KOKOMO, Ind. — Apple cinnamon rolls look and smell like a decadent fall indulgence. But with a few tweaks to the recipe, the gooey pastries actually make a healthy snack.
Tasty treats of pumpkin, apples, and cinnamon filled the air in the Main Building – the result of autumn treats created by Indiana University Kokomo students in Kim Mossburg’s introductory foods class for a fall harvest celebration.
“We’re learning, and teaching, that you can have food that not only tastes good, but is healthy,” said Heidi Spradling. The class project was to find a healthy recipe, or take a regular recipe and substitute out less healthy ingredients for better choices.
For Ian Van Meter, that meant using organic butter and raw sugar with the apples and cinnamon in the filling for his rolls. A surprising ingredient in his dough — sweet potatoes.
“I was a little surprised, but the sweet potato dough tastes very good,” he said. “That and the whole wheat flour gives the rolls more nutritional value.”
Mossburg, lecturer in nutritional science, said the fall harvest celebration gives students hands-on experience planning and executing a large event, with all the preparation that goes into it.
Greentown resident Aubrie Davis grated apples into a measuring cup, to be the main ingredient in her apple bread. She also used whole wheat flour and raw sugar to make her bread healthier.
She’s making those choices at home, as well.
“It’s impacting me and my family, because I can show them ways they can make their food healthier,” she said. These tips will come in handy in the future, when she is a nutritionist.
While the sweets were abundant — including gingerbread, sweet potato doughnut holes, and pumpkin energy bites, students also made savory treats, such as a blueberry barbecue chicken and spicy chipotle chicken.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.