Lemon Yogurt Pound Cake

By Ann Lindemann

Lemon Yogurt Pound CakeLooking for a healthy indulgence to brighten your winter day? Your search is over! This versatile dessert features heart-healthy olive oil and protein-rich Greek yogurt, which replace the butter. A modern riff on a traditional favorite, egg whites help reduce calories, fat and cholesterol. Whole-wheat flour boosts the fiber content, too. To duplicate the texture of a classic pound cake, use a whole- wheat pastry flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill Flour. Serve this cake by itself or with some cut fresh fruit on top. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • Nonstick baking spray, for coating loaf pan
  • 1 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon (more if you like it extra lemony!)
  • 1/2 cup plain lowfat (2-percent) Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup low-fat (1-percent) milk
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 large egg

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Coat an 8 1/2- by 4 1/2-inch loaf pan with baking spray.
  3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
  4. Put the sugar and lemon zest in another bowl and rub the lemon zest into the sugar with your fingers. Add the yogurt, milk, olive oil, vanilla, egg whites and whole egg and vigorously whisk until well blended. Add the flour mixture into the egg mixture and fold until just incorporated.
  5. Transfer to the prepared pan. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, and then unmold and cool to room temperature.

Optional: For an extra lemony pound cake try putting more lemon zest and/or lemon juice in the batter. And, if you are feeling particularly indulgent, drizzle a simple lemon juice and powdered sugar glaze over the pound cake.

Yield: ~8 servings

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: Calories, 254; fat, 8 grams; carbohydrate, 38 grams; protein, 6 grams

Eggs: This ingredient offers essential amino acids and provide several vitamins and minerals, including retinol (vitamin A), riboflavin (vitamin B2), folic acid (vitamin B9), vitamin B6, vitamin B12, choline, iron, calcium, phosphorus and potassium. They are also a single-food source of protein. The egg is one of the few foods to naturally contain vitamin D. All of the egg’s vitamin A, D, and E are in the egg yolk. A large yolk contains more than two-thirds of the recommended daily intake of 300mg of cholesterol. It also contains choline, which is an important nutrient for development of the brain, and is said to be important for pregnant and nursing women to ensure healthy fetal brain development.

Greek Yogurt: This type of yogurt is a thicker and creamier alternative to typical American-style yogurts. The rich taste and texture of this yogurt can substitute for higher-fat dairy products and help maintain balance in your digestive tract and provide essential protein. Compared to its unsweetened American-style counterpart, unsweetened Greek yogurt offers more protein and half the amount of natural sugar.

Lemon: This fruit contains citrus bioflavonoids, which have antioxidant properties and are active in improving the function of the immune system. Lemons also have anti-microbial properties and are a good source of a number of nutrients including, vitamin C, potassium, and folate. The lemon’s bioflavonoids may also function as anti- inflammatories and lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

Olive Oil: This type of oil contains numerous antioxidant polyphenols in addition to monounsaturated oleic acid. Both help support fat metabolism and cardiovascular health. Studies suggest a healthy combo of olive oil and fish oil (omega 3s) can work together in maintaining a pro-inflammatory/anti-inflammatory balance.