Thursday, December 13, 2012

Healthy Donuts?!

Ornaments on treeIt's that time of year again...time for family, friends, and lots of treats!  Tonight I decided to try my hand at making donuts.  That sounds healthy, right?

As I have learned from researching food, what makes food healthy is often the quality of the ingredients being used, rather than what kind of food you are making.

Frying is a scary endeavor for me.  The last time I tried to fry something, 6 years ago, I ended up at the emergency room with my skin running down my left arm.  A little traumatic.  Tonight it was time to get back on the horse and try frying again.  

These are definitely a much healthier alternative to anything you'd buy in the store.

To make the donuts healthier I took this recipe and made some modifications.  

  • The eggs I use are high in omega-3, which causes good cholesterol to go up, and bad cholesterol levels to go down.  
  • Coconut sugar has such a low glycemic index that diabetics should be able to eat it, which means it won't spike your blood sugar levels.
  • The sugar doesn't have pesticides on it, and has vitamins and minerals still in it because it hasn't been refined.  
  • The sour cream doesn't have the pesticides, antibiotics and growth hormones from the cows, and often comes from cows that have been grass-fed, giving it a higher ratio of omega-3.  
  • The butter from grass-fed cows also has a higher ratio of omega-3.
  • Wheat is commonly high in pesticide residue, so going organic deals with that.  Also most pastries use a white flour that contains potassium bromate, which is a carcinogen.  
  • Sprouted flour has more nutrients available, and is easier to digest.
  • The sea salt and Himalayan salts have minerals that are good for us.  
  • And the piece de resistance...the coconut oil!  This oil rocks.  You can cook with it at high temperatures without it burning, and it keeps its nutritional value when heated, unlike many other oils. 
Coconut oil is made up of medium chain fatty acids which "are quickly digested, producing energy instead of body fat and arterial plaque like LCFA. About 50 percent of the MFCA in coconut oil is lauric acid, which strengthens the immune systemCaprylic acid and capric acid are also present, contributing to coconut oil's antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties." source 

Coconut oil is cholesterol free, and there are no bad for your heart trans-fats anywhere in this recipe!  :)

I cut their recipe in half, which was a good thing because it made 21 donuts.  The following is my version (already halved).


1 Egg, cage-free, preferably Trader Joe's, or local farm fresh eggs
1 1/4 cups Coconut sugar, or unrefined, organic cane sugar
1/4 cup Sour cream, organic
2 1/2 Tbls. melted Butter, from grass fed cows
1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract
5 cups All-purpose flour, organic (preferably sprouted), or all purpose gluten free
1 1/2 tsp. Baking soda
1/2 tsp. Sea salt or Himalayan salt
1/4 tsp. Ground nutmeg
1 1/4 cups Buttermilk or sour milk, preferably organic
Coconut Oil for frying


  • In a large bowl, beat eggs; add the sugar, sour cream, butter and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and nutmeg; add to sour cream mixture alternately with buttermilk.
  • Turn onto a lightly floured surface; roll to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with anything round that is about 2-1/2-in. wide.  I used the outer ring from a canning jar.  A wide mouth glass or mug may also work.  Once the circles are cut, use your fingers to work a 1 inch round hole into the middle of each circle.
  • In a cast iron skillet heat about 1 inch deep of coconut oil till a drop of dough put into it sizzles and cooks, but doesn't burn.  Fry donuts a few at a time, about 1-2 minutes on each side, until golden brown on both sides.  Use a metal slotted spoon to remove them, and place them on a paper towel.  
  • When they are cooled, but still warm, add sugar and cinnamon to a bowl.  Rub each side of the donut in the mixture until lightly coated.  For powdered sugar, just put the sugar in a food processor and blend until powdery, then coat donuts.

I didn't have butter milk, so I googled how to make sour milk.  I juiced 1 Tbls. of lemon juice into a measuring cup, then filled it to the 1 cup line with 2 % milk.  I left it to sit while I got out and measured, and mixed all the other ingredients.  By the time I needed it I think it officially qualified as sour milk.

These were surprisingly easy to make.  I thought I was in for a hard time by trying to make donuts of all things, but it really wasn't bad at all.

The final product was low in cholesterol, has a good balance omega's, and they had enough protein  in them (even with using the cane sugar), that I didn't notice any spike in my blood sugar levels.  


These donuts are deliciously cake like!

These cost me about $0.45 each to make, or about $9 for nearly 2 dozen donuts.  The biggest expense being the coconut oil, which I bought a 54 oz. container at Costco for $15.99 and had plenty leftover.

The final product had my kids declaring me the greatest mom in the universe.  It's amazing what a donut can do.  ;-)

Happy baking!

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