With baking season right around the corner, it is inevitable that sweet treats high in calories, added sugars and saturated fats will abound. If you are on the receiving end, these baked goodies can be enjoyed as part of a well-balanced diet by keeping portion sizes in check. Otherwise, try the following tips at home to create healthier versions of your favorite recipes.
Tips to Create Healthier Versions of Your Family Favorites:
#1 – Replace ½ of the All-Purpose Flour With Whole-Wheat Flour.
Whole-wheat flour is higher in fiber and essential vitamins and minerals when compared to all-purpose flour.
#2 – For quick breads, muffins and cakes replace all of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat pastry flour, white whole wheat flour or spelt flour.
Whole wheat pastry flour, white whole wheat flour and spelt flour (an ancient grain that is easily digestible) are less dense when compared to whole wheat flour and are milder in flavor. They also provide a healthy dose of whole grains, 3x the amount of fiber when compared to all-purpose flour and maintain that delectable cake-like texture when used as a substitute.
#3 – Replace ⅓ of the ﬂour in a recipe with quick oats or old-fashioned oats.
Oats are high in fiber, a variety of minerals and B vitamins and add a chewy texture and welcoming flavor to baked goods.
#4 – Replace ¼ to ½ of the flour in the recipe with almond flour.
Almond flour is nutrient dense and provides a healthy dose of a powerful antioxidant, Vitamin E. It is also a good source of healthy monounsaturated fats which helps keep you satiated.
#5 – Reduce the sugar content in the recipe by ¼.
Cutting the sugar content by just 1/4 can help cut calories and prevent blood sugar spikes. With this decrease in sugar you will hardly notice the difference in taste.
#6 – Replace ½ of the oil or butter in the recipe with unsweetened applesauce or mashed banana.
This substitution works best for quick breads and muffins. The fruit puree lends a light sweetness while boosting vitamins and minerals and creating a moist, delicious result.
With a balanced diet focused on variety there is room for all foods, even baked goods. So enjoy small portions of your favorite treats and try experimenting with the above suggestions to create healthier versions of your family favorites!
Whole Spelt Pumpkin Muffins
*source: 100 Days of Real Food
This recipe is made with whole grains and will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. Plus, it’s Fall y’all! Bring on the antioxidant-rich pumpkin!
- 1½ cups whole spelt flour (white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour can be substituted)
- 1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice blend (found in the spice aisle)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup honey
- ⅓ cup melted butter
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line a muffin pan with liners and set aside.
- Whisk together the flour, pumpkin spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Make a hole in the center of the flour mixture. Drop in eggs, honey, and melted butter.
- Mix together until well combined. Fold in the pumpkin puree. Do not over mix.
- Pour the batter into the muffin pan so it’s evenly distributed. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick comes clean, about 18 – 20 minutes.
- Store at room temperature or freeze for a rainy day.