We all love to eat dessert. However, most desserts contain a high amount of sugar and added fat. Consuming these desserts are unhealthy for our bodies and can potentially cause health problems in the future. Luckily, while indulging in a delicious treat, you can make it healthier by doing some quick and easy substitutions.
A great way to bake healthier desserts is by switching out white flour for other alternatives. You can start by replacing the white flour with whole wheat, which is packed with fiber and protein. White flour can attribute to a spike in your blood pressure, so switch to whole wheat flour for a lower glycemic index.
Try experimenting with different types of flours in your next dessert recipe. Reach for chickpea, oat, or almond flour for more nutrients and added protein to your cookies, cakes, or pies.
You can also try skipping using flour in your desserts by replacing it with beans like chickpeas and black beans. Because beans have a mild flavor, they are perfect for baking. Skip the refined flours and opt for wholesome ingredients that are good for you.
Don’t skip adding chocolate chips to your next cookie or brownie recipe. Instead, you can opt for using dark chocolate that has at least 70% cacao content or higher. Or you can go with raw chocolate and add cacao nibs to your next dessert.
Dark chocolate with a high cacao content can aid in weight loss, reduce stress, and even help to control your appetite. Like with anything, you want to consume any dark chocolate in moderation.
- Cut Down on the Sugar
The less sugar you use, the healthier the dessert. There will be minimal effect on how your brownies, cookies, or cupcakes taste by cutting down or replacing the sugar in your recipes.
One option is replacing sugar with fruit for a sweet and moist dessert. Extra ripe bananas have a sweetness and are naturally rich in glucose, which means they’re easy to digest and provide energy. Bananas are also rich in potassium, immune-boosting Vitamin C, and fiber.
Instead of reaching for white sugar in your dessert, try more natural forms of sugar like honey, maple syrup, agave, coconut sugar, or dates.
Another option is adding spices like cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, or flavourings like vanilla or almond to boost the sweetness in your desserts.
- Replace Oil and Butter
You can replace oil and butter in your dessert recipes to help cut down on unnecessary calories and fat, especially saturated fats.
Avocados can be used to make frosting, pudding, or replace butter in recipes for cakes, brownies, and other baked goods. Using avocados will increase the protein in your desserts, help you take in additional nutrients without risking the flavor and also add a smooth texture. Avocados are full of heart-healthy mono-saturated falls that help to keep your cholesterol levels low, rich in Vitamins E and K, and fiber.
Try using other fruits to replace fatty oils in a recipe. Unsweetened applesauce is great for moist desserts, especially in cakes. Use ¾ cup of applesauce for every cup of oil a recipe calls for.
You can also try adding other fruits or vegetables to your desserts. Try adding shredded or pureed carrots, zucchini, or pumpkin. They will add nutrients, flavour, and moisture to any recipe that calls for butter or oil.
- Food Colouring
Everyone loves bright and colourful desserts. However, the artificial food colouring used in baked goods like cookies and cakes are full of chemicals that are not good for your health. Instead of reaching for artificial food colouring, opt for other food colouring for commercial use. You can also achieve colourful desserts using safe ingredients like fruits, spices, and vegetables, which gives you added nutrients and other health benefits.
You can use carrot juice or pulp for a vibrant yellow or orange hue to your desserts. The sweet flavour of the carrots is ideal for baked goods and also provides you with Vitamin C, beta-carotene, and other nutrients.
Beets, a root vegetable with a sweet flavour, will add a red colour to baked goods. Other options for pink or red hues in your desserts include using raspberries or pomegranate juice. Beets can help lower your blood pressure, improve digestion and is also a great source of potassium, and magnesium.
Use spinach powder, matcha powder, or kale to achieve a green colour to your dessert recipes. Using these greens to add a hue to your baked goods comes with added health benefits like fiber, iron, and calcium.
Try using a spice like Turmeric in powder or room form. Turmeric will add a rich yellow shade to your desserts. Remember, a little goes a long way. The spice not only adds colour to your dessert, but it will also help your body fight inflammation, and lower your bad cholesterol levels.
These are just five tips to help you bake healthier desserts. With a little bit of change in a recipe, you can start to make nutritious desserts that are still full of flavour.