Friday, February 12, 2016

(Nearly) Guilt-Free Scones with Citrus Glaze

How are those New Year's Resolutions working for you? Are you watching what you eat, and maybe even counting calories? Are you like me, and struggle to eat "just one" of anything? 

Ever since I first ordered my first vegan fruit and nut scone from Newport Coffee House in Deerfield, Illinois, I have been on a mission to find the perfect scone recipe. A perfect scone to me would be similar to a fluffy biscuit, not too heavy, not too dry, yummy, and, if we're talking perfect, could it please have less than a gazillion calories per slice?  

My first attempt was the RANDOMOCITY APPLE OAT SCONE, which I like well enough. As summer turned to fall, I adapted that same recipe for Pumpkin Spice Scones. Again, tasty, but the result was a heavier, slightly drier scone. 

Then I found the recipe to beat all recipes: EASIEST SCONES EVER (by Micheline at the Miniature Moose blog). Her recipe yields the lightest, fluffiest scone you'll ever put in your mouth. It's hard to beat her claim for their being easy; only three ingredients are listed, and she details every step so the recipe is basically fool-proof.

When I went to Utah, Bridger and Sierra devoured the scones, and requested I make them again. Soon.  I used a lemon glaze, rather than grapefruit. We all agreed they were better than any scone we'd ever had. 

My only concern with the fluffy little scone is the nutritional info. The Easiest Scones Ever came in at a whopping 429 calories each. I love them so much; it is hard to limit myself to just one a day. They are dangerously yumbo. So I set out to do what I do: adapt the recipe to suit me so I can indulge without so much guilt.

When tinkering with the perfect recipe, something has to give. The secret is to not adapt it to the point that it is no longer recognizable. I knew I wanted to lower the amount of white flour and fat, while increasing the whole wheat flour and protein. To offset the heaviness of the white whole wheat flour, I doubled the baking powder to help the dough to rise more. Greek yogurt is similar to the coconut milk in texture, and seems to do well as a substitute. The recipe that follows came about after several weeks of testing.

To me, these (Nearly) Guilt-Free Scones are a pretty good balance of nutrition and flavor and texture. The calories have been trimmed from 429 down to 184, and the fat grams reduced from 18 to 4. If sugar is an issue, these are good enough without the raw sugar sprinkles and tangy citrus glaze, and your nutrition counts will change accordingly. 

The final result is here for you. If you try them, let me know what you think.

1 cup flour (I use Better for Bread flour. You may also use all-purpose flour.)
1 cup whole wheat white flour (Target had King Arthur's whole wheat white)
4 teaspoons baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 heaping tablespoon of sugar
1 heaping tablespoon of stevia (I use half stevia/half sugar. If using all stevia for the sweetener, the scones will not turn a nice golden brown color, and if using all sugar, nutritional info will be different.)
3/4 c.  vanilla nonfat Greek yogurt (Oikos Triple Zero is my preference)
3/4 cup canned coconut milk, full fat, room temperature. Set aside 1 tablespoon for brushing on dough before baking. (Heavy whipping cream may be used instead.)
1 teaspoon grated citrus peel (We love orange, tangerine, or lemon)
1 tablespoon raw, turbinado sugar for sprinkling on scones before baking

Citrus glaze: Stir together 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed citrus (orange, tangerine, lemon) juice and 1/4 cup of powdered sugar. Drizzle on scones after baking.

1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add in any stir-ins now. (Dried fruit, ground spices, citrus zest, coconut, nuts)

3. Stir in coconut milk and yogurt until just mixed; do NOT over-mix. If the dough is too dry, add another tablespoon or two of the yogurt.

4. Gently knead the mixture on a lightly floured surface a few times. Too much kneading will result in a tough scone, and nobody wants that! If the dough is too sticky to work with, add an additional tablespoon or two of flour until the dough is smooth, and easily shaped.

5. Shape the dough into a circle on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 

6. Brush the top of the circle with the tablespoon of coconut milk, and sprinkle with sugar. (We love the raw sugar granules which are chunkier than table sugar.)

7. Cut the dough into 8 wedges with a pizza cutter. (If you're like me, you might forget to slice it before baking. Don't worry; it doesn't ruin it. It just bakes up nicer to have it pre-sliced.

8. Bake for 16-20 minutes, on the top rack, until the crust is golden brown.

9. Let it cool for just a few minutes before topping with citrus glaze.

Nutrition Info for Yummy Scones (Thanks to My Fitness Pal's recipe calculator.)
Nutrition Facts
Servings 8.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 184
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4 g6 %
Saturated Fat 3 g17 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg0 %
Sodium 15 mg1 %
Potassium 44 mg1 %
Total Carbohydrate 29 g10 %
Dietary Fiber 2 g9 %
Sugars 9 g
Protein 6 g13 %
Vitamin A0 %
Vitamin C0 %
Calcium3 %
Iron7 %

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