If I haven’t mentioned this yet, I absolutely love school.
I love not only my program and the people that make it up – but I am absolutely over the moon about the fact that I get to sit in class all day and learn about food and nutrition. So much sometimes, I feel like I need to pinch myself.
My “lab” for food composition consists of getting to experiment with different recipes, bake them, eat them and analyze them. Not so bad huh?
That said, I can’t wait to start incorporating some of the information that I’m learning into these posts. It has seriously taken my baking and cooking to the next level just to understand the science of the different ingredients and what they add not only to the recipes, but to our bodies!
Today, let’s talk about carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates are our body’s #1 choice for energy. It will burn fat and it will even burn protein (though it really doesn’t like to) for fuel, but if it had it’s choice, it would burn carbs all day every day.
Because it can burn them quickly, efficiently and there’s a WHOLE lot of them in our diet!
When there are too few carbohydrates in your body, it’s forced to turn to less efficient sources like fat and protein. If your body starts to use protein for energy, it can lead to loss of muscle mass. Therefore, carbohydrate intake helps to preserve lean muscle mass as well.
And last but not least, glucose from carbohydrates is the only form of fuel that our brains can use. So it’s crucial for all aspects of our cognitive ability including memory, learning and concentration.
So to make a long story even longer? Don’t avoid carbs. Your body needs them!!
And to celebrate glorious carbs as well as the official start of Fall (!!!), I created a Whole Grain Apple Pie Bread recipe.
Whole Grain Apple Pie Bread (based off this recipe)
Makes 1 loaf
- 1/2 cup earth balance, softened (but not melted)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup soymilk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 medium apples, peeled and diced
- Apple pie spice to taste (I used about 1 – 1.5 tsp.)
- 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons white whole wheat flour
- 2 tablespoons earth balance
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan; set aside
- In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer or stand mixer until smooth (about 30 seconds).
- Combine soymilk and vanilla together and add into the mixture.
- Beat in eggs, one at a time.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt – stir well to combine.
- Add dry to wet and mix until just combined.
- In a separate bowl, combine diced apples with apple pie spice and mix thoroughly so that all the apple pieces are covered.
- Gently fold apple mixture and chopped nuts into the batter with a spatula.
- Pour batter into greased loaf pan. Bake for 60 – 65 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool completely on a wire rack then wrap and store overnight.
I recommend serving warm and topping with some vanilla Greek yogurt for breakfast or ice cream for dessert!