It’s almost impossible to resist a warm gooey cookie or a moist chocolate cake. These yummy baked treats often win us over, making it difficult for us to stay on track with our health and fitness goals.
But how can you possibly satisfy your cravings for baked treats while working towards your wellness mission? Well, we’ve discovered a solution to this dilemma: healthy baking!
For many people, baking is a way of life. But baked goods don’t have the nicest reputation what with all the heavy amounts of refined sugars, processed vegetable oils, and unhealthy additives and preservatives they commonly come with.
This becomes a difficult feat for those who love to bake but want to stay in top shape and maintain their health.
But have we got some great news for you! We’ve rounded up some healthy baking tips, so you can still savor your favorite baked goods without feeling too guilty.
Find out how you can reduce fat in your pastries, make a healthier frosting, bake guilt-free cookies, and more in this article!
Top Healthy Baking Tips
Use whole wheat flour
Most recipes call for white flour. To make your baked goods healthier, try substituting at least half of the amount the recipe requires with whole wheat flour.
Your baked goodie will be slightly denser but it will be more nutritious as whole wheat flour contains dietary fiber, and offers a nutritional advantage.
You can also use other healthier alternatives such as coconut flour and oat flour.
Nix the additional yolks
It’s no wonder why eggs are loved by many. And because they are versatile too, many baked recipes make use of eggs. But while eggs are nutrient-dense, the egg yolks are high in cholesterol and fat.
Unfortunately, some baked recipes require several additional yolks.
To avoid excessive fat and cholesterol, cut down on additional eggs. For example, if a recipe requires two eggs, use one whole egg and two egg whites.
The trick is to replace a whole egg with two egg whites so you can avoid baking products that are too high in cholesterol and fat content.
…or substitute eggs with chia seeds
Another thing that you can do to avoid consuming too much fat and cholesterol from eggs is to use chia seeds. Not a lot of people know that these mighty seeds also make a great egg substitute!
To do this, you only need to mix one tablespoon of chia seeds with three tablespoons of water. Chia seeds turn gelatinous when they sit in water, mirroring the texture of eggs.
You can also enjoy chia seeds as they are in your baked goodies! Toss them into your muffins and other baked treats for that extra crunch.
You’d be happy to savor not just chia seeds’ texture but their impressive nutritional profile and health perks as well! What’s more, they’re gluten-free and vegan diet-friendly!
Add avocado into the mix
One of the healthiest foods on the planet that you can take advantage of is avocado. This fruit is a rich source of healthy fats and other important nutrients such as calcium, iron, and magnesium.
It also contains lutein, a carotenoid known to promote eye health, as well as dietary fiber, which is best known for its ability to combat or relieve constipation.
You can savor the vast avocado health benefits by using it in your puddings and frostings or as a butter substitute in your brownie, cake, and other baked good recipes.
It’ll not only give your baked treats a nice texture, consistency, and flavor but will also let you enjoy the health perks that come with it!
Swap your fatty oil with applesauce
Want to achieve a moist cake? Why not swap your fatty oil with some unsweetened applesauce for a healthy change?
Applesauce works well in giving your baked treats that moist you’ve always been wanting to go for! For every cup of oil that a recipe requires, you can use ¾ cup of applesauce instead.
Don’t forget about Greek yogurt
One of the best probiotic foods, Greek yogurt makes a great addition to any savory or sweet recipe. It’s also nutritious, boasting significant amounts of protein and calcium.
You can also use Greek yogurt as a substitute for oil in your baked recipes to keep the flavor and boost the moisture of your goodie!
Mind your portions
Another healthy baking trick is to make mini versions of your treats. The great thing about this is you’ll be able to savor their taste without taking in too many calories and fats per serving.
All you really need is to satisfy your cravings after all. By baking small versions of your favorite treats, you get to satisfy your taste buds while avoiding over-indulging.
A helpful trick is to use muffin tins. This baking tool comes in handy if you want to mind your serving portions. You can make mini versions of a cake in an 8x8 muffin tin.
This healthy baking hack will help you stick to one serving or two, and decrease your chances of going crazy over your baked treats!
Sweeten up your baked goodies with bananas
Refined sugars are one of the common ingredients that make most baked treats unhealthy. If you want to sweeten up your baked goods without having to add these unhealthy refined sugars, look no further than bananas!
This nutritional powerhouse is naturally rich in sugar, which means they can add the sweetness that you like your baked treats to have.
What’s more, bananas are a great source of important nutrients too such as calcium, folate, iron, magnesium, riboflavin, and potassium. Adding them to the mix won’t only sweeten up your baked recipes but will boost your nutrient intake as well!
…or use other natural ingredients
If bananas aren’t your thing, you can sweeten up your baked treats with other natural forms of sugar such as honey, agave, maple syrup, dates or coconut sugar.
Keep in mind, though, that just because these are natural ingredients doesn’t mean you should go crazy about them. It’s best to keep sugar amounts at a minimum level so as to avoid causing your blood sugar to spike!
Forget the sugar and spice it up instead
Most baked recipes call for sugar, and there’s no wonder why since a majority of baked treats taste sweet! So, what’s the next best thing to do aside from using natural ingredients as a sugar substitute?
Another healthy baking tip is to spice up your treats! Spices like cinnamon and nutmeg offer distinct flavors that will help boost your baked good’s taste and quality.
So, the next time a baked recipe requires additional refined sugar, grab your jar of cinnamon or nutmeg instead!
Use dark chocolate in your cookies
What’s a cookie or brownie without chocolate chips? But do it the healthier way! Substitute your regular chocolate chip with dark chocolate made with 70 percent cacao.
Dark chocolates are among the healthiest foods you can enjoy! It contains healthy fats and flavonoids that have antioxidant effects.
What’s more, dark chocolates can reduce stress, suppress your appetite, and aid in weight loss, too! So, the next time you bake your favorite cookie or brownie recipe, use dark chocolates!
As in all things, though, keep your usage and consumption in moderation.
Make a whipped coconut cream
Make a healthier whipped cream with the help of coconut! Refrigerate a can of coconut milk for eight hours or leave it overnight. Place your beaters and metal mixing bowl in the freezer or fridge one hour before you make your whipped coconut cream.
Open your can of cold coconut milk and transfer it onto your cold mixing bowl by scooping its solidified form. Beat the coconut cream with your chilled beaters in an electric mixer, shifting the speed from medium to high.
Sweeteners are optional, but if you would, use only a bit of sugar and vanilla extract. Note: Use organic coconut milk for the best consistency. Serve your baked treat with whipped coconut cream immediately.
For storage, place it on a mason jar or a glass container and put it on the fridge for up to three days. Whisk it gently or shake the jar for a minute to fluff the cream again before serving.
Use other healthier ingredients
Aside from whole wheat flour, Greek yogurt, banana, honey, and dark chocolates, you can use other healthier substitutes to bake more nutritious treats!
Adding nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, veggies, and quinoa to the mix will not only boost your goodies’ taste value but nutritional worth as well.
Fruits like berries, apples or pineapples can improve your baked recipe’s fiber content while sweet veggies such as beetroots and carrots can give you more nutrients!
Indulging in your favorite treats and guilty pleasures every once in a while isn’t that bad. As long as you eat healthily most days, you’re on the right path.
However, if you can find healthier means and choices, it’s best to stick with them. Healthy baking, for example, will allow you to enjoy your favorite baked treats guilt-free!