How many times have you been asked to bake for a cake sale at school or asked to ‘bring a dessert’ if you are going over for dinner? Too many is probably the answer. So what healthy (and allergy friendly) alternatives are there for baking?
There’s nothing worse than deciding to bake your favourite recipe, pulling out the ingredients and realising just how much sugar/butter/wheat/dairy it actually contains when you are trying to eat well and lose weight.
There are many healthy alternatives though. It means you don’t have to miss out AND generally speaking, improve the nutrients in the end product. It’s a win win situation really!
This is how we tend to work in our recipes for the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge – we find the healthier way to make something that still tastes great but is better for you.
There are two common ways of altering or adjusting a recipe to help make it healthier and more nutritious for you and your family…
Reducing high calories ingredients
The first way is simply by reducing the high calorie, less nutrient dense ingredients. For example, if a cake recipe calls for 1.5 cups of white sugar, you could try swapping white for the less refined brown sugar and reducing the amount to 1 cup.
If the recipe calls for dried or fresh fruit and veggies (carrots, banana, sultanas, berries) you may be able to reduce the sugar content even further as these ingredients are quite sweet in their own right.
A banana bread recipe that requires 2 cups of sugar and 2 ripe bananas can be reduced to ¾ – 1 cup of sugar alongside the fruit and the change to the taste will be minimal.
We prefer not to use sugar at all at the Healthy Mummy, so try these sugar alternatives in your baking.
Try this Healthy Banana Loaf recipe.
You can also ‘straight swap’ (where you don’t have to adjust quantity) ingredients like white flour for wholemeal or spelt flour and dairy milk for nut or soy milk.
The second way to alter a recipe is by swapping out ingredients for a different, healthier alternative. This can be a little trickier as you need to make sure that the swaps you make still provide the sweetness/texture/creaminess/binding capabilities of the original.
For example, gluten free flours like coconut flour require extra moisture to be added to recipes that they are being used in as they are quite a ‘dry’ flour that absorbs a lot of liquid.
Try these delicious Orange Coconut Cremes which call for coconut flour.
Here are some healthy alternatives to common ingredients.
1 cup white flour – 1 cup wholemeal or spelt flour
1 cup white/wholemeal/spelt flour – 1 cup nut flour/meal + ½ tsp baking powder
1 cup white/wholemeal/spelt – 1/3 cup coconut flour + 1 extra egg + 1-2 tbsp water (using more than ½ cup of coconut flour is generally not advised as it can make the end product quite coarse and bitter).
Try these Peanut Butter Oreos which are made with spelt flour.
- 1 cup sugar – ¾ cup honey or pure maple syrup + 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup sugar – 1 cup unsweetened apple puree
- 1 cup sugar – 1 tsp liquid stevia or 2 tbsp powdered stevia
Try these Apple Quinoa Muffins which are made with apple puree and almond meal.
- 1 cup butter – ¾ olive oil
- 1 cup butter – ½ cup Greek yoghurt
- 1 cup butter – ¾ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup butter – 1 cup mashed banana
- 1 cup butter – 1 cup coconut oil
- 1 egg – 1 tbsp chia seeds + 1 cup water (mixed and left to sit to form a paste)
- 1 egg – 1 tbsp flaxmeal + 3 tbsp water (mixed and left to form a paste)
- 1 banana
Try this delicious Chocolate Mousse made with chia seeds.
- 1 banana – ½ – 1 avocado
- 1 banana – ½ cup pumpkin puree
Healthy dessert recipes – 5 sweet snacks for after dinner
Peanut bubble crunch
With rice bubbles, peanut butter and chocolate, you can’t go wrong! The kids will also absolutely adore crunching this scrumptious slice in their school lunches, or as an afternoon tea treat.
Chocolate chip muffins
We love a recipe makeover and this Choc Chip Muffins Recipe is a so sample directly from the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge – which is made for busy mums.
With dark chocolate bits, these healthy muffins are a great snack and perfect for the whole family.
Banana, raspberry and chocolate chip muffins
For a healthy snack under 100 calories, these Banana, Raspberry And Chocolate Chip Muffins are perfect.
There’s no need for a muffin to contain vast amounts of sugar like the ones you find in cafes or at the supermarket – check the label as often there is as much sugar as there is flour.
These muffins are sweetened with fruit and a small amount of maple syrup, making them a much healthier choice.
Healthy choc chip mini cheesecakes
These Healthy Choc Chip Mini Cheesecakes are vegan friendly and taste as good as they look.
They’re packed full of protein and antioxidants due to their nutritious ingredients.
5 healthy desserts for when you’re entertaining guests
Chocolate carrot cake
The Guilt Free Chocolate Treats and Baking Cookbook is full of sweet treats, baking ideas, and showstopping desserts such as this one. A must for anyone with a sweet tooth.
And these recipes are so healthy that you can lose weight on our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge while enjoying such tasty indulgences!
Show stopping chocolate berry layer cake
Need a cake for the centrepiece of your table? Look no further! Not only does this layer cake look fantastic, it also serves 16 so you’ll have enough to feed a crowd!
Prepare the cakes the day before you need them, and then just decorate on the day of serving. This will reduce the hands on time needed when you’ve got other things to get on with.
This recipe comes from our Healthy Mummy Christmas and Entertaining Cookbook.
Delicious 5 ingredient cheesecake only 160 calories
Here’s a delicious and healthier option for a cheesecake recipe, that is so tasty you just won’t believe it has only 160 calories per serve.
But the best part is you only need a handful of ingredients to make it. Why not serve it up next time you are having friends over for dinner?