For years we have been lead to believe that cake is our enemy…
From outdated weight watchers campaigns to modern anti-sugar blogs, cake has always been the bad guy…
But is baking really that bad for you?
Is there a way to enjoy your favourite baked goods without feeling horrendously guilty and bloated?
Well,we’re glad you asked because yes there is…
The easiest way to improve your baking and make your cakes healthier is to substitute the bad ingredients for good ones.
Here’s 5 Easy Healthy Baking Tips:
White flour is heavily processed and has little nutritional value.
The main healthy ingredients of white flour are stripped out and it’s bleached to look more appealing.
Just like white bread, white flour hides some nasty preservatives and ingredients that are bad for your body if you eat too much.
To make your baking healthier you can switch white flour for the following:
Whole grain flour
Obviously, whole grain flour is much denser and heavier than white flour so it’s not as suitable for light and fluffy sponge cakes but it is packed with essential nutrients and minerals for a healthy body.
Try baking whole grain cookies, breads or tray bakes as an alternative to white flour baked goods.
A big positive of whole grain baking is that your cakes and cookies are much more filling so you are less likely to eat lots of them.
One way of replacing flour is to puree up your own flour substitute made of dried beans and pulses.
Black beans are great for brownies or chocolate cakes as they have a soft natural flavour.
Flour that is made from nuts is great for gluten free baking.
The only thing to be wary of is the flavour of nut flours…
Coconut flour in particular is naturally slightly bitter so use it sparingly.
There’s nothing good to say about sugar really…
Your sweet tooth may love it but it’s no good for your body.
Luckily there are plenty of ingredients which you can substitute sugar with for healthier baking including:
1 cup of unsweetened apple sauce contains around 100 calories while a cup of sugar contains more than 800!
So it’s easy to see why apple sauce is a better choice!
You could try experimenting with other unsweetened fruit sauces but we recommend apple sauce as it also packs an extra punch or fibre and is easy to find in the supermarket.
Vanilla extract or cinnamon
If you want to avoid sugar try experimenting with your spice rack and flavourings to find a taste that suits you.
Both vanilla extract and cinnamon are great for adding sweetness without adding extra calories or unnecessary sugars.
Just remember that these types of flavourings can be quite intense when baked so go easy on the measurements of each one.
Stevia is probably the most popular sugar substitute but it can be hard to work out the correct measurements to use as it is 300 times sweeter than sugar.
If a recipe calls for 100g sugar, you’ll need nowhere near as much Stevia! So always check manufacturers instructions carefully.
Unfortunately, Stevia is quite pricey but healthy baking is more about quality than quantity.
If you’re baking for vegans, butter is obviously a no no…
And synthetic margarine and baking spreads are full of additives and unnecessary fats which your body finds difficult to process.
There are a lot of natural alternatives to butter and margarine though:
If you’re looking for a fat with no animal trace, avocado is a good choice as it has a very similar consistency and flavour as butter.
Great for chocolate cakes or anything fruity, avocado is a much healthier choice than butter or synthetic spreads.
The consistency of bananas mean they are a great replacement for oil or butter in any recipe.
They also add a unique sweetness to your cakes and baking.
And just when you thought that this superfood fruit couldn’t get any better…
They also add essential nutrients like potassium, fibre and vitamin B6.
They may not be a very appealing snack but they’re great for baking.
Adding prunes boosts the fibre content and makes your baking a lot healthier.
If you want a soft nutty flavour, flax seeds are a great butter replacement.
These are a really useful kitchen store cupboard staple to have at home as they can be used in baking, cooking or just in smoothies.
Try these when baking muffins or fruit loaves.
These are one the best sources of protein so if you’re looking to bake something to fuel your work out chia seeds could help a lot.
These are really easy to bake with and won’t affect the sweet taste of your cake or cookies.
Eggs are a great source of protein but consuming too many eggs is not good for you.
As eggs are so rich in omega 3 fatty acids they can cause cholesterol problems is you consume too many.
If you’re looking for vegan baking ideas try substituting eggs for:
As well as protein chia seeds are packed with potassium which is great if your muscles need some help recovering from a workout.
You can use chia seeds as a substitute for eggs in any type of baking.
If you want fluffy and soft muffins you’ll need to replace the eggs with something light. This is why flax meal is a good substitute as it won’t make your baking too heavy.
Obviously, it’s important to note that you can’t substitute both eggs and butter for the same thing in each recipe…
You might think that a good filling makes a cake….
But popular cake fillings like cream, jam and milk chocolate are not good for you.
However there is no reason why you can’t enjoy these healthy cake filling substitutes:
Cocoa Powder of Cocoa Nibs
Obviously not the sweet and sickly stuff that gets covered in sugar but dark chocolate is great for boosting your mood and topping up your antioxidant levels.
Baking with dark chocolate powder, cocoa nibs or pure cocoa is an easy way to make great tasting and healthy cakes.
Natural nut butters
These are a great substitution for heavy creams that fill and top cakes.
Nut butters are full of all natural ingredients to boost your energy and look after your body.
Obviously, the only way to keep your baking healthy is to keep everything in moderation.
Baked goods are a treat and there is no reason to include cake in your everyday diet…
However if you do need the occasional cheat or treat make sure you’re using these tips to keep your baking healthy.
Do you have nay healthy baking tips? Let us know your recipes and ideas in the comments below…