Eating Well With Kim: Holiday Baking

By: Kim Beavers Email
By: Kim Beavers Email

The holidays are here, and every year I say to myself, “I’m not going to do it this year. No, I’ll save time, money and my waistline and not do the obligatory holiday baking" ... HA.

I always give in to the joyful smells of cinnamon coming from the kitchen. Sometimes I do not bake as much, and many times like everyone else, I need a little help from the store. When I am short on time and need holiday baked goods in a flash, I hit the grocery store.

However, a lot of the baking mixes still contain the dreaded trans fat. For some reason, this troubles me more than the new food villain “sugar." Yes, we eat too much sugar, but in holiday sweets, sugar is not in disguise so it is a conscious decision to eat the cookie with sugar. Trans fat, though, lurks in the ingredient list of cake mixes, cookie mixes, pie dough, graham cracker crusts and worst of all ... icing.

Lately there are more and more products available with the trans fat taken out of the ingredient list (Yay). Here is how you tell if your favorite product has trans fat.

First, look at the nutrition facts panel. Trans fat is listed there, and if it says zero, you are off to a good start. Second, if your product says zero, you still need to look at the ingredient list. If you find the words partially-hydrogenated oil, then the product does contain trans fat. If the trans fat level is 0.5g or less per serving, it does not have to be put on the nutrition facts panel, however, if the product contains partially-hydrogenated oil, trans fat is there but just in a small enough quantity to NOT be listed on the label. The point of this is not to have you avoid all baking mixes but rather to encourage you to look for products that do not contain trans fat. The good news is that more and more products are available that do not have partially-hydrogenated oils.

Here is a list of some package baking mixes I have found at the local Kroger that are trans fat free:

  • Arrowhead Mills Graham Cracker Crust
  • Pillsbury and Kroger brand roll-out refrigerated crust (frozen crusts still contain trans fat)
  • Kroger brand cake mix (most other major brands still had partially-hydrogenated oil)
  • Krusteaz Bakery Style Sugar Cookies (some of the other brands are also trans fat free but not every flavor cookie in every brand, so check the labels closely).
  • Icing is very high in trans fat, so you are better off making your own!

Until next time, happy baking and healthy living to you!

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