European Style Baking for a Healthier Lifestyle


Just a Bit of Butter is a blog concept designed to help the avid baker who seeks to cut sugar and fat and still make excellent pastries.  This is not a health food blog but it is a blog that teaches a healthier lifestyle.  You will find that my recipes contain as much as 75% less sugar and butter compared to its American counter parts.  That is because European baking by nature is less fatty and sweet.

Current health statistics in America are alarming.  The CDC reports that more than 1/3 of adult Americans are obese. 1 in 6 American children also fall into the obesity category. Almost 10% of Americans have diagnosed diabetes and a whopping 28 % of Americans have un-diagnosed diabetes.  Type 2 (adult set) diabetes and obesity are both preventable diseases so why are so many Americans suffering from them? The answer almost wholly lies in the diet of the average person.

Until 2013 the FDA approved partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) as an acceptable additive in processed food.  PHOs add flavor and fat and help preserve products such as cakes and cookies so that they have a longer shelf life.  Some common PHOs are margarine and shortening. Just a fun fact about margarine- if you put out a pat of butter and a pat of margarine animals will devour the butter and leave the margarine untouched.  Think about that the next time you consider it as a “healthy” alternative.

Okay, so we all know that fats and sugars are bad for us but where does that leave the average person? On a perpetual diet? Of course not! I bake in the European mantra of less is more.  I always use real whole ingredients like butter, sugar, salt, and eggs.  I never substitute chemical sugars or margarine or shortening for any of my ingredients.  On top of this, you will find that almost all my recipes call for much less fat and sugar than the American standard.  Additionally, many of my recipes get the “fat” component from ingredients like nuts instead of butter.  This in itself allows a dessert to be lighter and healthier.

Join me on my journey as I teach you how to make European delights.  You will find that you seldom feel stuffed or bloated from a European pastry.  All of my recipes are derived from a combination of culinary school training and European influence.  Most of them are family recipes passed down through the generations.  My Czech grandmother on my mother’s side is 88 and has been eating these pastries her whole life!!! This blog will show you that a good diet is not always about restricting yourself but making smarter choices and opening your mind to new styles of baking.  Thank you for joining me on my baking journey. Bon Apetit!

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