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Stress baking during this Corona Virus? Healthier baking during the quarantine is possible. With all of this time on our hands, a lot of us have a new found love of making breads, cookies, cakes and so much more. Don’t worry though, we have 5 healthy substitutions for you to allow you to keep on baking. The following ingredients are excellent options to swap with the most common ingredients found in almost every baked good. Also see, the Top 5 Bread Makers for home cooking.
5.) Agave/Honey instead of Sugar
We all know that sugar is obviously detrimental to our health. A great natural baking substitute is to replace it with agave or honey. It is an excellent way to keep your pastries from wreaking havoc on your blood sugar, organs and energy levels. Obviously, sugar is a dry ingredient, so replacing it with a liquid ingredient like agave or honey requires a simple adjustment. For each cup of sugar required, replace with 2/3 of a cup of agave or honey. Also reduce other liquids in the recipe by 1/3 (for example, any water or milk required).
4.) Coconut Oil substitute for Butter
Who doesn’t love butter? Too much of a good thing though can cause problems though. Did you know that coconut oil is a great healthier baking substitute for butter? Your liver and skin will thank you for this swap. Unlike any other fat available, coconut oil digests beautifully as opposed to regular pasteurized butter. It is anti- viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, so your pastries will last even longer that it would with butter. Overall, it is a win win. For this swap, simply exchange coconut oil for butter in equal amounts.
3.) Flax Seeds rather than Eggs
Eggs are the binding component of any recipe – they keep the dry ingredients together. Eggs are great don’t get me wrong, but some people can’t or won’t eat them for dietary reasons. Vegans had a hard time with recipes before realizing that they could substitute eggs with a healthy seed known as flax seeds (also known as linseed in some countries). Flax seeds are high in Omega-3s and for anyone familiar with making flax crackers know that they are very binding. They stick together fairly strongly. For the natural baking swap, grind 1 teaspoon of flax seed and then mixing it with 3 tablespoons of water for each egg that is called in the recipe. This will create an egg-like mixture that works well in recipes requiring eggs.
2.) Almond/Rice/Oat Milk for Cow’s Milk
Milk is hard to digest for most people, whether you realize it physically or not. Replacing milk while baking with almond or rice milk is an easy way to help the digestion of your baked goods. It will also lower the calories while keeping the nutrition value up. Simply exchange the almond, rice or oat milk in equal amounts to the regular milk that is called in the recipe. The swap won’t change the consistency. If the recipe calls for buttermilk, simply add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to the milk, whisk, and let it stand for at least 5 minutes before adding it to your recipe.
1.) Whole Wheat Flour instead of All-Purpose Flour
Our last healthy baking swap is with your flour. White flour lacks nutrition, is gluey, and acidic. It binds to your intestinal tract and is very hard for your body to process. Whole wheat flour is slightly healthier in that it is less processed. It has a tad more fiber and nutrients than all-purpose flour. When baking breads, muffins and cookies, simply replace each cup equally with whole wheat flour. For a lighter texture like with cakes and cupcakes, use whole wheat pastry flour.