Cookies, cakes, muffins, and bread… not exactly what you'd call "healthy eating." Or is it? Believe it or not, you can have your (healthy) cake and eat it too. Here's how to approach baking to get the most out of each delicious mouthful.
Why Bother Baking if You're Trying to Eat Healthy?
Because it tastes good. Next question.
Okay, okay. Let's dig a little deeper. The key to any dietary decision is sustainability. Just because you're working towards certain goals doesn't mean you need to give up on delicious foods. Healthy baking is all about substitution. Not only will you get less of the stuff that's not so good for you (think sugar, refined flours, and unhealthy oils), you'll get more of the stuff that is good for you. Fruits. Vegetables. Healthy fats. Whole grains. All the good stuff.
And if that wasn't enough, baking is also great for your mental health. Take a little time to slow down and savor something sweet. We could all use a little bit of that these days.
So About Those Substitutions
Mastering healthy baking means mastering the art of swapping one thing for another. Fortunately, most of the work has been done for you. If you're a fan of experimenting, try using these substitutions to improve your favorite baking recipe:
Flour - Swap out white flour with whole wheat, nut, or coconut flour. You'll get more micronutrients, fiber, and flavor. Use ¾ of a cup of substitute flour for every cup of white flour in your recipe.
Sugar - Natural sweeteners like honey, maple sugar, and agave nectar are actually sweeter than table sugar. Use a little less than your recipe calls for and you'll have all the sweetness without as much sugar.
Oil/Butter - Use applesauce to stand in for oil or butter. It'll give you a little extra sweetness as well as a little extra fiber. If you're cooking up cookies, muffins, or sweet breads, swap out oil or butter for nut butter. You'll end up with a richer flavor and lots of healthy fats.
A Little Inspiration
Not feeling like experimenting? No problem. Give these tried and tested recipes a try.
Fudgy Beet Gluten Free Brownies: Rich, chocolatey, and full of beety goodness. These brownies are as easy to whip up as they are to eat. https://thenaturalnurturer.com/fudgy-beet-gluten-free-brownies-vegan/
Red Velvet Cupcakes With Beets: Beet root powder easily gives these healthy cupcakes a beautiful red color. https://www.spiceandtea.com/beet-root-red-velvet-cupcakes.html
Healthy Chunky Monkey Oatmeal Bars: Don't let those chocolate chunks fool you - this recipe is full of good stuff. Rolled oats, bananas, and nut butter combine for a breakfast-friendly bar. https://www.thebakingchocolatess.com/healthy-chunky-monkey-oatmeal-bars-easy/
Healthy Carrot Cake Cupcakes: Is it the same as eating a salad? Well, no, but these cupcakes do contain plenty of veg. Carrots, applesauce, and raisins make these healthy cupcakes plenty sweet. https://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/healthy-carrot-cake-cupcakes/