Kaylin's Kitchen - Healthy New Year!

It is easy to say that my cooking methods are anything but healthy, but since the number one New Year’s Resolution is to lose weight (statisticbrain.com), I thought it would be appropriate to bring some healthful foods to our readers today. 

My biggest weakness when trying to eat healthy is a good, salty snack, something that is prepared in advance and easy to take anywhere. 

For this I turned to one of my Homemaking Heroes, Martha Stewart (who comes in as a close second, behind my mom).  I hope to try this recipe soon!

Photo by Tina Rupp, Martha Stewart Living

Flaxseed and Onion Crackers
Martha Stewart Living, April 2004
Yield: About 5 dozen
1/4 cup whole golden flaxseed, plus 1/4 cup ground golden flaxseed (from about 2 tablespoons whole)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for seasoning (optional)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon finely grated onion
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup skim milk
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
Freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 325 degrees with racks in upper and lower thirds. Put whole and ground flaxseed, flour, baking powder, salt, and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 2 minutes. Stir in onion and parsley. With mixer on low speed, pour in milk. Mix until dough just comes together (do not over-mix).

Divide dough in half. Roll out each piece on a lightly floured surface to a 9-inch square (1/8 inch thick). Transfer to two baking sheets. Cut each square with a fluted pastry wheel or a knife into about 30 crackers (each 1 1/2 inches square).

Brush with egg white; season with pepper, and salt, if desired. Bake until slightly firm, about 20 minutes. Switch positions of sheets; flip crackers. Bake until light brown and firm, 18 to 20 minutes more. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

Nutritional Notes: A serving of 12 crackers is 246 calories, with 9 grams of fat, 9 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber.

According to WebMD.com, “flaxseed contains all sorts of healthy components; it owes its healthy reputation primarily to three ingredients:

-Omega-3 essential fatty acids, "good" fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects. Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s.

-Lignans, which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities. Flaxseed contains 75-800 times more lignans than other plant foods.

-Fiber. Flaxseed contains both the soluble and insoluble types.

For something sweet, this Banana Bread recipe is my favorite.

Banana Bread
Recipe from Kaylin's Kitchen

1 1/4 cups sugar
½ cup butter
2 large eggs
1 ½ cups mashed, very ripe bananas (approx. 3 medium)
½ cup buttermilk
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
¾ cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in lowest position to allow loaf pan tops to be in center of oven.  Grease the bottoms only of two loaf pans with vegetable spray.

Mix sugar and butter in a large bowl.  Stir in eggs until well blended.  Add bananas, buttermilk, and vanilla; beat until smooth.  Add flour, baking soda, and salt; stir only until batter is fully moistened.  Stir in nuts.  Divide batter evenly between prepared pans.

Bake approximately one hour or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pans for ten minutes on a wire rack, remove from pans and continue cooling on wire rack.