Tuesday, June 3, 2014

5 Ways to Tweak Baking Recipes to Make Healthier Versions

As much as I try to eat healthily, I just can't resist eating breads and cakes sometimes. Baked goods are yummy, but they often contain a lot of refined ingredients and a few bites don't usually satisfy. Fortunately there are ways to prevent excess sugar and overeating (especially with kids!) and change baking recipes to reduce the "unhealthy" ingredients while still being delicious.

1. Cut the Recipe in Half

Many recipes make way too many servings for a snack. Downsizing the portion reduces all the calories, sugar, and flour. Try using smaller or mini pans so that each serving is smaller.

2. Replace Margarine with Grass-Fed Butter or Coconut Oil

If your recipe uses margarine, replace it with grass-fed butter or coconut oil. Pastured butter is way healthier than margarine.

3. Substitute White Flour with Whole Wheat Flour

Using whole wheat flour will give a denser baked goods in general but there are many tried and true recipes online that use whole wheat flour, yielding delicious yet healthier goodies. If you are set on a recipe that uses white flour but you want to replace some of it with whole grains, try half and half as a start and tweak it as you go.

4. Replace and Reduce the Sugar

Substitute white sugar with natural sweeteners such as raw honey, molasses, or sucanat. You will find that taking out at least a quarter of the sugar in recipes will not alter the flavor or texture too much. 

5. Add Herbs and Spices

Add real vanilla extract or spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice to enhance the flavor of your baked goods. It also brings out the sweetness of the sugar you put in.

Happy baking!

What other ways to make healthier baked goods?

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