I used to love biscuits. I was raised on my mom’s Bisquick biscuits and sometime during college graduated to baking and devouring Southern-style biscuits made with White Lily flour and lots of butter or margarine. Living alone in my tiny student apartment, I would bake up batches of huge, fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth biscuits on the weekend and eat them all by myself, and it didn’t take long before I developed huge, fluffy thighs to match.
Fast forward x-number of years (I don’t want to think about how fast that time went!) Today I firmly believe that all that white flour and fat isn’t good for me, my thighs, or my arteries. So I rarely make biscuits. I could indulge in a biscuit or two for an occasional treat, but the truth is, I don’t want to re-develop a taste for them. And since it’s the fat that gives biscuits their light, flaky texture, fat-free biscuits just don’t have the same texture, no matter what you do.
But if you’re not expecting them to be lighter than air, it is possible to make biscuits that are a new type of comfort food, tasty and filling without fat or white flour. For these biscuits, I’ve replaced the fat with pumpkin puree, and though they they’re not going to float off the plate, you definitely won’t break a tooth biting into them. In keeping with my goal of making them as healthy as possible, I didn’t use any sugar at all; raisins provide the only sweetening, so if you want to sweeten them up, you can top them with icing, as in the photos (that’s the orange icing from Chocolate-Orange Cake). But D, who doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth, preferred them plain, and E and I liked them spread with apple butter or drizzled with agave nectar for a sweet yet more natural taste.
Fat-Free Pumpkin and Raisin Biscuits
If you want to make the dough itself a little sweeter, substitute agave nectar for a couple tablespoons of the soy milk. Or, if you want sweetness without calories, try adding a little stevia or your favorite sweetener to the batter.
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup pumpkin (canned or cooked, pureed, and drained)
- 1/2 cup plain soy milk (plus additional, as needed)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 425F and lightly oil a non-stick baking sheet. Mix the dry ingredients together well (flour through raisins). Add the pumpkin and mix until crumbly (do not overmix). Combine the soymilk and lemon juice and add it, stirring until a soft dough forms. If all flour is not moistened, add additional soymilk a teaspoon at at time until dough forms a ball.
- Turn out the dough onto a well-floured surface and sprinkle the top lightly with flour. Roll out about 3/4 inch thick. Using a 1 1/2-2-inch wide biscuit cutter or glass dipped in flour, press straight down without twisting to cut into 12-15 biscuits.
- Place the biscuits, sides lightly touching, on the oiled sheet. Bake until tops are lightly browned, 9-11 minutes. Serve hot.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s) | Cooking time: 15 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 14
Nutrition (per serving): 75 calories, 5 calories from fat, less than 1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 203.7mg sodium, 123.2mg potassium, 16.1g carbohydrates, 2.8g fiber, 2.2g sugar, 2.9g protein, 1 points.