Looking for some Healthy Baking Substitutions? Look no further!

Because who doesn’t love a delicious, gooey chocolate chip cookie to bite into?

Hello everybody! I hope you’re all having a wonderful Monday. I’m officially indoctrinated as a Wellness Coach at the YMCA – how exciting! I think what I’m looking forward to most is sitting down with members, who the Y calls “health seekers”, and helping them set up plans to achieve their fitness and health goals. While the main focus is fitness, I’ll be able to insert general nutritional information (but watching that scope of practice rule). It’ll be good practice for future clients when I’m actually working primarily with nutrition concerns, but it all falls under healthy lifestyles anyways!

So let’s swing back to the actual topic of this post: what ingredients can I substitute to make my baked goods healthier but still taste like the cookies and brownies I love? There are a few tried and true ingredients that I’ve come across in my quest for a healthier chocolate chip cookie, and a few ingredients I’ve experimented with over time.

 Substituting for Fat: 

  1. Applesauce – this is a great substitution for the oil or butter present in many baked goods. Typically it’s recommended that you use half of the called for amount of fat and substitute the applesauce for the rest. This substitution can be used in a variety of baked goods.
  2. Avocado – pureed avocado can be substituted on a 1-to-1 basis for butter, and is particularly tasty in chocolate cakes or cookies.
  3. Bananas – mashed banana can also be substituted on a 1-to-1 basis for butter, and can work in a variety of baked goods.

 Substituting for Sugar:

  1. Applesauce – a wonder product when it comes to baking! This can also be substituted on a 1-to-1 basis for sugar in so many different baked goods.
  2. Stevia – a natural sweetener, can be substituted in a variety of different baked goods. Substitute either 1 tsp of the liquid Stevia or 2 tbsp of the powdered Stevia for 1 cup of sugar.

Substituting for White Flour:

  1. Whole wheat/white whole wheat flour – can be substituted in any type of baking to give it a healthier spin. Whole wheat flour, however, may cause baked goods to not leaven as much. White whole wheat flour will be more of a similar flavor and texture as white flour. Use your judgement, but they can be substituted on a 1-to-1 basis.
  2. Any sort of nut flour (ie: almond, etc.) – I’ve used these in the past, but be sure to have a leavening agent to get the rise out of your cookies that you’d like! It’s usually a 1/4 cup nut flour + 3/4 cup wheat flour-to-1 cup of all-purpose flour.

Substituting for Eggs:

  1. Egg whites – to eliminate the fat contributed by the yolk of the egg, egg whites can be used. Be aware that this is usually done on a 2 egg whites-to-1 egg basis. To ensure your baked good is still the desired texture and such it is a great idea to substitute only some of the whole eggs on this basis.

So I’ve used some of these suggestions and still plan on using many more. Being home for the past few weeks has been a lot of fun doing some experimenting in the kitchen. I’ve really fallen in love with baking and my goal is to get a couple of cookie, blondie, and brownie recipes under my belt that are healthier alternatives. Next up is a Banana Chocolate Chip cookie, which I’m really excited about (and gives me a way to use a past-its-prime banana because I have a thing with mushy bananas haha). Follow my baking quest on Instagram @forks_of_nature and hopefully you see a picture like the one below sometime in the near future!

banana-chocolate-chip-cookies-done-half-1024x680

Question of the week: do you have any funny baking fails?? I know I do!

Image Credit: Last Image (eatathomecooks.com)

Information Credit: An infographic here was incredibly helpful to putting together this post!

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