Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Rusks - baking vs. buying?

Who in South Africa does not love rusks? Next to biltong I think they are right up there with truly South African passions. Sadly, because I do not have a moderate bone in my body, I very rarely buy them. If there is a packet in the cupboard they will weigh on my mind (and my lips) until they are finished. I have brought this topic up today because my house mate has a box of rusks on his shelf which are luring me like so many sirens to the ultimate demise of my self control… before I traverse the personal space boundaries and scarf down his supply, I may need to bake or buy a batch.

The baking vs. buying debate is applicable here as the smell and taste of home baked rusks are a happy place for me, but they are a bit of a mission time wise because of the drying process. One can however leave the house while the rusks are drying as they are on such a low heat they couldn’t really cause any damage, but I’m not a fan of leaving my oven on while I’m not home and know that a certain level of anxiety would accompany any commencing activity. Okay I’m rambling here now.

I blogged about rusks a looong time ago, as at the time I had been wrestling with the dilemma that all good rusk recipes are loaded with calories and fat and I was on a mission to create a healthier rusk recipe. If you doubt what I am saying, take a look at the nutritional info on your favourite rusk packet and compare it to a chocolate slab’s nutritional info… just because it says it has bran or muesli in it, doesn’t make it healthy!

I did come up with a pretty viable health recipe which cut the sugar in the average recipe down by 80% and added loads of fibre. for the recipe, click here.

If I find that I am too lazy or strapped for time to bake my own rusks, there is almost only one brand of rusk I will buy (if I have the choice) and that is the Bags of Bites - sugar free, wheat free rusks – I know that sounds scary but take my word for it. They are packed with goodness and flavour and at the same time cut down on the guilt! 

What is not to love? Just make a mental note, they do not say anything about being fat free and from experience I know that there are many things you can successfully cut out of a rusk recipe, but fat is not one of them!

Can’t wait for my hot cup of coffee and chunky rusk fantasy to come true today and am pretty sure bags of bites is gonna win the battle of wills.
A picture of my Mommy and I having coffee and rusks the last time I went to visit.

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