Baking, food, nutrition, wellness

Healthy Baking Hacks

Do you love baking but find yourself having little self control over the final product? I know I do! Again, you know how I feel about treating yourself occasionally…and I don’t know about you…but if there is a way I can eat nutrient-dense desserts on a regular basis, I’m gonna do it!

Today  I am sharing with you some baking replacements for oil, eggs, flour, and sugar. Feel free to message me if you have any more suggestions! I’d love to hear them.

One reason I like to replace oils in baking is because it cuts back on overall calories. There are 9 calories in every 1 gram of fat–making it very calorically dense. We need fat in our diets, however I choose to get it elsewhere in my diet (like in salad dressings, fish, avocado, and cheese). I like to find sugar alternatives too because we really shouldn’t be exceeding 25 grams of added sugars daily. If I can make a dessert using natural sugars, then I am a happy camper!

There are several baking hacks I have used over the years and some do work better than others. Today I am going to share with you some of my favorites and in a few weeks, I will do a cooking demo using some of these hacks.

healthy baking hacks

  1. Black beans to replace flour

Many of you have heard of black bean brownies (and if you’ve been following me for a while, you remember my black bean thumbprint cookies). I’ve made black bean brownies several times and they are husband approved. You can also use black beans to replace flour in cakes and cookies. Generally, use 1 15-ounce can of black beans (drained and rinsed) to replace 1 cup of flour in a recipe. Keep in mind recipes vary, but this is a general guide.

2. Unsweetened applesauce to replace eggs

While I am not opposed to eggs, this hack is done a lot to make recipes vegan. Also, I find that adding eggs to recipes with little flour and sugar tend tasting very “eggy”…which is not a flavor  I am a fan of. Generally, use 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce to replace 1 egg in a recipe.

3. Unsweetened applesauce to replace oil

Using applesauce will not only help as a binder but also as an oil replacement. Adding applesauce as 1:1 ratio with oil will still give your baked goods a moist consistency. For example, use 1 cup of applesauce to replace 1 cup of oil.

4. Canned unsweetened pumpkin or sweet potato to replace oil

Another oil replacement, using canned pumpkin puree or sweet potatoes in a 1:1 ratio in a recipe will make your baked good full of fiber and natural sweetness. From experience, pumpkin and sweet potato work best in chocolate recipes adding an extra sweetness to 100% dark cocoa powder. Again, for example use 1 cup of pumpkin or sweet potato puree to replace 1 cup of oil.

5. Greek Yogurt to replace oil.

A benefit of greek yogurt to replace oil is that it adds extra complete protein to your baked good. Imagine eating dessert for a snack! Using greek yogurt will give your baked good extra protein so that your blood sugars gradually increase instead of spiking up super high all at once. Use 1/4 cup of greek yogurt to replace 1/2 cup of oil.

6. Ripened bananas as sugar replacement

This is my favorite baking hack! I have used this idea in recipes from simple sugar free banana bread to chocolate chip cookies.  The natural sweetness satisfies the sugar craving. Utilize ripened bananas as a 1:1 ratio to replace sugar.

7. Oatmeal flour to replace white flour.

This one is so simple if you have oatmeal on hand in your pantry. Oatmeal is high in fiber and is a complex carbohydrate meaning it keeps you fuller longer than regular white flour. In a blender, add 1 cup of oatmeal and blend until a fine, flour like consistency. Then add your oat flour as a 1:1 ratio to replace flour.

8. Dates as natural sweetener

Medjool dates are my favorite to use. Dates work well ground up and mixed with nuts to replace pie crusts or just pureed and added to a cake or cookie batter for sweetness. Be sure to pit your dates and taste before baking. Dates are very sweet, so generally less is more for this sugar replacement.

9. Avocado to replace butter

Confession: I have NEVER tried this, but have seen several instagram foodies try this method. Replace half the butter in a recipe with half a mashed avocado and it will add healthy fats to your baked goods. Avocados are high in monounsaturated fats which lower LDL cholesterol levels.

10. Prune puree to replace butter

Have you ever had prune cake? You can’t even taste them! Especially when combined with chocolate. Prunes help replace oil and give the baked good a moistness, but also add a touch of sweetness to the batter as well without more sugar. To replace 1 stick of butter, add 1/3 cup of prune puree to a recipe.

 

Have you ever tried any of these baking hacks? I hope you find this helpful next time you wanna make a nutrient dense dessert. Remember, if you ever try any of my creations or nutrition/fitness hacks, make sure to tag me on instagram @betterwithkatdetter_rd. Be on the lookout for a Kat’s Kitchen using some of these hacks to air in a few weeks.

 

Until Next Time,

Happy Chewing,

Katrina Detter, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

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