Who doesn’t love baked goods? Unfortunately they are often laden with tons of sugar and fat. But it is indeed possible to enjoy healthy treats from time to time if one has a balanced and healthy diet. There are tons of healthy baking recipes out there that use different ways to replace fat and sugar with other healthier options with extra flavour, texture and nutrients!
Here are some great ideas for substituting processed and unhealthy ingredients like flour, butter and sugar, adapted from Greatist.com.
1. Black beans for flour
It’s a great way to cut gluten while getting in an extra protein boost – and it tastes great!
How? Drain and rinse a can of black beans for flour when you’re baking brownies.
2. Whole wheat flour + Barley+Oats 1st for white flour
Replacing white flour with higher fibre alternatives can add a whole new dimension of nutrients, flavor, and texture and won’t cause glucose levels to spike as high.
How? Use a mixture of whole wheat flour and ground up Goodness Superfoods’ Barley+Oats 1st to replace a portion of the flour in the recipe. Remember that the added fibre and goodness will make the mixture denser, so it’s best for heavier baked goods like cookies, muffins and crumbles (probably not ideal for sponge cakes!)
3. Unsweetened applesauce for sugar
Using applesauce in place of sugar can give the necessary sweetness without the extra calories and, well, sugar. While 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce contains only about 100 calories, a cup of sugar can pack more than 770!
How? When baking cookies, brownies and muffins, you can replace up to two-thirds of the sugar with applesauce. Hence if you have a recipe calling for 1 cup of sugar you can use 2/3 cup of applesauce and just 1/3 cup of sugar. Read more about swapping applesauce for sugar.
4. Unsweetened applesauce for oil or butter
Don’t knock this one till you’ve tried it. The applesauce gives the right consistency and a hint of sweetness without all the fat of oil or butter.
How? Replace up to 3/4 of the butter or oil in your recipe with applesauce.
Try? This works well in any sweet bread (like banana or zucchini), or in muffins (low-fat blueberry muffins)
5. Almond flour for wheat flour
This gluten-free switch gives any baked good a dose of protein, omega-3s, and a delicious nutty flavor.
6. Avocado puree for butter
They’re both fats (although very different fats) and have nearly the same consistency at room temperature. The creaminess and subtle flavor of the avocado lends itself well to the texture of fudge brownies and dark chocolate flavorings. Also, it makes your baked goods vegan friendly!
How? Smash up the avocado and combine it with the other wet ingredients (vanilla extract, syrup, etc.)
7. Brown rice cereal and flax meal for Rice Crispies
Brown puffed rice has the same texture as conventional white rice, but just half the calories. The flax adds extra fibre and omega-3 to the mix without changing the flavor.
8. Vanilla for sugar
You can cut sugar by half and still get the sweetness you like. Replacing 1/2 cup of sugar in a recipe will chop out almost 400 calories!
How?You can replace 1/2 cup of sugar with 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla.
9. Mashed ripe bananas for fats
The creamy thickening power of mashed banana acts like avocado in terms of replacing fats in baking recipes. The consistency is ideal, and the bananas add nutrients like potassium, fibre, and vitamin B6 too.
How? Each banana is equivalent to between 1/4 to 1/2 cups worth (when smashed). Substitute an equal amount of mashed banana for butter in the recipe. For example if a recipe specifies 1/2 cup softened butter, pack a 1/2 cup measure with smashed banana instead.
10. Evaporated skim milk for cream
It’s the same consistency with just a fraction of the fat. Evaporated milk tends to have a bit more sugar (only about 2 grams), but it is well worth the switch for those looking to cut down on fat.