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  • Writer's pictureKathy Schick

Shortcakes and Change

My husband and I will be celebrating our 26th wedding anniversary and there is one thing we have never agreed on, and we never will: strawberry shortcake.

To be fair, I have learned that most people agree with my husband's popular method of strawberries with a purchased spongy cake and whipped cream.

In my family? We pair our strawberries with a biscuit style shortcake and pour half & half over the top. Healthy? No, which is why I haven't made it in at least three years. But sometimes we just want we just want to taste a piece of home and make a recipe of our mom or grandma, don't we?

Yesterday the strawberries at Fresh Thyme looked amazing, and we lost my grandma this past November. I'll be hitting fifty in 2022 and am hoping I won't have to beat cancer a second time- so health can't leave my radar. I made a decision to shortcake the summer, but to nutritionally tweak our family recipe.

I know you've got those recipes too. Let the internet be your friend and hunt down some healthier ingredients to substitute. If it changes the taste of the recipe beyond your preference, try subbing just half first and working up to it, always keeping in mind that taste buds do change and adapt to what we eat.

Here are the changes I made to the Wilson family "Rich Dough Shortcake" recipe::

• 2 cups of flour: I ground up oatmeal in the food processor leaving some texture instead of the flour

• 4 tsp baking powder, no change

• 4 tsp of sugar: I substituted 2 tsp monkfruit sweetener, I don't need the sweetness of a full 4 tsp

• 1/2 cup shortening: subbed 1/2 cup coconut oil, we can all agree anything that grows on a tree is a better choice than items with the word"hydrogenated" on an ingredients list, right?

• I egg: combine 3 tablespoons of water with one tablespoon of chia seeds, then give it five minutes to gel. Just one ounce of chia seeds boasts 11 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein plus calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, omega 3 fats and antioxidents. They reduce chronic inflamation and blood sugar levels. I'm not anti-egg, but if we can put a little chia in our recipes let's do it.

• 1/3 cup of milk- I used an unsweetened almond milk, you could use skim milk too if you are a dairy drinker.

• After baking the shortcakes I topped with one cup of sliced strawberries and more unsweetened almond milk to replace our family's traditional half and half.

Sometimes we need to just say no, we simply can't indulge every time a craving hits. And not everything is special- those red and green M&M's at Christmas a just plain old M&M's. But our family shortcake? It's SPECIAL. So sometimes I'm going to say yes, but with a few changes. I hope this encourages you to do the same.

Pictured below left to right: my sister Julie Baker Bear, my mom Laura WilsonBaker Stout, Kathy Schick, and my Grandma Ardis WIlson at one of our annual Wilson Girls Weekends (2014)

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