Dietary fiber helps regulate blood sugar and cholesterol, as well as helping promote healthy digestion. Balance out the nutrients in your baked goods by making brownies with black beans or swapping out butter for avocado (as in this pumpkin bread). Or use the old standby, unsweetened applesauce, to replace half the oil in virtually any recipe.
Most recipes can do with about 25% less sugar than the recipe calls for, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (this works better with cookies than cakes; you may need to slightly increase the amount of liquid in the latter). Give it a try with a favorite recipe, and see if anyone misses it!
Skip the frosting
Add flavor instead by topping your cake with chopped nuts before you pop it in the oven. Or use Greek yogurt to make an icing that has the tang of cream cheese with less saturated fat (and added good-for-your-gut probiotics).
Experiment with alternative flours
There’s no shortage of options now for all kinds of dietary needs. But you don’t have to follow a gluten-free or low-carb diet regularly to try out different types of flour that may offer more nutrients than refined white flour. A few to consider, according to Cleveland Clinic:
- Almond flour is heart-healthy and can help you feel more satisfied, thanks to its protein and fiber boost.
- Coconut flour contains healthy fats and is a good nut-free option.
- Oat flour is easy to make at home in a food processor.
- Chickpea flour, a staple in Indian cooking, is also high in protein and fiber and serves as a great binding ingredient, which can improve texture.
Swap sugar for agave nectar
This substitute is still pretty high in calories, but it’s much sweeter, meaning you can use less in recipes and still satisfy that dessert craving.
Boost the protein
Try recipes using chocolate-flavored protein powder for a healthier treat that may give you more energy than other sweets. If you can find it, use hemp or pea protein powder instead of whey, which doesn’t bake as well.
Need recipe inspiration? Check these out:
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