Scrolling your Instagram feed you come across a delicious recipe for decadent brownies or warm apple crisp. They start the video and the first ingredients are refined sugar, flour, and butter. What’s a girl with a sweet tooth to do?
We have the solution! When you’re doing the baking, you are in control of what goes into the recipe. The good news is, there are lots of healthy alternatives that taste great. You probably won’t even know the difference and guaranteed your waistline will thank you later.
Check out these healthy swaps to level up your baking game.
1. Coconut Oil = Vegetable Oils or Butter
The health benefits of coconut oil are amazing, it contains nutritious lauric acid and antioxidants. Melt the oil and cool it to just above room temperature before measuring and be sure that the other ingredients (eggs, liquids, etc.) are at room temperature or at least warm enough so they do not cool the coconut oil enough to make it solidify. Substitute coconut oil on a 1-1 ratio for oil or butter.
2. Natural Applesauce = Sugar
Swap in one cup of unsweetened applesauce for one cup of sugar to cut fat and calories. Score: Applesauce 100 calories l Sugar 800 calories. Swap at a 1-1 ratio.
3. Plain Low-Fat Greek Yogurt = Sour Cream or Oil
Greek yogurt is higher in protein and lowers in fat than other dairy products. It is not always a one-to one ratio, so try replacing half to start and experiment with your recipes.
4. Unsweetened Almond Milk = Cow’s Milk
Lactose intolerance is very common these days due to pasteurization and homogenization when processing cow’s milk. Almond milk is made of ground almonds and is lower in calories than other kinds of milk if it’s unsweetened. Free of cholesterol, saturated fat and is naturally lactose-free. Swap at a 1-1 ratio.
5. 100% Whole Wheat Flour = Refined Flour
White flour is empty calories and provides no fiber or nutrients, while whole wheat will increase your protein and slow digestion. Swap one cup of whole wheat flour for 7/8 cup of white flour.
6. Oats = Whole Wheat Flour
A gluten free alternative to whole wheat or refined flour, oats can be used whole or ground into oat flour for mixing into muffins. Oats are high in fiber and packed with nutrients to stabilize blood sugar and promote weight loss. Swap at a 1-1
7. Coconut Flour = Wheat Flour
This gluten-free alternative will lower the carbohydrate count and increase fiber in your recipe. Coconut flour is extremely absorbent and very little is needed to produce a recipe. Substitute 1/3 cup of coconut flour for 1 cup grain-based flour.
You will also need to increase the number of eggs.
8. Dark Chocolate = Milk Chocolate
Nothing replaces chocolate, except healthier chocolate! Dark chocolate has fewer carbs and half the sugar of milk chocolate. Plus, dark chocolate makes you strong! Iron levels soar to 28% in dark chocolate vs. 6% in milk chocolate. If that’s not enough to convince you, dark chocolate has four times the fiber and way more magnesium, 23% dark vs 7% milk. Swap at a 1-1 ratio.
9. Stevia = Refined Sugar
Stevia is a virtually calorie-free sweetener that is 200 times sweeter than sugar, it has been used for centuries as a sweetener in South America. There are a number of different companies that make stevia and the flavor and sweetness vary, plus there’s personal preference as to how sweet you like your food so you will have to experiment. Start with 1 teaspoon Stevia powdered extract to replace 1 cup of sugar.
10. Banana = Butter and Oils
Mashed bananas have the perfect consistency to be used in place of butter and oil. Naturally sweet they can even replace some of the sugar in your recipe. Best used for recipes for cookies, brownies, pancakes, and muffins.
Use some of these simple ingredient hacks when your sweet tooth is getting the best of you. Just a few of these tweaks can save you from eating thousands of calories the next time you need to satisfy that sweet tooth.
By: Valerie Daugherty / www.BetterBodies2go.com