Baking season is here and in full affect people! The baked goods are showing up to work almost every other day and holiday parties are every weekend. I had someone make the comment to me the other day that it’s hard to find sweets or baked goods that are somewhat healthy and how it’s starting to take a toll on their body. Well, just to let everyone know, you do not have to try every single baked good someone brings to work or you see at a party. BUT, you can try making a healthier version of your favorite recipe with these healthy swaps! And trust me when I say, it tastes just as good!
How in the world can this be good? Bananas and apple sauce have naturally occurring sugars that give it just the right amount of sweetness without the extra calories and sugar. Apple sauce can also be swapped for oil as it adds moisture to the ingredients. Avocados are creamy and fatty like butter excepts it’s the good kind of fat compared to your typical margarine. Not to mention the calories are way lower than butter! Cocoa nibs may not be as sweet as the milk chocolate chips you get from Hersey but pair them with some honey or low calories sweetener and you’ve got yourself sweet and healthy chocolate without all the extra sugar when its being processed. Whole wheat flour instead of regular flour because it contains more fiber and contain more vitamins like folate and riboflavin, or black beans instead of flour as it gives less calories, more protein and filled with vitamins and minerals. (15 oz cup of black beans per 1 cup of flour.) But how much do I use if I am going to make a healthy swap? I found an awesome conversion chart that will help you out!
Sugar, however, is a different story. I have swapped out sugar for dates and coconut sugar (protein puppy chow) and it has been fantastic both ways. I have also used honey and agave nectar instead of sugar and it has turned out just as good. You know when you take a bite out of a pie or cake and it tastes like straight sugar? I know some of you love that taste and others, it might be too much, but with these swaps you can really taste the flavor with a sweetness to it and not so much straight sugar. Here is another way to swap out sugar!
Maybe this holiday season you don’t have to gain those few extra pounds. Eat smarter and keep your bodies moving!