Healthier holiday baking

baked goods photo

Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We’re into the home stretch. Christmas is just around the corner but the parties don’t end until after New Year’s Day. The holiday season is in full swing, and the and evidence of Christmas baking is apparent everywhere you look.

Now I enjoy my baked goods as much as the next person, but I also really like being able to fit into my clothes. Sadly, those cookies, cakes, and pastries that surround us during this time of year are often packed with sugar, fat, and white flour, with hardly any nutritional value to redeem them. Luckily, there are ways to make your favourite recipes a little healthier without sacrificing any of the enjoyment. In fact, I enjoy them more because I know I can do so with a little less guilt. :) Here are a few to start:

1. Replace up to 1/2 the fat (oil or butter) with unsweetened 
applesauce or other fruit or vegetable purees (eg. banana, peaches,
pumpkin, sweet potato etc.)
   - do not overmix! Overmixing will yield a tougher product.
   - Low-fat products are more sensitive to temperature shifts (like 
     opening the oven door) Don't open the door until the last 5 min
     of baking time.
2. Many baked goods can have up to 1/3 of the sugar removed without
   any sacrifice in taste (includes sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup,
   honey, molasses)
3. Use 2 egg whites in place of 1 whole egg.
4. Instead of adding mayonnaise to cake, try non-fat yogurt (yogurt
   will work in any cake recipe to make it moist if it is too dry.)
5. Instead of whipped cream, use chilled evaporated skim milk.

Happy holidays!

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