When you’re trying to eat healthy, it’s hard to say “no” to holiday treats. But what if you could indulge without guilt? Make these ingredient swaps to bake healthier treats this season. With a few healthy holiday baking substitutions, you can!
Baking Healthy for the Holidays
The holiday season means lots of sweets and unhealthy treats, but while holiday baking, you can make subtle changes to make your treat healthier for everyone.
Not So Much Sugar, Please!
- If you take all the sugar out of a recipe, it will change the texture or taste, but that doesn’t mean you can’t reduce how much you use. Most recipes still taste great with less sugar than what the recipe calls for. Try eliminating 1/4 of what’s suggested to see how it affects the taste – chances are you’ll hardly notice a difference.
- Use pureed fruit, such as bananas or dates, in place of some of the sugar in your recipes. You may taste the fruit, so make sure the taste works with your recipe.
- Swap some of the oil or butter in recipes for unsweetened applesauce, yogurt, pumpkin puree or avocado. Applesauce can replace fat at a 1:1 ratio in muffins, cakes and quick breads. Instead of 1 cup of oil or butter, use ½ cup combined with ¼ cup of plain yogurt when baking for the holidays.
- Full-fat dairy can be replaced with non-fat or low-fat versions without altering taste or texture in most recipes. Use fat-free milk or non-fat sour cream in place of the regular stuff. Choose evaporated skim milk over heavy whipping cream. Neufchatel cheese or pureed low-fat cottage cheese can replace cream cheese.
Need Healthy Recipes?
We provide a great selection of healthy and easy recipes for you to try at home on our Healthy Balance blog.
Hello Fiber and Protein!
- Use whole wheat instead of white flour to add fiber to your baked goods. Your finished treats will be denser and dryer, so you may need to add more liquid. Start by using a 50-50 mix of whole wheat and white flour to see how it affects texture and taste.
- Use black beans in place of flour in dark-colored baked goods, like brownies. You won’t even know they’re in there with this holiday baking substitute. Pureed black beans make brownies moist while adding fiber and protein.
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