Whether its switching out bleached white flour for spelt or coconut flour or making coconut oil your new best friend, we have put together the best healthy food swaps for baking, as well as any changes you might need to make to your recipes when using them.
Processed sugars can really add calories to baked goods, as well as weigh down our bodies in a groggy aftermath from sugar highs. Do yourself a favor and try these more natural alternatives that still give your food that sweetness but with not nearly as many repercussions. Maple syrup or date syrup are a delicious sugar substitutes that are natural sweeteners with beneficial ingredients like zinc, manganese, iron, and potassium to boost your baked goods. For every 1 cup white sugar, use 3/4 cups of either syrup and reduce 3 tablespoons of other liquid content for every cup of syrup used.
Carbs are a health nut’s worst nightmare, and what scares off many to the joys of baked goods. However, we found a way that you can have your cake and eat it too. Alternative flours are the newest trend in healthy baking, and we’re all on board. Coconut flour and chickpea flour are great nutty substitutions, but coconut flour often requires additional liquid to make up for it’s absorbent nature. Another lovely option if there’s a nut allergy in your midst is “Sun flour” or flour made from ground sunflower seeds. Lastly, contrary to it’s name, buckwheat flour, is a great gluten free option. Buckwheat is not actually a form of wheat and does not naturally contain gluten and is a great option for the gluten conscious. All of these alternative flours can be used the same as regular flour, except coconut flour which you just have to add a bit more of your wet ingredients until it’s the right texture for what you are making.
Everyone’s favorite part of guacamole can now be used for baking. Avocado can be used as a 1:1 ratio replacement for butter in baking. With the measurements the same, it’s almost too easy of a switch. However, it’s important to note that avocado doesn’t melt like butter and therefore doesn’t coat the dry ingredients the same, so it’s suggested to add a little more of your wet ingredients to compensate. With over 75% of the fat in avocado unsaturated, as well as nearly 20 vitamins and nutrients packed in, butter can’t even compete. Apple sauce is another great alternative to butter when baking. Especially good when making more dense, moist baked goods, use equal amounts apple sauce as butter. Another suggestion with both of these ingredients is to only switch out half of the butter with apple sauce or avocado so the cake/cookie/etc. does not lose it’s texture.
All praise the mighty coconut oil. This multipurpose oil has revolutionized our hair and skin routines, and has now moved back to the health food revolution. Coconut oil is a simple and healthy alternative to vegetable oil when baking. You can use the same amount of coconut oil as you would have with vegetable oil and gain the benefits of faster fat burning rates, improved blood cholesterol levels, and fatty acids bringin extra energy into the brain. What more could you want? One important tip to note is that coconut oil is solid at room temperature, so a quick heat up to bring it to a liquid may be needed, depending on your recipe.
Best of luck with your baking, and check out for our next addition of the Healthy Food Swaps Guide about main courses here!