How Can You Bake in a More Healthy Way?

Baking is a beloved pastime for many people- not only is it fun, but you get delicious results too! However, it can also be a source of unhealthy ingredients like white flour and added sugars. And if you want to bake regularly, it's easy to consume more than you need in terms of calories and fat. But had you considered that with a few simple substitutions, you could make your baked goods healthier and still enjoy the taste and texture you love? While they won't suddenly become health foods by any means, you can give your bakes a better nutritional profile which is never a bad thing. Read on to find out how.

Switch white for whole wheat flour
One of the easiest and most impactful ways to make your baked goods healthier is to substitute whole wheat flour for white flour. Whole wheat flour is made from the entire wheat kernel and contains all the nutrients, including fibre, vitamins, and minerals. In comparison, white flour is made from just the endosperm and has been stripped of many important nutrients. Whole wheat flour can be used in place of white flour in most recipes, although you may need to adjust the amount used as whole wheat flour is denser and can affect the texture of the final product. For the most part though, baked goods with whole wheat flour are just as delicious and you wouldn't even know a switch had been made. 

Reduce sugar
Another way you can experiment with healthier baking is reducing the amount of added sugar you use. While it's delicious, sugar provides no nutritional value and can contribute to a host of health problems when you have too much. When you're baking, try using natural sweeteners like honey, dates or fruit puree instead of granulated sugar. While they're still sweet and sugary, they provide some additional nutrients over white sugar alone. You could also simply use less sugar than the recipe calls for, your baked goods will still be sweet but not as overpowering.

Add a nutritional boost
You can make your baked goods healthier by incorporating more fruits, vegetables, and nuts. For example, add shredded carrot courgette or finely mashed avocado to muffins or cake, or top your oaty cookies with chopped nuts like almonds or walnuts. You could sneak in things like flaxseed and chia seeds into certain bakes, or even yoghurt or protein powder. These ingredients not only add flavour but also provide additional nutrients and fibre.

Consider alternative fats
One final tip for healthy baking is to be mindful of the fats you use. Butter and oil are high in saturated fat, which can contribute to heart disease. Instead, try using unsaturated fats like olive oil or avocado oil. You can also use healthier fats like coconut oil, which is high in healthy saturated fats, in place of butter.

In conclusion, making a few simple substitutions when baking can make a big difference in the healthfulness of your baked goods. By using whole wheat flour, reducing added sugars, incorporating more fruits, vegetables, and nuts, and being mindful of the fats you use, you can still enjoy the delicious treats you love while taking care of your health. So, next time you're in the kitchen, give these tips a try and see how you can bake in a more healthy way.