Healthy Baking Alternatives for More Nutritional Benefits
By Stanley Clark
Whether you’re a chocolate cake devotee, a die-hard fan of peanut butter cookies, or a strawberry cream–stuffed pastries enthusiast, you can stir healthier swaps into your batter to boost the nutritional value of your favorite dessert. If you’re someone who bakes in the kitchen often, you’re probably thinking about ways to make your baked goods better for your loved ones’ health. How can you make baked goods tastier and healthier? Are there healthier substitutes for common baking ingredients?
This article explains how you can make baked goods more nutritious. It includes healthier substitutes for common baking ingredients, such as butter, white flour, chocolate chips, and eggs. The write-up also gives insights into whether the sense of taste of individuals with medical conditions like cancer (including mesothelioma and its stages) is affected by the symptoms of their disease. Here, we talk about how they, too, can enjoy nutritious baked goods without compromising their dietary restrictions due to their condition. Read on to learn more about the healthy baking alternatives you can try for more nutritional benefits.
Healthier Substitutions for Common Baking Ingredients
1. Avocado for Butter
Avocados are known for their bumpy skin and creamy, smooth flesh. Also known as alligator pears, avocados are a great source of fiber. They also contain heart-friendly fats. They have a bit of an earthy but neutral flavor, so they work well with baked goods. These popular fruits make a great alternative to butter because they’re high in monounsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats are healthy dietary fats that can help lower bad cholesterol levels. High levels of bad cholesterol or LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol increase your risk for stroke and heart disease. Studies have shown that a moderate butter intake may increase total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol.
It may take some experimenting to use avocados in your baking recipes, but you’ll surely love it once you get it right. Let’s say you want to use avocado puree for your cake. You can reduce the oven temperature by 25 percent so your cake won’t rise too high in the center. You may also need to increase your baking time.
2. Black Beans for Refined White Flour
Add fiber and protein to your brownie recipes by replacing refined white flour with black beans. Black beans are legumes, a food group with a unique nutritional profile. Legumes have a low glycemic index (GI). Low GI foods are known to have little effect on blood sugar levels. Studies have shown that legumes like black beans may improve blood sugar control and reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes.
3. Cacao Nibs for Chocolate Chips
Cacao nibs are fermented cocoa beans. Add them to your baked goods instead of the usual chocolate chips. Research suggests that sugar and sweetness may induce rewards and cravings similar to those of addictive drugs. Good thing there are cacao nibs! Unlike chocolate chips, cacao nibs are unsweetened. It may take a while for you to get used to their natural bitterness. Still, cacao nibs have a chocolaty flavor, making them a healthier alternative for chocolate lovers.
4. Chia Seeds for Eggs
A large egg contains 186 milligrams of cholesterol found in the yolk. Since baked goods sometimes need more than one egg, consider using chia seeds instead. Chia seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and protein. They may work well with cookies, cakes, and muffins.
Top Tips to Make Baked Goods More Nutritious
You can turn your favorite baked goods into healthier options with these five easy tips.
1. Watch your portion size.
Make mini versions of your baked goods. You still get all the taste but fewer calories and fat per portion.
2. Opt for healthier icing.
Use a drizzle of glacé (water) icing for cake toppings instead of butter icing. A light sprinkle of icing sugar may give your baked goods the final touch.
3. Add fruits and vegetables.
You don’t need to add so much sugar to your baked goods when using sweet vegetables like beetroots, zucchini, and carrots or fruits like berries and apples. Fruits and vegetables add sweetness and fiber to your baked goods. They also keep your scones and cakes moist.
4. Use less salt in your home-baked bread.
Using standard recipes for your home-baked bread? Experts suggest reducing the amount of salt by 50 percent. Although the bread will taste a little different, your dough will still rise.
5. Try different flavorings.
Add some herbs or seeds to give your baked goods an exciting crunch and flavor.
Swapping traditional baking ingredients with healthier options lets anyone enjoy baked goods without guilt. Still, the key here is moderation. Happy baking!