Baking Made Healthy
Monday, November 30, 2015
Oh, how sweets can satisfy a craving. Unfortunately, too many cakes, pies, muffins, cupcakes and cookies can cause weight gain. The good news is that it's possible to enjoy the occasional baked treat without ruining a week's worth of healthy eating. It's all in how you prepare that treat.
Swapping Ingredients - Baking healthier sweets means replacing high-fat butter, shortening and sour cream with more nutritious ingredients. Food experts suggest the following substitutions to make your baked goods healthier:
- Boost the fiber in pancakes, muffins and quick breads by adding ground flax seed
- Add healthy whole grains to your diet by substituting 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour with 2/3 cup of bran or whole-wheat flour
- Reduce sugar by ¼ to 1/3 in baked goods and desserts. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup, use 2/3 cup. Add cinnamon, vanilla or almond extract to create sweetness. Tip: Do not eliminate all sugar in yeast breads because sugar works with the yeast to make the bread rise.
- Replace half of a recipe's high-fat ingredients, such as butter, margarine, sour cream, heavy cream, chocolate, oil and shortening with mashed ripe bananas or puréed prunes
- Instead of using one whole egg, try ¼ cup fat-free, cholesterol-free egg substitute, or two egg whites
- Swap one cup of oil for one cup of unsweetened applesauce
- Trade one tablespoon of margarine with three tablespoons of ground flax seed
- Substitute one cup of sour cream with one cup of plain yogurt
- Exchange one ounce of chocolate with three tablespoons of cocoa
- Replace one cup of heavy cream with one cup of evaporated skim milk
If you make a few of these simple substitutions, you can have your healthy cake and eat it, too!