Now that fall is here, Facebook and Pinterest are alive with “easy two ingredient” recipes for all the holiday baking that start with a cake mix then you add a can of pumpkin or something similar and…BAM!…dessert.
I would like to point out, though, that it isn’t two ingredients. It is, at best, about 20 ingredients, many of which are harmful and TOXIC to your body.
I’ll break down a Duncan Hines Yellow Cake mix for you:
Sugar, Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour (Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Vegetable Oil Shortening (Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Propylene Glycol Mono- and Diesters Of Fats, Mono and Diglycerides), Leavening (Sodium Bicarbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate). Contains 2% Or Less Of: Wheat Starch, Salt, Dextrose, Polyglycerol Esters Of Fatty Acids, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Cellulose Gum, Artificial Flavors, Xanthan Gum, Maltodextrin, Modified Cornstarch, Colored with (Yellow 5 Lake, Red 40 Lake).
SUGAR: I know. It’s dessert. It’s going to often have sugar in it. But, I’d like to point a couple things out about this: (1) This is processed refined sugar. TOXIC for you. And, yes, I have recipes on my blog that contain refined sugar. But, in my Yummy Yellow Cake, sugar is not the main ingredient. (2) The number one ingredient in this boxed cake mix is sugar.
ENRICHED BLEACHED WHEAT FLOUR: I talk much about the processes in the industrial production of flour in this post. In addition to that, I’d like to point out that this is BLEACHED flour. Yes. They actually use chlorine bleach to make the flour white.
PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL: This one has a three-parter. (1) Soy is one of the most genetically modified foods out there. If you MUST consume a product containing soy, please make sure it’s organic to help avoid the whole Frankenfood phenomenon. (2) If you’ve never read “Soy – OH BOY!“, you must. (3) If you are concerned about what goes into your body, one of the first things you should avoid without exception is any kind of hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil. Partial hydrogenation is an industrial process used to make oil more solid and to increase the shelf life. The process makes the oil REALLY REALLY bad for you. Here is a really informative article that has all sorts of research links included in it. Basically, avoid it all the time.
MONOGLYCERIDES AND DIGLYCERIDES: These are emulsifiers and are also used to increase shelf life. They can be made from animal sources (pig or cow), plant sources (canola or soybean), or via industrial process. If you’re like us, you avoid pig. Canola and soybean are in the top 5 most genetically modified crops in America. Anything industrialized is just not something you want to consume.
POLYGLYCEROL ESTERS OF FATTY ACIDS: These are natural products that are used as emulsifiers and not toxic, but are often made from pig instead of plant sources, so if you’re like me, you want to avoid them.
ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS AND ARTIFICIAL COLORS: I don’t think that this requires any expository. But, I will point out that several countries in Europe have already banned the use of artificial dyes in food because of the controversy surrounding them.
If you want to make a dessert, take the time to make it with good, whole ingredients. Use healthy fats and organic foods. The difference in time in measuring out cake ingredients and opening a box is a simple matter of minutes. But, the taste and end result are infinitely better.If you want a pumpkin cake, try this one made with honey and whole wheat flour.
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