In 2020, many of us turned to baking to help us stay sane while staying home. If you’ve been indulging in sweet treats while honing your baking skills, you may be wondering how to make baked goods healthier! A few easy substitutions can make your baking much healthier.
Don’t worry; you won’t have to run to the specialty store across town to find these healthy baking substitutes. Most of these ingredients are things you already have in your kitchen! But you can halve the amount of fat and sugar in your baked goods with some small changes.
Read on to find out the easiest ways to make your baking healthier. Your world will change when you realize how nutrient-dense dessert can be!
Why Use Healthy Baking Substitutes?
Your baking may look amazing: your decorating skills are perfection, and you have the best cupcake towers to display your handiwork. But even if your baking tastes good, it may not be good for you.
If you bake in moderation, you may wonder if these healthy substitutes are worth the effort. A little bit of oil and processed sugar won’t hurt you in the long run, right?
Well, maybe not. But white sugar can lead to some pretty serious health issues, and ingesting too much oil can raise your cholesterol. So, if you can make a small switch, why not do so?
Plus, many of these substitutions will add more flavor and softness to your baking. Baking is a science, and these ingredients make the experiment even better!
What to Use Instead
We’ve curated some of our favorite healthy baking substitutes here. These substitutions will not only cut down the amount of sugar in your baking but will add much-needed nutrients as well. You’ll feel good about your desserts!
These substitutions will also add flavor to your baked goods. This will create a more complex flavor profile. People will wonder what your secret ingredient is!
- Better Flour
Trade out that white all-purpose flour. It’s not doing you any favors in your baking, and most of the important nutrients you need are bleached out! Even though it’s the easiest to find, bleached flour is nutritionally empty.
You can choose a whole wheat flour to start. Try to seek out unbleached flour, as this will ensure you’re still getting the vitamins and grains! But whole wheat flour is easy to find in most grocery stores and will behave similarly to all-purpose.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can find flours made of all sorts of ingredients. Almond flour, coconut flour, and rice flour can be found in many baking aisles. You can even try to make your own black bean flour!
Using better flour is an easy and affordable way to elevate all of your baking. Better flour tastes better in the end!
Avocados are full of good, healthy fats. This means that they are great for replacing the oil in your recipe. They’ll make your baked goods cakey and moist, with great flavor.
You can replace oil with avocado at a 1:1 ratio. Mash the avocado thoroughly first to ensure that it will mix well with the dry ingredients and no chunks are found throughout the dessert.
You can also replace butter with avocado in some recipes. This works best for cakey desserts that call for melted or softened butter. You’ll feel fuller after eating avocado-laden sweets!
- Sweet Fruits
An easy way to cut down the amount of sugar in your baking is by substituting soft fruits. Mashed bananas and applesauce are popular substitutions: they contain a lot of natural sugars and mix well with dry ingredients.
You can also get creative with what fruits you use in your recipe. Puree some dates and blueberries for a sweet purple swirl in your scones. Using whole fruit will also increase the amount of fiber and vitamins in your baked goods!
- Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is a fantastic multitasker when you’re baking. It lends itself well to all recipes, from flaky scones to luscious brownies. The high fat content in Greek yogurt gives heft to your recipes.
Make sure you’re using whole milk yogurt, as that will best suit most recipes. You can replace the oil with Greek yogurt at a 1:3/4th ratio, and replace half of the butter in a recipe with yogurt.
Whipping your yogurt for a few minutes before incorporating it will keep your dish fluff. Adding the air into the yogurt will help it to better combine with the dry ingredients and prevent any liquid from separating while baking.
Greek yogurt is full of healthy probiotics, which aid in digestion and gut health. You’ll feel good about each bite you take, no matter how delicious!
- The Darkest Chocolate
Even if you don’t regularly have a taste for dark chocolate, using unsweetened chocolate will take your baking to the next level. You want to use a bar of dark chocolate that’s 70% cocoa or higher. This percentage refers to how much of the bar comes directly from cocoa beans.
Chocolate with a higher percentage contains less sugar and fewer additives. High-percentage chocolate also contains more of the antioxidants that make chocolate healthy. By choosing dark chocolate, you’ll reap the benefits without taking in too much sugar.
That said, stay away from white chocolate! White chocolate is the bleached all-purpose flour of chocolate bars. All the antioxidants are removed and replaced with sugar!
Bake on Without Guilt!
We hope you’re ready to incorporate these healthy baking substitutes into your everyday life. You can indulge without worry when you know all the sugar in your cookies comes from apples and bananas! Feed your whole family well with these healthy baking tips.
For more advice and baking tips, read through our blog. Our team of experts will keep you up-to-date on everything you need to know! Check out our past posts for more.