By: Kim Macy, Pastry Chef

In Miraval’s newest book, Sweet & Savory Cooking, my husband, Executive Chef Justin Macy and I share recipes and techniques for making delicious, healthy dishes. Here is a sneak peek into some of my favorite secret ingredients that I use to add nutrition, and reduce calories and fat in my baking! Pre-order Sweet & Savory Cooking now before it hits bookstores January 7, 2014 for more healthy cooking tips and one-of-a-kind recipes mentioned below!

• Fresh seasonal berries are so versatile and you can add them to anything. A little jumble of berries adds height, color, flavor, with, of course, minimal calories and loads of nutrients. My favorite berries are raspberries, for their gorgeous color, sweet perfume, and ease of use – no steam or big seed to worry about. They are the perfect balance of so many good things!

• Yogurt is fantastic in baking because the acid which keeps the dough tender. I love to incorporate vanilla yogurt in place of sour cream to help keep the moist and flavor in cakes and scones. My strawberry pecan scones are a great dish using yogurt.

• Seven-grain cereals, along with oats and wheat bran, give breakfast treats an earthy, nutty flavor and are a nutritional powerhouse. My multigrain waffles are a great treat to try this trick.

• Honey is wonderful as a sweetener in so many baked good, especially breads that use a whole-wheat flour. It adds a subtle sweetness but brings out the nuttiness of the whole-wheat flour. My favorite bread recipe is my whole-wheat honey oat rolls – perfect for a fancy dinner party or simple sandwiches. 

 Fresh herbs such as chive, thyme, dill or rosemary help give bread a wonderful fragrance and bold flavor. I love my cheddar-chive gluten-free bread for this tip – and best part is it freezes well too.

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