No matter if you’re a die-hard brownie fan, strawberry tart devotee or someone who loves a good bowl of ice cream, there are plenty of clever and nutritional changes you can make to your baking to add a bit of health to your delicious sweet treats. Everyone loves a fresh batch of cookies or brownies, but if you are one who likes to bake frequently, then making some healthy swaps or changes can make a huge difference.
Baking often requires copious amounts of butter, sugar and cream, so making some changes here and there may mean that you can enjoy healthier bakes more frequently. There are plenty of ways in which you can make nutritional changes to your baking recipes and ideas, so with this in mind, here are 5 changes you can make.
Change Butter For Pureed Avocado
One of the easiest baking substitutions you can make is changing butter for pureed avocado as you can simply use the same amount of avocado as you would butter, and then blend it to create a smooth, fat-rich puree. This swap reduces the overall fat content of the recipe, whilst also boosting the fibre and nutrients. Changing butter for avocado works by replacing the less healthy saturated fats with monounsaturated fats. Pureed avocado works really well in baked goods, especially chocolate baked treats such as brownies.
If you want to improve the nutritional intake in your baking, then nothing could be easier than stirring in some walnuts. Desserts such as cookies, brownies and crumbles work really well when combined with walnuts and they also improve the nutritional value of the baked goods, too. Walnuts are rich in omega-3, healthy fats and fatty acids and they also boost your fibre, iron and magnesium intake, plus they add a great texture to brownies and cookies!
Swap Empty Carbs For Nutrient-Rich Ones
Most desserts, unfortunately, contain empty calories and carbs, such as enriched flours and refined sugars and whilst this creates a tasty baked treat, there are healthier alternatives. Instead of enriched flours, swap this for nutrient-rich coconut and almond flours instead. These have lower carb values and add more fibre and protein to your bakes than regular flours, which also means that you won’t experience the energy and sugar rush and dip that is brought on by the majority of desserts.
Fruit isn’t really classed as a dessert, but there are ways in which you can create tasty desserts that contain fruit, thus making it healthier. A quick, simple, easy and tasty dessert that you can make in no time is chopped apples, cooked down until thick (you can add vanilla or honey for sweetness) and then sprinkle with cinnamon and chopped nuts or granola for a warm and crunchy sweet treat.
Another great swap you can make is banana splits made with cooked bananas and scoops of frozen natural yoghurt. Bake a banana in its skin for about 15-20 minutes until warm and soft, then cut the banana in half, lengthways through the skin and open it up for that there is a gap. Then, use frozen natural yoghurt and scoop into the middle. Top with honey and chopped nuts, or even some grated dark chocolate.
Reduce The Sugar Content
Baking recipes usually contain copious amounts of refined sugar, but it is possible to cut out about a third of the sugar without compromising the taste of the final product. Obviously, it won’t taste as sweet, but often this isn’t a bad thing as it means you won’t experience a massive sugar high. In baked goods, sugar helps to retain moisture so if you cut back on the sugar in the recipe, then you may need to replace this with something else, such as pureed prunes or apples. This helps to cut the sugar, but also adds fibre without compromising the texture of the final product.
Whilst there is nothing wrong with bakery products, homemade bakes and sweets, but making some healthier changes and using nutritional swaps means that you still get to enjoy regular sweet treats, but ones that are much healthier for you.