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testkitchen45
06-18-2008, 10:18 AM
For the muffins below, which use shortening, is trans-fat-free Crisco OK, or do I need to find a more healthful sub? I admit to ignorance about shortening except for a vague idea that it's horrible for you; I rarely use it but would like to resurrect this recipe as I haven't made it in ages. Thanks!


* Exported from MasterCook *

Bran Muffins in Bundt Pans

Recipe By :These muffins are beautiful in the elaborate 6-cavity mini-Bundt pans.
Serving Size : 18
Categories : Bread, Quick Family Meal (Simple)
Make Ahead/NO last-min prep

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
3 cups All-Bran® cereal -- divided 1/3 (into stand-mixer bowl) and 2/3 (set aside)
1 cup boiling water

1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs

2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups lowfat buttermilk -- but see Directions when measuring

Preheat standard oven to 400 degrees, or convection oven (recommended) to
375 degrees. (I found these temperatures to be OK even for the dark Bundt
muffin pans, since this recipe did come from NordicWare.) If making more
than 12 mini-Bundts, place oven racks just above and below the center of
the oven, as you'll need two racks. Prepare Bundt pans by spraying with a
combination vegetable oil-and-flour spray such as Pam Baking.

Boil one cup of water; soak 1/3 of the All-Bran® in the boiling water in a
bowl with tall, straight sides (either a stand mixer, or a batter bowl for
hand-mixer use, because a flared bowl is difficult to
mix in, and mixing this recipe by hand doesn't work very well).

Add shortening, sugar, and eggs; mix well. Measure out buttermilk if not
done already: do not pour cold buttermilk into the hot glass pitcher in
which you boiled the water.

Combine flour, soda, and salt; add alternately with buttermilk to egg-bran
mixture. Mix in remaining 2/3 of All-Bran®.

Spoon batter into Bundt muffin pans as follows: you can fill two pans 2/3
full and get 12 muffins, but the batter will rise higher than the pans,
making the final muffins less attractive when flipped over. Or, fill the
cavities of three pans 1/2 full and get (probably) 18 muffins.

Bake in standard oven at 400 for 15-20 minutes, or in convection oven at
375 for 12-15 minutes, or until a pick inserted into muffins comes out
clean. Let cool for about 3-5 minutes in pans; dump out on a wire rack to
cool.

Description:
"Excellent. Very moist, tender, and light; great hot and slathered
with butter but moist enough not to need much."
Source:
"NordicWare Bundt Cookbook"
Yield:
"18 muffins"
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 202 Calories; 7g Fat (29.3%
calories from fat); 5g Protein; 33g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 25mg
Cholesterol; 291mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0
Non-Fat Milk; 1 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

NOTES : Batter may be refrigerated for 6 weeks (do not freeze it).
But why bother? Just make the muffins and freeze them.

Robyn1007
06-18-2008, 10:24 AM
I think a lot of people use coconut oil as a shortening sub and that it's solid at room temp. Hopefully Sneezles or dneilson can pop in here cause I think they know more about it.

ljt2r
06-18-2008, 10:37 AM
According to Sneezles (I think) coconut oil is a good sub--I think it is the cold expeller pressed you want but don't totally quote me on that. Since they are muffins palm oil might work--I found that it made my cookies spread but that should not be an issue for muffins. Another option, which I have turned to lately, is Earth Balance shortening which is all natural, no trans fats, and found in the refrigerated organic section usually.

testkitchen45
06-18-2008, 12:33 PM
I just got back from the store, and I don't understand why coconut oil is considered better than shortening. :confused: I think it was called coconut oil; it was by LouAna & was coconut something-or-other, right by the Crisco. Trans-fat-free Crisco has 16% of your saturated fat per day, per serving; the coconut oil has 60%. :eek: Maybe one of the coconut-oil users on the BB will pipe in here; I appreciate the answers I got so far but am now more confused than ever. :o

(In the meantime, I did buy the 0-trans-fat shortening. :eek: :o ;))

Sprouts
06-18-2008, 12:38 PM
I believe the difference is that the transfat free Crisco still has hydrogenated oils which, while not being proven to be as dangerous as the partially hydrogenated oils it is still being questioned as to how safe it is.

sneezles
06-18-2008, 12:58 PM
The saturated fat in coconut oil (only a liquid in room temp above 80º otherwise it's a solid) is quite different from the saturated fats in fully-hydrogenated Crisco. Plus the coconut oil is natural not manufactured like the Crisco crap. Your body does need some saturated fats and studies have followed peoples who have only ever had tropical oils in their diets and have no real heart problems we associate with saturated fats. Both Earth Balance and Spectrum brands are tropical oils. I don't think twice about using tropicals in place of Crisco.

ljt2r
06-18-2008, 12:59 PM
I believe the difference is that the transfat free Crisco still has hydrogenated oils which, while not being proven to be as dangerous as the partially hydrogenated oils it is still being questioned as to how safe it is.

Yup that's it--the idea being that 100% natural coconut oil high in saturated fats is still a better option than processed stuff. Check the Earth Balance though for an alternative--I don't think it is hydrogenated and I believe it is lower in saturated fat.

testkitchen45
06-18-2008, 01:02 PM
The saturated fat in coconut oil (only a liquid in room temp above 80º otherwise it's a solid) is quite different from the saturated fats in fully-hydrogenated Crisco. Plus the coconut oil is natural not manufactured like the Crisco crap. Your body does need some saturated fats and studies have followed peoples who have only ever had tropical oils in their diets and have no real heart problems we associate with saturated fats. Both Earth Balance and Spectrum brands are tropical oils. I don't think twice about using tropicals in place of Crisco.

I've seen older threads on this topic, but clearly I've missed something. :o I thought saturated fat was categorically bad, regardless of the source. Is it not? I also thought that we were supposed to watch our % of sat fat, so I picked the 16% (0-trans-fat Crisco) vs. the 60% (natural coc. oil). Is there a thread or resource--or a brief answer from you; I don't want to duplicate old info--that addresses this question? :) I know that the hydrogenated & partially hydrogenated oils are bad, but made a quick decision today based on % sat fat. Thanks!

Sprouts
06-18-2008, 01:13 PM
Well, the trans fat free Crisco has hydrogenated oil in it. It's kind of like the decision that people need to make between sugar and artificial sweeteners. Neither is great for you but which is the lesser of two evils.

sneezles
06-18-2008, 01:15 PM
I've seen older threads on this topic, but clearly I've missed something. :o I thought saturated fat was categorically bad, regardless of the source. Is it not?

Depends on who you talked to...saturated from meat is the true "bad" stuff. We were told for decades that saturated fat was bad and margarine and Crisco were better for us. We now know that was a lie perpetuated by the soybean industry among others. There is a book (I have a copy but lent it out so I'm guessing at the correct name) called Know Your Fats by Mary G Enig, Ph.D and it gives a thorough explanation of the different types of fats.

Personally, I am staying away from fully-hydrogenated for the same reason I stay away from other un-natural food stuffs.

heavy hedonist
06-20-2008, 11:16 AM
health arguments aside, if I were making this, and I have made similar ones, I'd use half butter and half oil-- the bran seems to like oil or shortening for part of the fat measure, and the butter gives a nice flavor the original recipe misses out on. i usually use soft, not melted, butter.

dneilson
06-20-2008, 08:58 PM
[QUOTE=sneezles;1388333] There is a book (I have a copy but lent it out so I'm guessing at the correct name) called Know Your Fats by Mary G Enig, Ph.D and it gives a thorough explanation of the different types of fats.

QUOTE]

I am a fan of Mary Enig's work. She's a world-renowned biochemist and nutritionist and as a scientist, has demonstrated courage going up against the powerful oil industry demonstrating that saturated fats (except transfats) were not the evil contributor to heart disease. She pioneered the ground breaking research of the health dangers of trans-fats.
The one sneezles suggested is excellent.
Also : "Eat Fat Lose Fat" Dr. Mary Enig, PhD

About baking with coconut oil:
I sub coconut oil if flavors are compatible - but be aware that at cooler temperatures, "cakey" textures will be "drier" or "crumbly" due to the fact that coconut has different physical properties than butter or shortening. It does not have the elasticity that shortening has (which is why in addition to being cheap, large baking industries like to use it for whipping maximum air) It's elastic temperature has an extremely narrow range. In liquid form, it will not whip like most oils...if it's "out of it's soft range", it won't be malleable for whipping either. I have subbed w/ success equal parts coconut oil and evoo for muffins (I know, yuk, right?? NOPE - a fruity one works well for many recipes - no peppery, grassy notes though). This gives me healthier fat options. Sometimes I use a combination of flax, unrefined corn (Spectrum), evoo and coconut oil. This way, no one specific flavor dominates.


Dolores

testkitchen45
06-22-2008, 08:13 AM
Wow. There's so much to learn in this area--and I just finished Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food, which addresses the iron grip that "nutritionism" and the food-processing industry have on the recommendations of what we're supposed to eat, esp. in the area of fats. Interesting info. Thanks for all the responses. :)

Julie O
06-22-2008, 08:58 PM
From Harold McGee "On Food and Cooking"

Butter 62% saturated fats
Coconut oil 86% saturated fats
Olive oil 13% saturated fats

Total of 22 food fat sources are listed in his table (p. 800, newest edition). Coconut oil is highest in saturated fats of them all, even more than beef fat (50% saturated fat). Coconut oil was once the stand-by for many processed baked goods until saturated fats were implicated as a major factor in heart disease in this country. Food manufacturers switched to oils and fats that were high in trans-fats until they were found to be at least as dangerous. But, even though coconut oil is considered "natural", all fats are produced from some type of living creature, either plant or animal. Additional processing is done on some of these sources to optimize the fat for use in foods (e.g., to have a liquid instead of solid, to make something more shelf stable (fats that are high in saturated fats are not as shelf-stable).

You'd be better off trying butter than coconut oil if you're concerned about the type of fat you eat. McGee is an excellent source for unbiased, scientific information about foods. There's a great description about the difference between butter and margarine; what trans fats are and why they're bad; and a great, short discussion about fats in foods. Make sure you look at the 2004 edition. It was updated to include new information about our latest scientific understanding about food.


You may want to look at the biography on Mary Enig on Wikipedia. As a fellow scientist, it's clear that she's a fringe scientist. No publications in scientific peer-reviewed journals since 1994. The peer-review process is critical to ensuring only scientifically-sound work is published. Only recent publications have been from a foundation she co-founded. Appears to have been working to get tenure at a university and was denied. Doesn't believe cholesterol and heart disease are linked. It goes on and on and on.

In her publication info she claims to be at the forefront of the trans fat issue, but in fact published her book after the Center for Science in Public Interest already petitioned the FDA about the issue.

"FDA received a citizen petition, dated February 14, 1994, from CSPI
(docket number 94P-0036/CP1) stating that an increasing body of
evidence suggests that dietary trans fatty acids raise blood
cholesterol levels, thereby increasing the risk of coronary heart
disease (CHD)."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_G._Enig
http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/qatrans2.html