Top Secrets of Healthy Baking
Baking can be extremely healthy while retaining the flavour and texture of regular recipes. This can be accomplished by reducing or eliminating the fat in recipes, using whole grains and substituting fruit for fat and/or sugar. But be sure to always keep taste in mind when experimenting.
Fat is high in calories. Try to reduce the amount of fat and replace where with healthier alternatives. Trans fats such as margarine and some vegetable shortenings should be omitted where possible. They are proven to increase the risk of killers such as heart desease and heart attacks.
Instead of butter and margarine use healthier oils such as rice barn, canola or olive oil. Fruit and vegetables can also be pureed and replace some of the butter and marg. You can puree these yourself or buy the readymade purees. However, as you decrease the amount of fat with fruit for example, you may have to add some liquid such as juice or yogurt to stop the baking, such as cookies, drying out.
Many diets are low in fibre and there is an opportunity to increase the amount of fibre in your baking by replacing white flour with whole wheat flour. Oats can also be used instead of white flour, or a mix of the flour and oats. Many stores stock finely milled whole wheat or whole meal flour for recipes where you require a more delicate flour. Ground flaxseeds or flax meal can also be added to baking to add fibre.
Reduce or eliminate
Experiment with putting less of salt in recipes. You may be able to increase or add other flavours such as vanilla or other spices.
Add less sugar where possible and investigate whether alternatives like fruit can be used to sweeten the recipe.
Baking is healthier if you limit the amount of artificial ingredients, such as food colouring and try to find natural alternatives.
The key is to be aware of what is and is not healthy and then experiment with healthier and potentially tastier alternatives when you are baking. However, baking is about having a treat, so be sure that you do not sacrifice taste for only a slight increase in health benefits.