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August 21, 2018 • Healthy Eating & Nutrition

Dr. Ann’s Healthy Baking Tips


My daughter Lucie loves baking healthy treats. Here are some great tips we’ve both adopted for healthier – and wildly delicious – baking:

  • Substitute canola oil for shortening, stick margarine or butter. Canola oil/butter blends also acceptable.
  • Use ground flax seeds, ground nuts or prepared all natural nut butters in place of bad fats (butter, stick margarine, shortening).
  • Substitute pureed fruits or starchy veggies (apples, bananas, pears, squash, pumpkin) for “some” of the oil in your recipes; EX. If the recipe calls for 1 cup of oil, use ¾ cup pureed fruit or veggie as above and ¼ cup oil. Jarred baby foods are great for this purpose.
  • Replace butter with yogurt
  • Substitute whole wheat flour or “white” whole wheat flour ( “Ultra-grain” King Arthur Brand) for white flour.
  • When reducing fat in baking recipes, use low-gluten flours (i.e. whole wheat flour, oat flour, brown rice flour) – this makes for a tenderer product.
  • Use buttermilk (1% or nonfat) instead of milk or sour cream.
  • Substitute plain Greek-style yogurt for sour cream.
  • Substitute dark or semisweet chocolate for milk chocolate.
  • Substitute pureed dates, honey, maple syrup, or molasses for sugar.
  • To reduce the fat or butter in your recipes without compromising flavor( fat, especially butter, is a flavor carrier), add  nuts, spices (i.e. cinnamon), instant espresso powder, coffee, cocoa powder, dried fruit, extracts (i.e. vanilla), liqueurs (i.e. amaretto), citrus zest or juice, 100% fruit butters, nut oils, or salt.
  • To thicken recipes (i.e. mousse, puddings, custards), use gelatin, tapioca, or pectin instead of heavy cream.
  • To moisten and add nutritional value to baked goods, mix in 100% canned pumpkin or sweet potato puree, grated raw veggies (i.e. carrots), or mashed bananas.
  • Increase nutritional value by adding nuts, oats, spices, and dried unsweetened fruit.
  • Don’t over bake the recipe.

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