When I was asked to do a healthy baking class for the Sage Colleges’ Dietetic Interns only two days before Thanksgiving I didn’t know if I could do it. Right after the class I would have to pick up my daughter at the airport and start cooking and preparing for Thanksgiving. So much stress!!!! You can tell that I am a type AA personality!

I was so worried that I wouldn’t be able to get everything done, but honestly, the interns and I had so much FUN!

There were 14 students, some of whom I had taught before and some of whom I had never met before. All were eager to learn. I thought it might be fun to make two versions of shortcakes– one recipe that was my original loaded with butter, and the other a healthier version I created with light butter and whole grain flour replacing some of the all-purpose flour. After baking, the students split the original shortcakes in half and they were filled with whipped cream and fresh berries.

The healthier version was split in half and filled with only half the whipped cream that had been folded in with some fat free vanilla Greek-style yogurt. The filling for the healthier version really decreased the saturated fat calories, but NOT the flavor, even though we only used one half the quantity of heavy cream.

I even had the students do a blind taste test. Everyone tried an original and a healthier shortcake, side by side on the same plate. They could not tell which ones were which.

I know that a healthier recipe is a success when NO ONE can taste a difference between that and the original. And even if there are minor differences between the two recipes, the healthier recipe should still taste as delicious or it was not worth making.

Teaching this class was the best thing I could have ever done. It was so relaxing that I felt like I had been to a yoga class. I don’t know who had a better time, the students or ME! Hopefully, it was a toss up.

Happy Baking!

Chef Gail