When you go to a café or have an afternoon tea party at home, you probably will be tempted to have some snacks with your beverage, such as scones and tea biscuits. However, these snacks provide little nutritional value and the store-bought varieties contain hydrogenated fats. Tea biscuits are a better choice than scones, and you can make both varieties healthier if you make them at home.
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The ingredients are similar in both scones and tea biscuits. Store-bought tea biscuits generally contain refined flour, different types of sugar, hydrogenated oil, butter, cream, salt, baking soda and added flavors and vitamins. Store-bought scones are typically made with refined flour, various types of sugar, hydrogenated oils, water, eggs, leavening and a number of other additives, including preservatives and vitamins. Refined flour is missing fiber and nutrients found in whole grain flour, hydrogenated oils raise cholesterol and can lead to clogged arteries, and you want to limit some of the other ingredients in your diet, like sugar, preservatives and butter.
One store-bought brand's maple walnut scone contains 470 calories, 22 g of fat -- 5 g of which is saturated -- and 40 mg of cholesterol. It also has 320 mg of sodium and 25 g of sugar. Another brand has 500 calories, 29 g of fat -- 18 g of which are saturated -- and 25 mg of cholesterol. It has 330 mg of sodium and 19 g of sugar. These are excessive amounts of these nutrients -- ones you should limit. Each brand and serving size will have a different amount of these nutrients, so check the nutrition label.
Tea Biscuit Nutrition
Store-bought tea biscuits are healthier than the scones but still do not provide much nutrition. The six-biscuit serving size of one brand contains 120 calories, 3.5 g of fat -- 1 g of which is saturated -- and 5 mg of cholesterol. A serving has 115 mg of sodium and 7 g of sugar. Only one biscuit of another brand has 96 calories, 5.4 g of fat -- none of which is saturated -- and 1 mg of cholesterol. It has 219 mg of sodium and no sugar. As with scones, each brand and serving size will contain a different amount of these nutrients.
Change the recipe to make healthier homemade scones and tea biscuits. Use half whole wheat, oat or other whole grain flour instead of all white refined flour. Add fresh fruit and take out some of the sugar. MayoClinic.com notes that you can usually take half the sugar out of a recipe. The fruit adds sweetness and you can use vanilla, cinnamon and other spices to add flavor. Use canola or vegetable oil instead of the hydrogenated oil and you might try using applesauce instead of half the oil. Leave out the additives.