You might assume that baking and be healthy are two things that can’t, or perhaps shouldn’t, go together. The truth, however, is that with a few changes to your go-to recipes, you can bake in a healthier way. Of course, you still shouldn’t eat too many sweet treats if you’re trying to be healthier or perhaps lose some weight, but if you love baking and want to improve your recipes a little, read on; you might be surprised at the tips you’ll find.
Give It Away
Of course, before we begin, there is another option when it comes to your baking; you don’t have to eat everything you make. If you give some – or all – of your baked goods to friends and neighbors, if you sell them at a charity bake sale or a Christmas fair after using Christmas stencils for cookies, or you even start a small business making cookies and cakes, you won’t be at risk of eating too much unhealthy food, but you’ll still get to enjoy baking, which many people love and find highly therapeutic.
Replace The Butter
Butter is one of the worst things you can use when baking. Butter has a lot of saturated fat, which makes your blood have more bad cholesterol. When you use olive oil instead of butter in a recipe, you can cut down on the amount of salt and saturated fats. Olive oil also has antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin E, all of which help lower bad cholesterol. Olive oil is a great alternative to butter as fat, but you shouldn’t use the same amount. In general, you’ll need less olive oil than butter or another hard fat.
Use Sweet Vegetables
Many of us wouldn’t have thought to use a vegetable to make a cake, save from a carrot cake. Surely fruit is sweet, and vegetables are savory? Not exactly. Swapping out some of your caster sugar and substituting it with natural sugar would undoubtedly help make your bake a healthier one because vegetables like carrots or parsnips contain lots of natural sugars (which is possibly why they are not suggested on low G.I diets). Most of the time, no one will even notice the substitution, as the taste of the vegetable is hidden by everything else.
Use More Fiber
Flour is the other main thing that goes into a cake. Most of us use standard self-rising flour when we bake, which, like most white flour, has been over-processed. You can increase the amount of fiber in your cake by switching out some of the processed flour for healthier wholemeal or wholegrain flour. These flours take longer to cook, so make sure to change the temperature and baking time to match. By baking and eating cake made with all (or even half) a wholemeal alternative, you’ll get some fiber in your diet. What’s not to like about that?
Add More Fruit And Nuts
Fruit and nuts go well with chocolate, and nuts are also a healthy and delicious addition to a cake. There are many kinds of nuts you can use, but almonds and walnuts seem to work best in baking. Nuts are an excellent option for your healthy cake because they are full of healthy fats, fiber, and minerals like calcium.