Who says baking can’t be part of a healthy diet? If you’re just like me, you love the smell, warmth, and of course the taste of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and banana bread. But what about all those calories and saturated fat? Not to worry! With these healthy makeovers you can enjoy your favorite baked goods in your own home without guilt!
- Get in some WHOLE GRAINS: Boost the fiber content of your favorite baked goods by substituting at least half (or even all) of the all-purpose flour for its whole-wheat version.
- Cut back on the SUGAR: Often recipes call for much more sugar than is needed. Try reducing the sugar amount by ¼-1/3 cup and see how the recipe turns out. You might come to like the less sweet taste and will have less sugar cravings in the future!
- Flavor with SPICES: Boost the taste of your baked goods with spices that don’t add calories and instead have many healthy benefits. Great additions for flavor include cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, vanilla, orange and lemon zest, pumpkin or apple pie spice, and allspice.
- Cut the FAT: While you can use applesauce, non-fat Greek yogurt, or canned pumpkin for fats in some recipes, I’ve got to tell you, I do like to use good ole’ butter in my baking. You can try to cut back the amount a bit but I would rather eat fewer cookies with real butter.
- Make it MINI: I can’t believe the sizes of muffins or cookies sold in bakeries and coffee shops these days! They are enormous! Talk about portion distortion. But at home you can eat the right amount by making mini versions of your favorite desserts. Purchase baking pans that mold the perfect mini muffins, loaves, or cupcakes.
- SHARE it or FREEZE it: When making a batch of your favorite baked goods, share it with others! Bring it to a holiday or social event or give a gift basket to a friend or family member. Don’t leave the leftovers tempting you in your house. Or when making the recipe, store half the dough in the freezer to bake for another time!
With these healthy makeovers have fun baking in your own kitchen! Tell me what’s been in your oven lately!
Research Assistance provided by Marsi Shapiro