With Back to School season upon us, why not swap out some of the less healthy ingredients with healthier alternatives for you and your loved ones?
Don’t worry, these won’t be the kind of substitutions that make your gorgeous chocolate chip cookies the consistency of hockey pucks or change the taste of your delicious banana bread.
Make your baked goods a little healthier without sacrificing the taste, keep reading.
1. Lose a quarter of the sugar
In most recipes for sweet treats like cookies, cakes and brownies, leaving out 25% of the sugar won’t actually make a huge difference to the sweetness. So if your chocolate chip cookies call for 1 cup (128g) of white sugar, add ¾ cup (96g) of white sugar instead.
Note: Keep in mind that not all recipes can lose sugar and still taste good. For instance, some items, like meringues, rely on just sugar for flavour. These cannot do without a quarter of their sugar.
2. Replace 1/4 cup (57g) butter and up to two eggs with apple sauce
Because apple sauce can be used to replace both butter and eggs, make sure to leave at least some of the eggs out too, to keep the texture as true as possible.
This substitution helps to reduce the amount fat and cholesterol in your sweet treats while still keeping the soft, delicious texture. You can also reduce the sugar in your recipe if you are using apple sauce, as it is a natural sweetener.
3. Replace half of the plain flour with whole-wheat flour
Whole-wheat flour is higher in both fibre and protein than plain flour. However, it can leave your baked goods with a dry texture and bland taste if you use it on its own. Instead of replacing all of the plain flour in the recipe with whole-wheat flour, just replace half. This helps increase the nutritional benefits of your cookies without affecting the taste.
Note: Since whole-wheat flour it has a nuttier taste, it often tastes better in recipes containing flavours like cinnamon, peanut butter, walnut, maple or pecan.
4. Use dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate
We do not – under any circumstances except in the case of an allergy – condone the substitution of chocolate with raisins. However, if chocolate is in the recipe in the form of chips, you can absolutely switch out your milk chocolate chips for dark chocolate ones.
Dark chocolate has more heart health benefits and less sugar than milk chocolate.
Note: When baking a chocolate cake or chocolate brownies however, be careful when switching out milk chocolate for dark as dark chocolate can make the batter taste bitter.
5. For small amounts of milk, use skimmed milk instead
In recipes that call for small amounts of milk (½ cup/125ml or less), switch out whole milk for skimmed milk. This lowers the amount of fat in your recipe.
Note: If your recipe calls for more than ½ cup/125ml of milk, use whatever type of milk the recipe suggests.
For your best chance at success with healthy baking substitutions, just try one at a time. If that works, the next time you bake that sweet treat you can add a second substitution. Making your recipes healthier can take some experimenting but leads to healthier results in the end.
Source – Health Journal