With So Many Ingredient Swaps, Is Healthy Baking Taking Over?
When it comes to health, people are more conscious now than ever before. The current situation has taught us a lot and with many people giving up on eating junk/unhealthy food, our focus is more on healthy eating now. Following a healthy diet is the first step to good health. Healthy diet is not only about adding fruits and vegetables to your diet but it also depends on how you cook. Healthy baking is a cooking technique recommended by health experts to make the dishes healthy for you and your family. Baking is not just restricted to breads and desserts; you can also bake seafood, poultry, meat and vegetables.
Healthy Baking Substitutes For More Nutritious Cooking
There is always a common notion that baking and healthy eating don’t go well together. Many feel that healthy cooking may look or taste terrible as baking substitutes may bring about a change in the texture and flavor of your bake. However with a few twists you can make delicious baked goods with more nutrients and less added sugar and saturated fat. Swap your ingredients with these healthier substitutes to level up your baking game.
Avocado For Butter
Avocado makes a great substitute for butter. It not only lowers the calorie content but also yields a softer, moister baked good. This vegan cholesterol-buster contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, which can actually lower bad cholesterol and increase the satisfaction factor.
Tips – Substitute half the amount of butter in your recipe with mashed avocado for better results.
Other Substitute Ingredients – Olive oil, Pumpkin Puree, Greek Yogurt
Skim Milk For Whole Milk
Using a cup of skim milk instead of a cup of whole milk makes for healthy baking recipes. By doing so you decrease the amount of saturated fat. Though they differ in taste and fat and calorie content, skim milk can serve as healthy baking substitutes in baking.
Tips – Practice portion control by substituting 1 cup of whole milk with 1 cup of skim milk plus 1 tablespoon of liquid vegetable oil.
Other Substitute Ingredients – Soy Milk, Almond Milk, Rice Milk, Oat Milk
Applesauce For Sugar
Applesauce contains natural sugars which makes it a great healthy sweetener for baked goods. They have significantly fewer calories than sugar and are also rich in vitamin C and fiber. Applesauce is generally higher in sugar but these sugars occur naturally in the fruit.
Tips – Applesauce is a wet ingredient, whereas sugar is dry, so for every cup of applesauce used reduce wet ingredients in proportion.
Other Substitute Ingredients – Cane Sugar, Honey, Maple Syrup, Molasses
Banana For Oil
Bananas make a good substitute for oil in healthy baking. Generally oil helps produce moisture, but it can add a significant amount of fat and calories. It can be used as healthy baking oils as it lowers the fat content in baked goods. Swap in with ripe mashed bananas for half the oil called for.
Tips – Use banana substitute in foods that can tolerate the fruit’s strong flavor.
Other Substitute Ingredients – Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Flaxseed Oil, Avocado Oil
Flaxseeds For Eggs
Flaxseeds in place of real eggs are one of the best healthy baking ideas for people who are vegan or who are trying to cut down on eggs. Flax eggs yield a sticky substance similar to egg whites, which helps bind ingredients together. Incorporating this substitute into your baking endeavors will turn regular baking into super healthy baking treats. Flaxseeds promote healthy digestion, help lower cholesterol, and also cut your risk for diabetes.
Tips – Use one tablespoon of flax seeds and three tablespoons of water to replace one egg.
Other Substitute Ingredients – Mashed Banana, Applesauce, Silken Tofu, Arrowroot Powder
Coconut Flour For Flour
Coconut flour makes for a healthy baking mix as it is packed with fiber, healthy fats and contains digestible carbohydrates. It is made from dried, grounded coconut meat and is naturally gluten-free. For people with nut allergies, coconut flour can be a great alternative to nut flour.
Tips – Coconut flour has a drying effect on baked goods, hence use additional liquid or more eggs.
Other Substitute Ingredients – Whole Wheat Flour, Almond Flour, Chickpea Flour, Brown Rice Flour
Dark Chocolate For Milk Chocolate
The right type and the right portion of dark chocolate can be part of a healthy diet. Consider using dark chocolate for your baking recipes as it contains way less sugar, is very flavorful and packed with nutrients. It is important to choose dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao in order to reap all the antioxidant benefits.
Tips – The darker the chocolate, the less sugar will be in the bar.
Other Substitute Ingredients – Cocoa Powder, Cacao Nibs, Carob
Tips For A Healthy Baking
– Use accurate measurements and keep all ingredients ready before you start.
– Don’t make the mistake of over-mixing ingredients while using low-fat cooking methods.
– Bake in healthier cooking equipment like, non-stick tins, pans and trays or flexible silicone bake-ware.
– Always preheat the oven to the temperature as per the recipe.
– Reduced-fat baked goods tend to bake more quickly, so check halfway through the prescribed baking time to avoid over-baking.
– Always use fresh ingredients in your batter for an extra dose of nutrients.
– Make small versions of baked foods so that you can enjoy the taste while reducing the fat content per portion.
Healthy baking recipes are fun and great as it allows one to get creative in the kitchen. Finding ways to enrich both the nutritional content and the deliciousness of your baked goods comes from trial and error, so don’t be afraid to experiment. Roll up your sleeves to get started with healthy baking. Do share your techniques and experience with us in the comment box below.