When it comes to baked goods, we often only think of sugary cakes and glazed treats, but just because something is baked doesn’t mean it has to be unhealthy. With several simple substitutes, you can turn your favorite baked goods recipe into a nutrient-packed goodie you’ll feel better after enjoying. While eating healthy foods that nourish your body is important, completely depriving yourself of occasional indulgences is unnecessary.
Here are a few practical ways to add nutrients to your baked goods:
Instead of Butter or Oil: Avocado, Pumpkin, or Banana
Avocados have those healthy fats your body needs, plus loads of nutrients. If you replace even half the butter with pureed or mashed avocado, you’ll still have delicious cookies, muffins, and cakes. For cakes, in particular, reduce the baking temperature by 25% to keep them from rising too high in the center.
Canned pumpkin, the pure stuff, can also replace your butter and add more nutrition. If fall is your favorite time of year, you can make pumpkin-flavored treats any time by using organic canned pumpkin. Use an equal amount to replace butter or oil for cookies, cakes, muffins, and breads.
Bananas are great, too, especially if you have to replace oil in a recipe. They’re also naturally sweet while being high in fiber and potassium. Mash up a banana and let it take over the job in your recipe of butter or oil. However, be advised that it’s not the best swap for anything with citrus flavors.
Instead of Eggs: Chia Seeds
For certain health conditions, cutting down on your cholesterol intake is a good idea. And if you’re trying to go vegan, eggs are definitely off the list. You can use chia seeds, which give you omega-3 fatty acids and help make those baked goodies even healthier.
Instead of Flour: Black Beans
A healthier way to make brownies, cookies, and cakes is using black beans instead of flour. They have tons of protein, so these treats taste great and fill you up. You’ll want to take an equal amount of the black beans (they should be rinsed, cooked, drained, and pureed first) to replace that processed white flour.
Instead of Sugar: Honey or Pure Vanilla Extract
There are many reasons to avoid sugar, including the fact that it can cause a spike in blood sugar levels and contribute to tooth decay. For this reason, many people are looking for substitutes that will allow them to enjoy the sweet taste of sugar without the negative consequences. Two popular alternatives are honey and pure vanilla extract. Both of these options have a sweetness that can be used to replace sugar in many recipes, and they both offer some antioxidants that sugar does not.
Instead of Chocolate Chips: Cacao Nibs
Cacao nibs are an excellent replacement for chocolate chips because they have iron, fiber, and many antioxidants. Anything you make that calls for chocolate chips can be swapped for cacao nibs. Use a 1:1 ratio and see how much you love your cookies, muffins, pancakes, cakes, and other creations with this nutritious swap.
By making healthy swaps in your baking ingredients, you can turn your favorite treats into nutrient packed goodies.