You might think that cutting calories in baking recipes is a bit of a moot point, after all, the flour, sugar and butter that go into virtually every baking recipe means that baked goods will never be that good for you. Luckily for you, we’ve come up with some very simple tips that will help you cut calories and fat from all of your baking recipes, whether you prefer biscuits, cakes, cookies or tarts. Your favorite baked treats might not be as good for you as an apple or some fresh veggies, but once you’ve given them the Life Quintessentials makeover, you’ll soon see that you can make baking more healthy without compromising on flavor.
Use Wholewheat Flour
In most cases, you can safely replace ½ of the plain flour with wholewheat flour with no discernible difference in taste. Wholewheat flour will make foods ever so slightly sweeter and nuttier and keeping some of the plain flour will keep the recipe light. If you like, replace all of the plain flour with wholewheat flour for a denser end product. This swap isn’t about cutting overall calories, in fact, overall calories will remain the same if you make no other changes. But using wholewheat flour is much better for you, as it contains more fiber. Fiber fills you up, and using wholewheat flour alongside fruit purees and nuts and seeds will make your baked goods much more filling, allowing you to eat less and still feel full.
Switch the Fat for Fruit Puree
One of the simplest, healthiest and most delicious ways to cut calories and fat in baking is to switch the fat for fruit puree. Whether your recipe calls for oil or butter, simply add the same quantity of fruit pureed and pushed through a sieve to remove seeds and any chewy bits. Apples work well in virtually every recipe, although mashed banana always has a lovely flavor. For fruity, vibrant cakes, why not blend zesty fruits like oranges and lemons? Keep in mind that fruit is more acidic than fat and so to counteract a little of that acidity you might need to add a little extra sugar or natural sweetener to achieve the flavor that you want.
Ditch Some of the Sugar
In most baking recipes you can cut out ¼ of the sugar straight away without having any impact on the flavor of your baking, the only difference might be in the texture. Cutting out ¼ of the sugar can save a significant amount of calories since ¼ cup of sugar contains almost 200 calories, whereas ¼ cup all natural sweetener contains zero. Be sure to always use natural sweeteners if you are planning to replace any of the sugar as these do not have the bitter flavor that some artificial sweeteners can have. Be sure to blend them really well with the eggs and fat substitute that you use and just be aware that the end result might not rise as much as you’d expect.
Use Silicone Bakeware
Most cake, biscuit and tart recipes require you to grease and line a baking pan or cake pan, which adds fat and calories before you even start cooking. Ditch the extra fat and use silicone bakeware instead. Silicone baking mats are ideal for baking cookies, biscuits and more delicate treats such as cream puffs, while silicone cake pans and muffin tins are ideal for denser goods. Silicone is completely nonstick so you can just gently peel it away from your baked goods once cooled, leaving you with perfectly cooked, deliciously tasty treats with no added fat.
Take the healthier bake challenge today – what have you got to lose?
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