Niagara Gazette


November 11, 2012

APRONS READY: Applesauce, fruit make for a much healthier cake

Niagara Gazette — Have you ever been diligent about eating healthy only to have someone else sabotage you? Have you heard comments like “Just one won’t hurt you”? For most people, it takes hard work and dedication to maintain a healthy body weight.  

One of the goals of Creating Healthy Places to Live, Work and Play is to encourage healthy options and how to deal with temptations. 

During the 2012 Niagara County Fair held here at Cornell Cooperative Extension I was working in the front office when one of the vendors came in and asked if it would be OK if he sent over some of his food. 

Everything he was planning on sending to us was deep fried so I asked if he could send it over after 2 pm. My shift was done at 2 p.m. and I knew that I would not be able to resist. The vendor said that would be easier for him also. Win-Win.

Thankfully the fair is only once a year but what about every day obstacles? What if you are running late in the morning so instead of grabbing something healthy, you go through a drive through or hit the vending machine at work? How about the weekly staff meetings with donuts? They look so good, how can you resist?

One way to combat the high calorie snacks at work is to adopt a healthy meeting policy. This means that the donuts are replaced with granola bars, breakfast bars, low fat muffins, fruit, and water. 

You can also start celebrating office birthdays once a month and bring fruit or a “healthier” version of a birthday cake. Make it a challenge to see who can make the best low calorie dessert. There are many recipes on line for low fat cakes and desserts.

Healthier Cake

To make my “healthier” cake, I use a regular boxed cake mix but substitute the fat/butter/oil with an equal amount of applesauce. The rest of the ingredients stay the same and I bake according to the package. By baking the cake in a Bundt pan it leaves the center open to fill with fresh berries. To add a little more fun and decoration I use fruit leather that I cut into shapes. I use a regular can of frosting because it’s still a birthday cake but I could have used a fat-free whipped topping. Recipes for low fat/low carb frosting can be found on-line. The cake made with applesauce is very moist and I serve it with extra berries for anyone who wants more. The cake mix that I use makes 10 servings but to keep the calorie count manageable including the frosting and berries, I cut it into 12 servings. No one knew I had removed most of the fat from the cake and it was very moist and delicious. But remember “It’s not healthy; it’s just healthier than a normal cake. “

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