5 Tips And Swaps For Healthier Home Baking

5 Tips And Swaps For Healthier Home Baking

Everyone loves a home-baked sweet treat, whether you’re an avid home baker or just enjoy sampling the culinary delights of a close friend or family member.

Baking is wholesome and relaxing, as well as delicious, but when you’re trying to be a little healthier, often cakes, sweet treats and pastries are straight off the menu. But, it doesn’t need to be that way! 

There are some great tips out there to swap some of the not so nutritious ingredients for ones that will pack a punch of goodness, without impacting on the taste. Often, when you replace refined ingredients for more natural and wholesome ingredients, many bakers find that they actually prefer their new bake, whether it’s down to the new flavours, better texture or just overall experience! So, with that in mind, here are 5 tips and swaps for healthier home baking. 

Ditch The White Flour

Nutritionally, white flour is quite empty. If you enjoy baking bread or muffins, then look to swap for whole-grain flours instead. If you’re concerned that the swap might make your bakes too heavy, then start with a 50/50 blend, so that you’re not too far out of your comfort zone and so that you’re still incorporating some goodness into your bakes. Not only are you adding some nutritional value to your cakes and bakes, but lots more flavour, too!

Add Healthier Ingredients

Much like with bread, using whole-grain flour instead of white can help to boost the fibre content of your bakes and might make things such as cupcakes, muffins and traybakes more substantial and filling. Whilst the flavour may be a little different, it’s worth doing if you’re looking to create a healthier baking habit. 

Another way you can make your bakes healthier is by using healthier ingredients. Adding fruits and vegetables into your bakes is another way to boost fibre and add sweetness, without using processed or refined sugar. Using sweet fruits, such as berries, apples, peaches and pineapple or vegetables like courgettes or beetroots means that you won’t need to add as much sugar as you usually would. 

Watch Your Portion Sizes

No matter how many healthy swaps you make to your bakes, if you’re still consuming big portion sizes, then healthy swaps will still impact your health in some way. If you bake your own sweet treats, then look at making mini versions of your favourites so that you still get the taste, but in a smaller portion. If you enjoy pre-packaged bakery products (who doesn’t!), then cut down on how often you consume these, to just once or twice a week. 

Swap Butter For Oil

Whilst saturated fats such as lard and butter are no longer considered diet devils, you should still be looking to choose healthier, unsaturated options. When it comes to pastry bakes, you could swap butter for cold-pressed rapeseed oil or extra virgin olive oil. Simply mix together 200g of flour and, using a fork, mix with a pinch of salt and 7 tablespoons of oil until you get a breadcrumb texture. Then, gradually add in 5-6 tablespoons of cold water. When you have a smooth dough, wrap in greaseproof paper and chill for 30 minutes. Top tip: swapping butter for oil also works really well in blondie and brownie recipes! 

Make Sweet Swaps

Baking is renowned for using large amounts of sugar and many bakers don’t realise that there are actually some really tasty swaps you can make which not only reduce the amount of sugar you use in your bakes but can improve the flavour too! 

Try adding Medjool dates to boost the sweetness of your fudgier bakes (avoid using in light sponges) and increase the nutrient and fibre levels, too. Instead of using milk chocolate, try recipes that use dark chocolate instead, preferably one with at least 70% cocoa solids. As well as using less sugar, dark chocolate actually has more flavour and higher levels of nutrients!

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