Use this, Not That! Healthy Baking Swaps to Cut Calories and Sugar
I love baking healthy snacks and meals and I often find myself experimenting with traditional recipes to make mine tastier and healthier!
Read below to learn the healthiest alternatives to some of the most common unhealthy baking ingredients:
Instead of oil…
Most baking recipes will call for oil of some kind (usually unhealthy vegetables oils) to add moistness to the recipe, unfortunately oil also adds tons of calories with zero nutritional value.
Use this: Mashed banana or apple sauce
Instead, try using mashed banana or unsweetened apple sauce (or better yet pureed apple) in place of oil. It depends what kind of recipe you are making, but from my experience you really can’t even taste the difference!
Instead of white flour…
White bleached flour has about zero nutritional value, but adds tons of calories and chemicals to your recipe.
Use this: Coconut flour or almond flour
Instead, try using coconut flour or almond flour, both of which are lower in calories, higher in fiber, and richer in taste!
Instead of sugar…
Sugar is probably the single worst ingredient you can add to a recipe for many reasons, including how it has no nutritional value, increases your risk for diabetes and other chronic conditions, leads to obesity, etc. And I’m not just talking about white sugar, this also includes “healthy sugar” like honey and maple syrup – sugar is sugar so skip it!
Use this: Whole fruit
Instead, use whole fruit which will be lower in calories, will add more fiber, and will have a much higher nutritional value.
Which fruit to use? It depends what you are trying to bake, but I tend to use pureed apple, banana, and/or berries.
Instead of heavy cream…
Heavy cream is heavy in calories and low in nutritional value – one tablespoon has about 50 calories!
Use this: Greek yogurt
Instead, try using plain Greek yogurt which is lower in calories and higher in protein. Note that you should always check the ingredients label for yogurt because many brands will add a ton of sugar – even plain.
Instead of cow’s milk…
Cow’s milk is high in calories, sodium, and sugar, not to mention that the cows are often pumped with hormones and antibiotics to get them to produce more milk, which can possibly lead to health problems when consumed.
Use this: Almond milk
Instead, use unsweetened nut milk, such as almond milk, which is high in flavor and low in calories.
Use the above as a guide the next time you want to bake a tasty treat.
To get more healthy recipe inspiration, follow us on Instagram where I am always posting my favorite healthy recipes for muffins, pancakes, waffles, cookies, and other tasty treats I experiment with!
About the author: Sarah-Kate Rems is an Ivy League trained Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner licensed in California with an expertise in women’s health and preventative healthcare. She considers nutrition and exercise to be the basis of well-being and is a strong advocate for daily physical activity and maintaining a healthy diet. Sarah-Kate is also a co-founder of The Mindful Tech Lab.
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