Healthy Baking 101
I like to bake, but sadly, boxed cake mixes and most dessert recipes you’ll find are totally unhealthy – full of refined sugar, wheat, and other hard-on-your-body ingredients. They’re definitely not something I’d make, much less consume or ever feed to my family.
But just because I’m healthier doesn’t mean I’ve given up baking altogether. There are still ways to make baked goods without having them clog your arteries, load you up on sugar or flood your body with toxins – it just takes a little more creativity.
Have you been itching to bake, but just don’t know how to do so in a way that’s healthy for you? Here are some tips to help:
- Swap out flours – Forget traditional white and wheat flour. Opt for brown rice flour or coconut flour instead. These are both gluten free, and they won’t cause inflammation or back up your digestive system like traditional flour will.
- Forget sugar – Almost every recipe you’ll find asks for sugar, but don’t give in. Instead, find a high-quality, organic maple syrup, and use that in its place. You can sub out exactly – 1 tbsp. sugar for 1 tbsp. of syrup (for example). If you can find coconut sugar at your local health food store, that’s a lesser evil than refined sugar.
- Use almond or coconut milk – If you’re looking to avoid dairy, or you simply want to lower the calories in your baked goods, swap out the milk or buttermilk for one made from coconuts or almonds. Just a warning – coconut milk will give you a slight “coconut” taste, so if you don’t want that, opt for almond instead. You can even use a vanilla-flavored almond milk for some extra flavor.
- Try a different binder – If the recipe calls for 4 eggs, use one or two eggs and swap out the other two with unsweetened applesauce, creamed banana or ground flax seeds.
- Nix butter – Forget loading up your recipes with lots of butter and oil. Instead, use pureed avocado, ground up chia seeds, or even applesauce. It will have the same creamy texture, without all the fat and calories.
I’ll have a great baking recipe for you later this week, so stay tuned. Do you have any healthy baking tips or substitutions you use in the kitchen? Be sure to share them in the comments.
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