My elder daughter, Zoey started her Pre-nursery this year and they are being taught alphabets. Every week has the theme of a letter and once a week they are asked to bring a snack starting with the same alphabet. So, when the alphabet ‘D’ was the theme in her school, she was asked to bring a Doughnut for snack activity.
Doughnut is obviously favorite for kids and adults alike. But usually the doughnuts we get in shops are deep fried, which definitely makes them unhealthy along with the loads of sugar that goes in the making. These healthy homemade doughnuts that i made for Zoey’s school activity are just as flavorful as the store bought ones and baked (not fried!!). Plus they contain no eggs, no refined flour or sugar, which means no sugar crashes for any of us. And what makes these doughnuts healthy?? It’s the whole wheat flour, bananas, demerara sugar and tiny bits of healthy spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. The glaze is made with cocoa powder and boora sugar which means that you can attack on these doughnuts without any guilt.
Baking with whole wheat flour is healthier, mainly due to the fiber content, which will help stabilize blood sugar levels when consuming sugary pastries. Additionally, dietary fiber prevents constipation, lowers blood cholesterol and promotes weight loss. There is more nutritional value in whole-wheat flour than white flours. Whole-wheat contains more vitamins such as B1, B3 and B5. White flours have the same vitamins but lower in content due to the refining process.
Over-riped bananas are best for this recipe. They give wonderful flavor and taste to the bake. The sweetness in riped bananas reduces the amount of sugar content needed to go in the recipe making it even more healthier. Banana is usually a favorite with all kids and the combination of chocolate and banana is an instant hit with them. I did not have over-riped bananas lying around and since the bake was needed urgently for Zoey’s school activity, I used a quick-fix and ripened the bananas by oven method. In the oven method, the bananas are baked in an oven at 150 degree Celsius for about 15-30 minutes depending on the state of banana. Mine took 15 minutes to ripen. A shiny black color on the skin of banana is an indicator that the bananas are ripened.
Bananas provide you instant energy and is very good for the stomach. It is loaded with fibre, both soluble and insoluble. The soluble fiber has the tendency to slow down digestion and keep you feeling full for a longer time. Banana is loaded with essential vitamins and minerals such as potassium, calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron, folate, niacin, riboflavin, and B6. These all contribute to the proper functioning of the body and keeping you healthy. Due to the high iron content in bananas, they are good for those suffering from anaemia. Bananas are good for your heart.
Demerara sugar is a light brown, partially refined sugar produced from the first crystallization during processing cane juice into sugar crystals (this process is similar to what happens with naturally evaporated cane juice). Unlike brown sugar, which has the added molasses flavor, Demerara has a natural caramel-like flavor; this lends warm, caramel notes to whatever you add the sugar to.
Cinnamon is a highly aromatic and delicious spice commonly used to add a distinct flavor and aroma in baked goods. Cinnamon is loaded with antioxidants that protect the body from cell damaging agents. It helps the body to fight infections and repairs tissue damage. It is good for diabetics and it slows the breakdown of carbohydrates in the digestive tract. It also helps fight bacterial and fungal infections.
Nutmeg powder is not only a common spice made from the kernel of an exotic fruit, but it also has antibacterial properties and contains ingredients that can help improve memory, benefit the heart, relax muscles and aid with digestion. In traditional folk medicine, nutmeg powder has been used to reduce flatulence, aid in digestion and improve appetite. Nutmeg powder is said to decrease the number of loose stools, while also increasing intestinal tone and producing an analgesic effect.
Cocoa powder, which comes from the cocoa bean, is highly nutritious, and it can provide numerous health benefits. Cocoa contains the substance phenethylamine, which is a neurotransmitter found in the brain that acts as a mood elevator and natural antidepressant. Cocoa also contains powerful antioxidants. Cocoa may lower LDL cholesterol, reduce the risk of blood clots, increase blood flow to the arteries, lower high blood pressure, boost cognitive performance and provide essential minerals such as calcium and potassium.
Boora Sugar is raw and unprocessed sugar. Hence, it contains more minerals than refined sugar. Also, white sugar has corn starch mixed in it to avoid caking which increases the glycemic index of white sugar. Glycemic Index measures the rate at which glucose gets absorbed in the blood. The lower the GI the better. Diabetic patients are recommended to intake food with low Glycemic Index.
I had to prepare three varients of the recipe, keeping in mind the taste buds of the three ladies in the house: Me, Zoey and Elina. The youngest one, Elina likes her bakes frosting free and in natural state. So, I didn’t glaze a few donuts for her to cherish. Zoey, on the other hand loves the most decorated bakes. She wants her food to be presentable and yummy to look at. The glazed doughnuts with sprinklers are for her. And, finally me, the mom is a chocolate lover and like her desserts plain and simple. Hence, the glazed doughnut for me.
The doughnuts tasted incredible. They were deliciously sweet, thanks to banana. The rich dark cocoa glaze made them even more irresistible. The recipe was loved by both my kids and they just couldn’t wait for me to click pictures. It was impossible for me to distract Elina from the doughnuts and hence her hand in the picture. Zoey happily took the doughnut for her school activity and demanded more when she came back from school. I was happy to feed her without any guilt while she enjoyed her treats whole heartedly. I hope you will like and try this recipe and let me know how it turned out for you. Happy Baking!!
RECIPE FOR EGG-LESS WHOLE-WHEAT BANANA DOUGHNUTS WITH COCOA GLAZE
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Baking Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
2 cups whole wheat flour
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp cinnamon powder
¼ tsp nutmeg powder
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp flavorless vegetable oil (i used olive oil)
3 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp Demerara Sugar
1 cup mashed banana (for me it was about 3 medium bananas)
1½ cup milk
FOR GLAZE AND DECORATION:
2 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
4 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tbsp milk at room temperature
4 tbsp boora sugar (or as required)
PREPARATION OF DOUGHNUTS:
- Sieve whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder and salt atleast 2 times. Mix well and keep aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together demerara sugar, vegetable oil and vanilla extract.
- Stir in the mashed banana and mix well.
- Slowly alternate between adding flour mixture and milk to the banana mix, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Do not over mix. Adjust the milk quantity as per your need. The final batter should have a cake batter consistency.
- Let the batter sit for a while till then preheat the oven to 180ºC and grease the mini doughnut moulds with oil.
- Pour the batter with a spoon in the moulds or transfer the batter to a piping bag and pipe the batter into the doughnut cups.
- Bake the doughnuts for 15 minutes or until a skewer comes clean.
- Cool the doughnuts in the moulds for 5 minutes before carefully transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Decorate the doughnuts with cocoa glaze and sprinklers as explained below before serving.
FOR COCOA GLAZE:
- Take the unsalted butter and boora sugar in a saucepan.
- Heat and melt the butter and dissolve the sugar in butter. Do not overheat which may change the texture and taste of the sugar and final glaze.
- Add cocoa powder. Mix well with butter sugar mixture and turn off the heat.
- Add milk. Stir very well. You may add or reduce the milk by a tbsp according to the consistency of the glaze you desire. But, do keep in mind that the glaze gets thicker as it cools. The cocoa glaze is ready to use.
- Dip the bottom sides of the doughnuts in the cocoa glaze. Actually, you may dip any side but the bottom sides usually give a smooth finish.
- Set the doughnuts on the tray and add sprinklers as per your choice.
- Let the glaze set in refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.
- Enjoy your yummy healthy doughnuts. I even like the plain doughnuts without any frosting warm with a hot cup of tea. So, the doughnuts serve well both as a dessert and a tea-time snack.
- The recipe yielded 22 mini doughnuts for me. In case, you are using a standard doughnut mould to bake, please adjust the timing accordingly.
- My bakes had some holes in the final output, since I played around with a batter a bit and added about 1 tbsp demerara sugar in the last set of doughnuts to get a crunchy taste and a nice brown color which might have added some air pockets in the batter. This step may easily be skipped and the recipe followed as given in the procedure.