Like most people, I prefer to start my day with a healthy meal. My breakfast usually consists of fresh fruit and two rice cakes topped with cottage cheese. It's certainly not as delicious as a bacon-and-pancake feast, but it's full of calcium and protein, and keeps me full until lunch.
That said, life if all about compromise. We deserve to treat ourselves—in moderation—every now and again. Some mornings I wake up with an insatiable craving for something warm, sweet, and carb-laden, like a scone or a thick piece of crumb cake. On such occasions I'm often tempted to head for the bakery on my corner, but I know this wouldn't be the best decision. Their muffins are amazing, sure, but they are total calorie bombs: the size of grapefruits, and made with copious amounts of oil, butter, and cream.
Instead, I often make a beeline for my freezer. It's well-stocked with loaf cakes, which are one of my favorite things to bake for their simplicity, and because they last for months frozen when well-wrapped in foil. Since I make them myself, I'm able to control the ingredients and make healthful substitutions. My banana bread will definitely cost you more than a couple of Weight Watchers points, but it's nowhere near as scary as the Starbucks treats, which can top out at almost 500 calories.
This week's Cooking from the Glossies recipe is my nutritious take on the Chocolate Chip Cornbread featured in the October issue of Bon Appétit. In addition to substituting low-fat milk for the whole, I reduced the canola oil to 2 tablespoons and made up the difference with plain yogurt. I also added a generous handful of chopped, unsalted pistachios for a dose of crunch, protein, and good-for-you fat. The results were moist, rich, and sweet—perfect with a slather of raspberry jam and hot cup of coffee.
- Yield:one 9x5-inch loaf
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting pan
- 3/4 cup cornmeal
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup chopped, unsalted pistachios
- 1 cup low-fat milk
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
- 2 large eggs
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Spray a 9x5x3-inch metal loaf pan with cooking spray and dust with flour, tapping out the excess. Whisk flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in chocolate chips and pistachios. Whisk milk, canola oil, yogurt and eggs in a medium bowl. Add milk mixture to dry ingredients; stir just to blend. Transfer to prepared pan.
Bake bread until tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Invert cornbread onto a rack. Cool slightly. Serve cornbread warm or at room temperature.