Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Baking with resistant starch

When I first started writing the post I tried to explain all about resistant starch, but I got overwhelmed and concerned that I'm not being accurate in trying to translate my understanding of it. So I decided that I'd leave that research to you because there is plenty of information on resistant starch on the internet. Dr. Oz has talked about it on his show and there was a lengthy article on it in the March 2016 issue of Prevention Magazine, where I learned about it.

I'll keep my sharing of the information to some basic facts. Resistant starch is found in foods. It acts similarly to soluble fiber in that it does not get absorbed in your upper intestine (where calories are absorbed) and instead feeds your gut flora in the lower intestine and produces compounds that are good for your colon and body. It's good to add to your diet for this effect on your digestive tract, but also for people who need to watch their blood sugar levels because resistant starch doesn't spike blood sugar like regular starch does. 

Prevention Magazine says it can help you slim down by "helping the body burn more fat, better control its weight gain hormones, and curb appetite." It also "nudges the body to burn fat, not carbs, for fuel while shrinking the size of fat cells."

The stabilization of blood sugar is why some people consume and bake with resistant starch. Not only does it help maintain steady blood sugar levels without the spikes, but, like a fiber, creates satiety so that you aren't as hungry. It also reduces the amount of calories of the baked good since the resistant starch will not be absorbed in the upper intestine. All of this without changing the action or flavor of the baked good. All you need to do is swipe 1/3 of the regular flour with resistant starch flour.

There are three resistant starch flours I know of on the market. One is Tiger Nut Flour, which I used. There is also green banana flour and then there is a resistant starch flour manufactured by King Arthur Flour. For the milk, I used cashew milk, but I'm pretty confident any non dairy milk will work. Cashew milk is just low in calories and recommended for many cooking applications.

(On a side note, cashews are high in resistant starch and so I've been eating a few of them throughout the day. It does help to keep me feeling full and it may help me absorb less calories from my other foods.)

I stumbled upon a great recipe for single serving scones and now present to you this healthier version using resistant starch, vegan butter, stevia, and cashew milk. I have no way of knowing the calorie content for regular scone versus this version, but I know this one is definitely guilt free.

Below is the healthy recipe.  Keep in mind that it obviously is very successful if you go the normal route with all flour, butter, sugar, and whole milk.

Single serving scones w/ resistant starch

1/3 cup of flour (I put 2 spoonfuls of resistant starch flour and then top off with regular flour
1 t baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 t stevia powder
1/2 t lemon zest
1 T Earth Balance  buttery spread stick
2.5 T cashew milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a small baking sheet or pie tin with a piece of parchment paper.
In a mini-food processor pulse all ingredients except the milk together until the flour is crumbly from the Earth Balance. Add the milk and pulse again until a moist dough is formed.
Add fruit if desired. I usually had a few frozen blueberries.
Spoon onto the piece of parchment paper.
Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. 

Enjoy guilt free!
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