When I was kid, I started out in the kitchen baking cookies, cakes and treats. As I grew up, I started cooking healthier meals. I stayed away from cooking good treats because they were unhealthy. Now that I have a better understanding of nutrition, I have found healthy ways to cook some of my favourite recipes using better substitutes.
The following are baking hacks to healthify your favourite treats!
Baking hacks for flour
Black beans for flour: When baking, swap out 1 cup flour for 1 cup black bean puree (about a 15oz can). ex brownies
Whole wheat flour for white flour: For every cup of white flour, substitute 7/8 cup of whole-wheat.
Coconut flour for flour: When using coconut flour, be sure to add an equal amount of extra liquid! In baked goods, you generally want to substitute only 1/4 to 1/3 cup of coconut flour for 1 cup of wheat flour.
Nut flours for flour
Nut flours don’t rise the same way as wheat flour so an additional rising agent might be needed when replacing more than ¼ cup of wheat. Nut flours do tend to be heavier than classic wheat, so make sure to up the amount of baking powder and baking soda in the recipe so the dough can rise as normal.
Baking hacks for butter
Avocado : using 1 cup of avocado puree per cup of butter works. ex fudge brownies or dark chocolate treats.
Mashed Banana: One cup of mashed banana works perfectly in place of 1 cup or butter or oil!
Prunes: Combine 3/4 cup prunes with 1/4 cup boiling water, and puree to combine. Sub in equal amounts in most dark chocolate baked good recipes!
Baking Hacks for Sugar
Stevia for sugar: A recipe calling for 1 cup of sugar should be swapped for 1 teaspoon liquid stevia (or about 2 tablespoons stevia powder).
Baking Hacks for Carbs
Zucchini ribbons for pasta: Thin strips or ribbons of zucchini are a great stand in for carb-packed pastas. Plus, it’s one excuse to skip the boiling—simply sauté in sauce for a few minutes until soft.
Grated steamed cauliflower for rice: Cut both calories and carbs with this simple switch. The texture is virtually the same, as is the taste.
Dry beans for canned beans
Canned beans are convenient, sure, but they also tend to have excess sodium and plenty of preservatives.
Prosciutto or pancetta for bacon
Bacon is often the go-to for that smoky flavor in savory dishes (and even in some sweet ones). But opting for a few slices of prosciutto or pancetta can help cut both calories and fat.
Two egg whites for one whole egg
One egg yolk holds more than half the recommended daily cholesterol for the average adult. Trading out the yolk for a second white will cut out the cholesterol while doubling the protein.
Ground Turkey for ground beef
Ground turkey (or chicken) is a great substitute for ground beef to cut down on saturated fat and calories. Reminder: Because of the lower fat content, ground poultry often ends up drier than beef, but a few tablespoons of chicken stock can solve the problem in a snap!
Sweet potato fries for French fries
Opting for sweet potatoes rather than the traditional white adds an extra dose of fiber, and vitamins A, C, and B6. Plus, it cuts out roughly 20 grams of carbohydrates per one-cup serving.
Coconut milk for cream : Coconut milk is a great substitute for heavy cream in soups and stews.
Greek yogurt for sour cream/mayo: Half the fat and calories, yet the taste and texture are virtually identical. Plus, nonfat Greek yogurt offers an extra dose of lean protein.
Nutritional yeast for cheese: The taste and texture are a little bit different, but the creamy gooiness is pretty comparable. Instead of topping that taco with cheddar, try a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavoring with much less fat. Its also amazing in salads and salad dressings. Excellent source of B12.
Red wine for white wine:While white wine is usually lower in calories, red offers health benefits unmatched by the white stuff, including cancer-fighting compounds and natural cholesterol checks.