Monkey around with the likes of canned biscuit dough, a stick of butter, and gobs of cinnamon-sugar, and you've got a mountain of fatty calories. I knew that the nutrition analysis of the traditional monkey bread recipe would show that—but 960mg of sodium per serving surprised me.
To build a better base, we give the premade biscuits a pass—they're high in sodium and contain trans fats. Instead (and here's where convenience takes a backseat to quality), we start with fresh, homemade dough, made with nutty whole-wheat flour and delicately sweetened with orange juice and honey. In place of the stick of butter, each bite is dipped in a combo of milk and butter, then rolled in cinnamon and sugar. A finishing drizzle of cream cheese icing sends this treat over the top in taste—with about 80% less sodium and saturated fat than the original.
THE CLASSIC 556calories per serving 960 milligrams sodium 13 grams saturatedfat
THE MAKEOVER 234 calories per serving 184 milligrams sodium 2 grams saturated fat
2 of 6Photo: Randy Mayor
Canned Biscuits A nifty kitchen convenience, but you pay a price in fat, and they can contain a surprising amount of sodium.
Homemade Whole-Wheat Dough You'll save 3g saturated fat and 677mg sodium per serving by making your own light, fluffy whole-wheat dough.
3 of 6Photo: Randy Mayor
Use kitchen shears or scissors to cut each rope into 8 equal portions, shaping each cut portion into a 1-inch ball.
4 of 6Photo: Randy Mayor
A quick skinny dip in a milk-and-butter bath evenly coats the dough, so there's no need for a heavy butter basting.
5 of 6Photo: Randy Mayor
The milk bath allows maximum cinnamon-sugar coverage on the dough for full flavor in every bite.
6 of 6Photo: Randy Mayor
Layer the bites in the pan for the final rise. The sugar coating caramelizes in the oven.