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    Ask the Chef: Baking

    By Julie Morris, Navitas Organics Executive Chef | December 1, 2013

    Q: How can I incorporate superfoods into baked treats?

    A: As soon as the cold weather settles in, one thing is clear: it's baking season. And, with baking season, there usually comes a growing deviance from our otherwise noble healthy intentions. A great strategy to help “refill†those empty calories that inevitably compose many baked goods is to simply add superfoods to the mix - ingredients which can introduce (at least a few) benefits to many of our otherwise fully guilty pleasures. Here are a few foolproof baking insta-boosts you can try:

    Sprouted Flax Powder & Chia Powder: Both these ingredients offer minerals, high fiber, and essential fatty acids. As they have very condensed benefits and a mild taste, replacing a couple tablespoons (or more) of the flour called for in a recipe with either of these powders is a no-brainer substitute. Although initially designed for smoothies, I also particularly enjoy using the Navitas Naturals Omega Blend, which has both the sprouted flax and chia, as well as brown rice - it tastes great when used in almost every baked application. You can also explore using these ingredients as “egg substitutes†in some recipes, as explained in this video.

    Maca Powder: In Maca's native country, Peru, baking with this healing root is actually quite a common practice. Celebrated for its stamina-boosting nutrition and impressive mineral content, maca offers a potent nutty, root-y flavor with a hint of butterscotch. A small amount can add an element of welcome flavor complexity to dough-based baked goods - just don't go overboard as it's quite powerful. Start by replacing 1 tablespoon of flour called for in a recipe with 1 tablespoon maca powder.

    Dried Superfruits: Lots of recipes call for dried fruits of all varieties, and this is an ideal place to sneak in some of your extra-healthy favorites too, like goji berries, goldenberries, or even dried dragonfruit slices that have been chopped up. For a recipe that calls for raisins, for example, simply swap in ¼ cup or more of your superfood ingredient of choice for an exciting, antioxidant-boosted variation. Do note that some of the nutrients in superfruits are more sensitive to heat than other types of superfoods - for maximum nutritional value, incorporate them in recipes that have shorter cooking times, such as muffins and cookies.

    Ready to try baking with superfoods? Our Navitas Banana Bread is an in-house favorite.