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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, August 11, 2022


July 29, 2001 – Those who want to enjoy old-time favorite foods but worry about contemporary health concerns can have their johnnycake and eat it, too, thanks to a few culinary tricks.
These fluffy round ovals of bread are typically fried — submerged and saturated, that is, with a walloping dose of oil that over a period of years can clog arteries to a stop. The main ingredient in the batter is white flour, devoid of the fiber-richness of whole-wheat grains.
To make johnnycakes more healthful is as simple as baking them and making them using whole-wheat flour as the base. In the recipe below, there are a few other tricks to trim the fat even further: Using light margarine in place of butter, substituting skim (fat-free) milk for whole milk, and "greasing" the baking sheet with a nonstick spray such as Pam.
While this recipe is for basic baked, whole-wheat johnnycakes, inventive cooks might want to go a little farther in adding flavor as well as nutrition. How about kneading in a bit of chopped garlic and parsley to the batter, or perhaps rosemary and chopped onion? These variations give traditional Virgin Islands johnnycakes a twist that tastes good — and makes them good for you, too.
Whole Wheat Baked Johnnycakes
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons light margarine
1/2 cup skim milk
Sift together the flours, salt, sugar and baking powder. Add margarine and work in gently with fingertips. Add milk gradually until soft dough is formed. Knead for 5 minutes. Roll into small balls, then flatten and place on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with a non-stick coating. Bake at 400 F for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Makes 6.

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