Make Your Baked Goods Lighter

Many people are hesitant to try to live a healthier lifestyle because of their love of food. However, food doesn’t need to be bad for you to be delicious. If you’re interested in baking a bit healthier, you don’t need to sacrifice everything you learned in culinary academy to do it. Here are a few ways to alter your baked good recipes without forgoing the delectable taste:

Limit the amount of butter
While most cookie recipes call for butter, you can replace it with a heart-healthy oil, like olive oil. Not only does this add some healthy fat to the recipe, but it also reduced the amount of saturated fat. In order to keep the cookies moist, you may not want to eliminate all of the butter in place of oil, but using half the amount allows the cookies to still be melt-in-your-mouth good with fewer grams of saturated fat. If you prefer your cookies to have a cake-like texture, though, consider replacing some of the butter with nonfat yogurt, applesauce or another pureed fruit.

Nix the white flour
Like white bread, white flour doesn’t offer up a whole lot of nutritional value. Instead of using classic white flour in your baked goods, consider using whole-wheat flour. This will give your dessert some fiber without altering the taste too much. If you’re concerned about your cake or cookies tasting too “wheaty,” consider replacing just half of what the recipe calls for with the wheat alternative. You can also do this with ground oats, and coconut or almond flour. If you’re worried about your gluten intake, banana or tiger nut flour are good options. Both of these flours are resistant starches and don’t absorb much liquid, so you won’t have to use as much in your recipe.

Zucchini is a great addition to baked goods for its adaptable flavor and added moisture.
Not so sweet

It’s no surprise that the majority of baked goods call for a pretty large amount of sugar. However, you don’t need that much of the sweetener in order to make a tasty cake or cookie. For some added protein, try swapping about a quarter of the recipe’s sugar for powdered milk. It’s still sweet, so it won’t change the taste too much. You can also swap some of the sugar out for honey or natural maple syrup. If it’s done in small amounts, your baked goods probably won’t take on too much of a maple flavor. A lot of sugar also comes from add-ins like chocolate or butterscotch chips. Try cacao nibs, dried fruit or nuts instead.

Swap milks
Many people who aren’t lactose intolerant don’t give a second thought to the milk they consume. However, while whole milk has a creamy taste, its fat milk really doesn’t make that big of a difference in baked goods. Instead of using whole milk, consider skim or even almond or soy milk. If you’re looking to cut down on the sugar in your recipe as well, using a vanilla alternative milk is a good way to add some sweetness.

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