dredging food first in egg whites then in a bread crumb or crunchy cereal can help sealing moisture during baking. Also, baking at higher temperatures for less time can produce a roasted food, which works well for potatoes and other vegetables after lightly coating them with cooking spray. If lower-fat recipes sound tasteless, add zest to your baked foods with extra seasonings before and after cooking.The truth is, any method of baking needs some fat and some sugar to taste better. The fat comes from butter, oil, avocado or nuts and the sweetness comes from refined or natural sugars.

Fat and sugar play important roles in baking, including tenderizing and making the baking lighter. They do this by coating and weakening the gluten bonds within the structure (if the gluten bonds are too strong, you will end up with a tough texture). Fats also help to keep baked products moist, giving a good mouth feel. So that it doesn’t taste dry.You can however make your baking more nutrient-dense by replacing empty calorie ingredients like refined white flour and sugar, with natural unrefined alternatives. Swap refined white flour for whole meal flour, buckwheat flour (gluten-free), spelt flour or ground almonds (gluten-free), and refined sugar for honey, apple syrup, pure maple syrup or dates. These ingredients actually provide some useful vitamins and minerals as opposed to just providing calories (and no nutrition). Deep-fried foods are higher in calories than their baked counterparts. Making fried food is a contributor to problems concerning weight management, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and some kinds of cancer. Removing deep fried foods out of your diet in favour of baked foods, fruits and vegetables, high-fibre foods and less processed foods can help you look and feel better. There is no equation to convert frying times into baking times. Each food has its own cooking requirement, depending on its density, size and moisture content.

When you bake a dish, the natural flavours are overpowering, plus baking consumes less time; rather, baking takes less effort in terms of waiting and watching. Whip it up, bring everything in, set the timer, and you’re set to spend some quality time with your better half or books. No wonder why baking is a favourite activity with friends and family. Who would not enjoy a good Sunday roast? If you’re cooking meat, then baking can also be fat free as the heat releases or ‘sheds’ the fat from the product and cooks in it.  A slight disadvantage is that you need to bake at a particular temperature and time or there can be chances that it will be under cooked or over cooked. Besides breads and desserts, you can bake seafood, poultry, lean meat and vegetables. Some of my favourites are baked french fries, onion rings, sweet potato chips and samosas, although I can’t really choose between a doughnut and baked mozzarella sticks. It’s all so easy to prepare and baked goods are always a family favourite.

Source: Pinterest


Whether it’s the slice of toast in the morning, or the lunchtime sarnie, most of us eat more bread than any other baked product. If you pick your bread off the supermarket shelf without checking the label, your loaf could be hiding a lot more salt than you’d think as the amount of salt in store-bought bread can vary widely. By baking your own, you can keep an eye on what goes in your tin. The less salt you use, the better. You can also choose your flour or oat or add some seeds and herbs to give an interesting crunch and a flavour.There are many healthy cooking options besides baking or deep frying. Yet, when it is given the choice, baking is much healthier. Other good-for-you options include foods that are steamed, pan fried with non-stick spray, roasted or grilled. If deep fried foods are a favourite, eat them as an occasional treat, not every day. Avoid trans fats or partially hydrogenated oils. Speak to your doctor about your nutritional needs before you make changes to your diet because following a healthy diet is something you must continue to do for your entire life.

Karandza Fernando

Karandza is a contributor at Nerdynaut Staff and a Self-thought food stylist, food lover, passionate baking fanatic and fashion model.

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