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Christmas morning breakfast in my house is more than just the usual oatmeal, cereal or smoothie. I admit; it generally consists of an unhealthy Danish, donut or cinnamon roll…but with a bowl of fruit, of course! This year, I am fixing my fellow co-worker's healthier take on Apple Donuts.

Donuts are typically made of a batter, which yields a denser, cake-like donut, or they are made of a dough, which are more light and airy. Flour, eggs, sugar and a leaving agent (baking powder or yeast) are core ingredients. Donuts are typically deep-fried in oil or shortening, making them a "nutritional no-no." Whether it's a cake donut or yeast donut, you'll throw down about 400 calories and 20 grams of fat! However with a few changes, they don't have to be such a heavy burden. Use half white whole wheat flour to increase fiber. Most recipes can be cut down on sugar; try decreasing by one third. And, of course, bake instead of fry. With these small changes, one donut can go from 400 calories to only 180! But don't forget to include a side of fruit, too!

Cinnamon-Sugar Dipped Apple Donuts

¾ cup all-purpose flour

¾ cup white whole wheat flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

¼ cup canola oil

1 ½ cups peeled and grated apple

1 Tablespoon melted butter

2 Tablespoons sugar mixed with ½ Tablespoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare donut pan with nonstick spray. In large mixing bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, pie spice, and salt. In medium mixing bowl, beat together brown sugar and eggs until creamy. Add oil and apples and mix until incorporated. Add wet ingredients to dry, stirring gently until all ingredients are just combined.

Fill each cavity in the donut pan about ¾ full with batter. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until donuts are slightly browned. Carefully remove from pan and place onto cooling rack. Brush the top of each donut with melted butter. Press the top of each donut into a shallow container containing cinnamon-sugar. Serve immediately.

Yield: About 1 dozen

Nutritional analysis per serving: 180 calories, 7 grams fat, 170 milligrams sodium, 27 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 3 grams protein


Today's recipe was written by Leia Kedem, Nutrition & Wellness Educator covering Champaign, Ford, Iroquois, and Vermilion Counties. Follow her, Moderation Maven, on Facebook!