According to studies, the average American now consumes about 22 teaspoons of sugar daily or an astounding 130 pounds per year! That’s nearly half a pound every day.
It doesn’t take much digging into the scientific research to uncover why this number is alarming: Eating too much added sugar can lead to weight gain, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
And since eating sweets can be habit-forming for many people, it may be especially difficult to try to give up sugary foods in an attempt to make healthier choices.
Fortunately, you don’t have to skip dessert just because you’re trying to eat well. Try these five healthy baking swaps in your next dessert recipe instead!
1. Reduce Sugar by Half or Even a Third
Of course, the simplest way to cut down on sugar in your baked goods is to start with less of it in the first place. This doesn’t necessarily mean cutting out sweeteners completely though!
Just use about half as much sugar as a standard recipe calls for, leaving you room to add some other form of natural sweetness.
For example, if a muffin needs two tablespoons of granulated white sugar to be sweet enough for your tastes, try using just one tablespoon instead and adding something extra like a mashed banana.
2. Try Fruit Juice in Place of Sugar
Although you might not think of fruit juice as being healthy, it is better for your waistline than eating a piece of fruit. This is because many fruits contain 20 grams of sugar per one-cup serving.
However, most eight-ounce cups of 100-percent fruit juice only provide 15 grams.
So if you replace all the sugar in a recipe with fruit juice, you’ll still end up with fewer calories, less fat, and added sugar than if you ate the original version of that dish.
3. Use Applesauce Instead of Butter
As many cooks know, butter is one of the fattiest ingredients used in baking. Removing even half the amount called for gets rid of lots of calories and saturated fat from your dessert.
Since applesauce is a puree made from dehydrated apples, it has a similar consistency to butter and can therefore be used as a one-to-one replacement.
4. Swap White Flour With Whole-Wheat Flour
While white flour might be a quick way to get an evenly textured result when baking, it doesn’t provide any extra nutritional benefits over whole grain. This also goes for other types of refined flours.
For example, cake flour is stripped of all fiber while white bread flour is also bleached and contains added chemicals that extend shelf life.
Even if you’re simply trying to reduce your intake of processed carbohydrates, using whole-wheat flour can still benefit you by providing more healthy nutrients per serving than their counterparts.
5. Swap Heavy Cream for Coconut Cream
Coconut cream is good for people who don’t want to use a cream that has a lot of fat. It still has 45% of your daily value of saturated fat, which is the same as heavy cream.
Coconut products like this product also provide less calcium and sodium than heavy cream does. But if you are vegan, you can choose another type of “cream” like soy or oat.
Want More Healthy Baking Tips?
Whether you’re looking for healthy baking ways to satisfy your sweet tooth or simply want some new ideas for guilt-free desserts, we hope these healthy baking ideas have given you some helpful low-calorie baking swaps to try.
Want more articles like this? Check out our blog!