Healthy Baking Swaps to Prioritize
Check out this great article from Food is Fuel NYC Dietetic Intern Jessica from the University of Florida.
What foods swaps are you most excited to try? What food swaps do you know of that we need to also consider?
For more great content and food inspiration check out Jessica on Instagram @walkandguac
As we spend more time sheltered in place we are finding new ways to keep ourselves entertained, whether it is rediscovering an old hobby we love or trying something new. Personally, I have found myself in the kitchen baking more often than usual. Based on the amount of banana bread I have seen on my Instagram feed, I can tell that I am not the only one.
A benefit to baking at home is knowing exactly what ingredients are being added into your treat as opposed to store bought items which may have additional chemicals and preservatives. Use this to your advantage and swap out basic ingredients that do not provide much nutritional value for ones that are more nutrient dense. Many recipes call for multiple cups of flour, sugar, and butter that produce desserts high in calories yet low in vitamins and minerals.
"...swap out basic ingredients that do not provide much nutritional value for ones that are more nutrient dense."
Of course baked goods are perfectly fine in moderation, but why not make the most out of them? Making some “smart swaps” can allow you to enjoy the dessert you love while potentially adding fiber (oats in place of flour) or protein (Greek yogurt with no added sugar in place of oil). My favorite trade-off is using unsweetened applesauce instead of oil when baking a cake. I have tested this out with a blind taste test where I made one cake with vegetable oil and one with unsweetened applesauce. Most people actually preferred the cake with applesauce! This substitution lowers the fat content and provides a more moist texture. Keep in mind switching ingredients may slightly change the density or flavor a bit, but the cravings will still be satisfied!
These ideas may also be a great way to use up some of your produce that is going bad. Have an avocado that’s feeling a little squishy? Throw it into your cookie dough in place of butter to add in some heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids!
"Making some smart swaps can allow you to enjoy the dessert you love while potentially adding fiber (oats in place of flour) or protein (Greek yogurt with no added sugar in place of oil)."
Try out one or two of these smart swaps next time you find yourself in a baking frenzy.
Eggs (Substitution measurements = 1 egg)
2 egg whites
1 Tbsp chia seeds + 3 Tbsp of water
Flour (1c substitution=1c Flour)
Oil/butter (1c substitution = 1c oil/butter)
Plan Greek yogurt with no sugar added
As a general rule, you can reduce sugar in a given recipe by about 25% without noticeable differences.
For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, reduce the amount to ¾ cup.
You may need to increase the liquid in a recipe
Unsweetened Applesauce (1 c applesauce = 1 c sugar)
Reduce liquid in recipe by a quarter cup
Finely grated raw beets (2 2/3 c beets = 1 c sugar)
Try out this Black Bean Brownie Recipe (Chocolate Covered Katie):
The black beans in this recipe provide fiber, calcium, iron, and other micronutrients. The oats also provide fiber in addition to magnesium and zinc.
Makes 9-12 brownies.
1 ½ cups black beans (1 15-oz can, drained and rinsed very well) (250g after draining)
2 tbsp cocoa powder (10g)
½ cup quick oats (40g)
¼ tsp salt
1/3 cup pure maple syrup, honey, or agave (75g)
Pinch uncut stevia OR 2 tbsp sugar (or omit and increase maple syrup to 1/2 cup)
¼ cup coconut or vegetable oil (40g)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ cup to 2/3 cup chocolate chips (115-140g)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips in a good food processor, and blend until completely smooth. Really blend well. (A blender can work if you absolutely must, but the texture—and even the taste—will be much better in a food processor.)
Stir in the chips, then pour into a greased 8×8 pan.
Optional: sprinkle extra chocolate chips over the top.
Cook the black bean brownies 15-18 minutes, then let cool at least 10 minutes before trying to cut. If they still look a bit undercooked, you can place them in the fridge overnight.
Have fun adding a new twist to your favorite recipes and when you share with your quarantine buddies, see if they can tell the difference!
-Jessica Graduate Student and Dietetic Intern
University of Florida | Class of 2020