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You probably imagine a tray full of sugary, fatty, and delicious treats when you think of baking. However, just because something is baked doesn’t mean it’s bad for you. You can make healthy or at least healthier baked options. It takes a little bit of practice and understanding of which ingredients to swap for to make more nutritious options. Experiment to find the perfect recipe, but your health and life will thank you once you find it.
Here are four important baking swaps to use for a healthier diet:
Depending on what you’re baking, you can make several swaps for sugar. You can use fruit powders and juices, honey, maple syrup, chopped dried fruit, and if you’re not sensitive to them, even sugar alcohols might be an option for you if you just can’t resist sweetening up your food. The main thing to remember is if you add something wet to sweeten your baking, you’ll want to cut down on the liquids and vice versa. Try using more than one type to get an even sweeter feel on your tongue when subbing out your sweeteners.
Today, switching out the white flour for something more nutritious and flavorful is easy. The main thing is not to expect the same flavor as you experiment with your options, and don’t be afraid to simply do without an ingredient in favor of trying new things. Swapping for rice flour or corn starch will work just fine if the flour is a thickener. If the flour is meat to make up the entire dish, you may need other options.
Even eggs are replaceable depending on what you need the egg for. As a binder, you can use chia seeds, flax seeds, and other options, but as a high-protein dish, you’ll want to go the tofu route. If you’ve never tried a tofu omelet, don’t knock it. To make a flax egg, use one tablespoon of flax seed and three tablespoons of water.
While butter in moderation isn’t bad, if you want to switch out your high-fat recipes for something healthier, cutting the butter is always a good start. Try cutting your recipes by half to start without any need to replace anything, and you’ll be surprised to find that they usually work just fine. For example, a pureed banana can replace butter and sugar in your oatmeal cookie.
Another important note to add is that baking can be hard work. This means you can use this opportunity to increase your activity level while still enjoying delicious treats. For example, make a rule that if you want peanut butter cookies, you have to make them from scratch or not have them at all. Treats without white granulated sugar, flour, butter, and eggs are still enjoyable if you know how to use them correctly.
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