Health conscious individuals try to avoid eating cakes as much as possible. Why? For one, the flour used in baking cakes lack the vital nutrients. This refined ingredient stimulates the production of insulin which promotes the storage of fats in the body. Same goes with sugar. Two, there’s the use of butter and margarine, which is rich in saturated fat. And saturated fat increases the levels of bad cholesterol in our bodies, a huge predisposing factor to heart disease. Margarine is also filled with trans fat, which doesn’t just increase LDL, but also lowers HDL (good cholesterol). With all that said, how can one make healthier cakes?
Making healthier cakes
The answer, according to scientists, is replacing the usual flour with finely ground corn bran. But what difference does this make? Well, it can increase the body’s fiber intake. With increased intake of dietary fiber, we get to absorb good amounts of both soluble and insoluble fiber that is essential in preventing constipation, heart disease, diabetes and obesity, just some of the many side effects of eating a diet made with refined ingredients.
Corn Bran in, flour out!
In an article published in teatronaturale.com, Mukti Singh, a food technologist associated with the US Department of Agriculture, shares that corn bran can be a substitute to 20% of flour. In her experiments, she used white cake gold standard test flour approved by the American Association of Cereal Chemists. But why just 20%? According to starting-a-bakery.com you still have to consider the qualities that make up white cake, such as color and springness. Furthermore “one slice of an 8-inch, 6-slice, two-layer white cake made with 20% corn bran fiber would provide about 5 grams of fiber,” which is way more than what usual cake flour can give us. The recommended daily intake of dietary fiber is 20 to 35 grams.
Lowering fat and calorie count
Singh has also worked on experiments aimed at lowering fat and calorie content in cakes. The test entailed encapsulating microdroplets of canola oil wity water and flour by a stream jet cooking process. According to her and her colleagues, “the cream-textured mixture that results can then be dried to form a smooth-flowing, shelf stable powder that offers busy bakers the convenience of not having to pour, measure or clean up any oil. Their studies have established a foundation for other researchers to further experiment on creating healthier cakes, bread and possible other pastries. Imagine feeling less guilty while indulging in all those treats.