There's something so soothing about whipping up a delicious confection or baked treat - The smell, the ritual...it's addicting before you even get to eating the food! And then there's the tradition: Baking brings the family together. So, in effort to keep your baking fun, warm, and guilt-free, here are my favorite healthy secrets for making any baked-good recipe a little better for you.
Step 1: Add Some Fruit
One incredibly easy way to cut down on the sugar in a baking recipe is just to add in some fruit. The frozen blueberries that I tossed into these muffins pack a sweet and tangy punch. As a result, I just don't have to use as much sugar to make them incredibly satisfying. Another fun swap that I use is actually ditching the processed white sugar altogether. I use natural honey if my recipe still needs a sweet kick. If you can afford it, use honey that's sourced locally (it will help make your body less vulnerable to seasonal allergens). Farmer's Market, anyone?
Step 2: Switch Up Your Grains
Let's just say it: That ultra-processed, bleached white flour isn't doing anything for you. I recommend using a combination of whole wheat flour and old fashioned or rolled oats! The oats are my favorite, because they add great texture and have way more fiber. No one wants to eat a muffin and still feel like they're starving, so make your baked good more satisfying by swapping out some flour for oats.
Step 3: Go For Yogurt
Alright, this one is actually brilliant. Got a recipe that calls for sour cream, milk, an oil? Of course you do! Almost every baked good calls for at least one of these ingredients. Ditch it and just supplement the same amount of unsweetened greek yogurt or plain kefir, mixed with water. Most muffin recipes call for milk and oil, but the ones I baked this morning were just my trusty combination of kefir whisked with a little water until it had about the same thickness as regular milk. I'm serious, just put a little bit of yogurt in a glass measuring cup, add water until you've reached whatever liquid amount you're replacing, whisk together, and voilá. Adding a little greek yogurt or kefir will make your recipe light, moist, and give it a boost in protein! If you want, you're the only one who needs to know. Making this change shouldn't affect the flavor of your recipe.
Have fun baking all your favorites with your new set of healthy swaps! Do you have your own healthy hack we all should know? Tell us about it in the comments! I'm always excited to hear about new ways to make our favorite activities healthy and stress-free!