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Okay, so donuts are delicious. Fried dough with a sweet frosting or glaze? Yes please. Of course, we all know that donuts aren't health food. But let's be honest - it's unrealistic to expect that you're NEVER going to eat donuts. Plus, it's definitely possible to occasionally have one in the context of a healthy eating pattern.

My perspective is that if you're going to have a donut, do it right.

#1 - Have a smaller portion.
#2 - Balance it out by choosing foods that are lower in fat and sugar the rest of the day.
#3 - Eat your donut with foods that have protein and fiber so you don't have a blood sugar crash in an hour. For example, have your donut with a piece of fruit and some Greek yogurt or a couple of hard-boiled eggs.
#4 - Make them yourself.

Believe it or not, donuts are pretty easy to make. They do take time (mostly waiting for the dough to rise), but the process of making them yourself makes the reward that much sweeter. So instead of grabbing a dozen on the way to work, whip up a batch yourself. I promise, you'll become the most popular person at the office!

(Scroll to the bottom of the post for a printable PDF version of the recipe)

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                Nutrition Facts Face-Off!

                Our nutrition comparison is based on a chocolate frosted donut from a popular bakery chain. The nutritional differences are primarily due to smaller portion size but also a healthier ganache/glaze on top. Fat-free half and half replaces cream and butter and I used dark chocolate because it's lower in sugar, richer in flavor, and is a source of antioxidants.

                Image removed.


                Dark Chocolate Ganache Glazed Donuts (Printable PDF Version)

                Makes about 32 donuts


                Ingredients

                • ¾ cup 2% milk
                • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
                • ¼ teaspoon salt
                • 1 (0.25 ounce) packet active dry yeast
                • ¼ cup warm water
                • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
                • 1/3 cup butter, softened
                • 2 eggs, beaten
                • Oil for deep frying (corn oil works well)

                For dark chocolate ganache:

                • 1/3 cup fat-free half and half
                • 4 ounces dark chocolate chips

                Directions

                1. Stir together milk, sugar, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Add 2 cups of flour and using an electric mixer, beat on low speed until blended.
                2. In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, dissolve yeast in warm water. Pour into the milk and flour mixture. Add butter and eggs and beat on medium speed 1-2 minutes.
                3. Using a wooden spoon, stir in remaining flour ½ cup at a time, mixing until combined. When dough is slightly sticky, turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 4-5 minutes, adding more flour as needed.
                4. Transfer dough to an oiled bowl; roll dough in bowl to coat with oil. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes.
                5. When dough has doubled in size, roll dough out on a lightly floured surface to ½" thickness. Cut into circles of 2-3" diameter using a cookie cutter. Set aside to rise for another 30-40 minutes.
                6. Heat one inch of oil to 375°F in a deep heavy frying pan. Fry donuts a few at a time. Cook on each side until golden brown, then drain on paper towels.
                7. To make chocolate glaze, heat half and half to boiling in a saucepan. Pour over chocolate chips in a mixing bowl and stir until chocolate has melted. Dip the top of each donut in glaze, letting excess drip off. Invert and set onto plate or serving platter.

                Nutrition Facts (1 donut): Calories 170, Total Fat 11g (Saturated 3g), Cholesterol 20mg, Sodium 30mg, Total Carbohydrate 17g, Dietary Fiber 1g, Protein 3g, Vitamin A 0% DV, Vitamin C 0% DV, Calcium 0% DV, Iron 6% DV

                 

                Today's post was written by Leia Kedem. Leia Kedem, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian and Nutrition & Wellness Educator covering Champaign, Ford, Iroquois, and Vermilion Counties. She appears weekly on WCIA-3/WCIX-49 and is a biweekly contributor to the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette. She also maintains Facebook and Twitter accounts where she regularly posts health tips and answers nutrition questions for free.