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Thank you ladies-I had several terrific replies that created ideas!

Chocolatier wanted to talk about substituting flours in recipes and even fats and sugars.  This is what I'll tackle today!

We also had a few who said this New Year and decade is making them see the need for not only cooking more, but doing it in a more healthy way.  And Esther who shared that she was going to do more traditional family recipes of her Latino heritage.  Now I personally absolutely love that she shared that homemade tamales and tortillas were in her kitchen's future AND I asked her to share some of those recipes with us.  ANYONE WITH ME ON THIS?????  Cuz I really love great ethnic cuisine and I know we have an artiste in our midst!

Back to Chocolatier's suggestion.  On the flours-there are so many to choose from!  All of them give different textures and nutrition to recipes.  I recommend starting out small and make gradual increases.  

Example:  My biscotti recipe from last week, it was AP flour all the way at one time.  To increase the fiber, I slowly increased the whole wheat until it was at the max of what my family still enjoyed.  

I've also been using garbanzo bean flour in cookies.  Again, start out by only switching out ½ C.  The cookies come out a bit softer and denser.  Now my family loves soft and chewy cookies, so that's a good thing for us-your family might feel different.  In oatmeal cookies-I began switching out the oatmeal completely for a 9 grain version.  Lots more nutrients and fiber and the taste is quite good!

Now fats.  Here's my rule:  applesauce, mashed bananas and pureed prunes work best.  I love using the prunes in things like brownies and bran muffins.  Mashed bananas also work well in the brownie category.  

HOWEVER- only remove ½ the fat!  The brownies tend to just go past fudgy stage and to the "oops, something went wrong" area really fast!  They don't cut as well-even w/ a plastic knife.  They taste great, but they really have the texture of a chocolate sauce gone awry.

Applesauce is a great substitute for most muffins and quick bread-but again, don't try and completely switch it past the ½ way point or you wind up with a rather 'tough' product.  And as Alton Brown says, "that's just not good eats".

Speaking of AB-I could see he had lost weight, but the man did it without the use of a formal diet and he shed 50 pounds in 9 months!  If you can look up the show that just ran on Monday evening-check it out!  He has some very healthy ideas.  Nothing weird and some tasty new twists on smoothies and a sardine-avocado sandwich that had me thinking "do I have any sardines in my pantry?"

The answer was no-but that could be another subject for us to all talk about on another day.

Next week-let's tackle the subject of sugar!  And Esther, please share you tamale recipes with all of us!!!

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