7 Healthy Substitutes for Baking

by | Jun 12, 2020 | Healthy Baking

Substitutes for Baking With A Twist

Who said you have to skip dessert when you’re trying to make healthier choices? Although baking may be associated with lots of sugar, there are ways you can make sweet treats that still compliment your healthy habits. 

While traditional recipes often call for ingredients that make desserts high in fats, sugars and calories, there are substitutes for baking that offer healthy alternatives. These substitutes even add some nutritional value to the dessert, too! 

So put on your apron and grab your mixing bowls — it’s time to get baking with these seven baking substitutes!    

1. Bananas 

Let’s be honest, everyone loves butter, and butter is an important ingredient in many desserts. But if you’re trying to cut back on fat, it can be difficult to enjoy your favorite treats. 

Fortunately, ripe bananas are a great way to substitute for butter. Use them in pancakes, brownies and even cookies. Bananas provide us with fiber, vitamin B6 and potassium, while adding natural sweetness to the dessert. So now you won’t have to feel bad for going B-A-N-A-N-A-S on your favorite dessert!

How to substitute: Use 1 cup of mashed banana for every cup of butter. 

2. Avocados 

Another way to bake without butter is to use avocados since they are rich in monounsaturated fats. Don’t worry, it’s the healthy kind of fat. Additionally, avocados contain fewer calories than butter, reducing your intake of unhealthy calories. Your body will (probably) be saying, “An avocado! Thaaaaaanks.”

How to substitute: Use 1 cup of pureed avocado for every 1 cup of butter. Making this change will require a lower oven temperature and longer baking time.

3. Sweet Potatoes 

One of the most nutritious substitutes for baking is sweet potatoes. To incorporate this in your recipe, substitute eggs with pureed sweet potatoes. Not only will they increase the vitamins and minerals in your dish, but their natural sweetness can help you cut down on the added sugar in your desserts, too. Try them in rich fudge brownies. You’ll thank us later! 

How to substitute: Use 2-3 tablespoons of mashed sweet potatoes for each egg the recipe calls for. 

4. Applesauce 

Hold the apple-ause! Applesauce is one of the most versatile substitutes when it comes to baking. If you want to cut back on sugar, use applesauce to naturally add sweetness to any dessert. 

How to substitute for sugar: To replace sugar in a recipe, the ratio is 1:1. Remember to use about 1/4 cup less of any liquid, such as milk or water, in the recipe (if it is called for).  

Applesauce not only replaces sugar, but eggs and oil, too. If you’re trying to keep your recipe vegan-friendly, applesauce can act like eggs and help hold the ingredients together once in the oven. 

How to substitute for eggs: In order to replace one egg, you should use 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce in most baking recipes. 

5. Greek Yogurt 

Sour cream may make a cheesecake light and fluffy, but it does make it higher in fat and calories. If you still want to enjoy the decadent dessert, use non-fat greek yogurt as a substitute. It will still give it a light and creamy texture, with much less fat. Did we mention it’s also a great source of protein?

How to substitute for sour cream: In order to replace 1 cup of sour cream in a recipe, you will use 1 cup of greek yogurt, making sure the yogurt is drained. 

Why stop at sour cream? You can also use greek yogurt to reduce the amount of oil or butter in a recipe too! 

How to substitute for butter or oil: Just replace 1/2 of the amount of oil or butter with 3/4 the amount of greek yogurt. 

6. Soy or Almond Milk

One of the most simple substitutes for baking is using soy or almond milk instead of whole milk. With fewer calories and less fat, these milk varieties are healthy, and vegan-friendly options for your recipes. 

How to substitute: Use the same amount indicated in the recipe.

7. Different types of flour 

All-purpose white flour is often a main ingredient in most baked goods, but it lacks nutritional value. If you want to make a recipe healthier, there are a number of different types of flour substitutes you can use.

Almond Flour

One option to include in your baking is almond flour. This low-carb and gluten-free option adds protein and healthy fats to your dish. It also increases fiber, thus aiding in digestion. 

How to substitute: Although the ratio is 1:1, when replacing all-purpose flour, almond flour does require more of a binding agent. You may need to add an additional egg (or egg substitute) in the recipe.

Coconut Flour

Another flour alternative is coconut flour. It is also low-carb and naturally gluten-free. Coconut flour is high in protein and adds extra flavor to any dessert. It is also a perfect choice for those who have a nut allergy. This flour is more dense than white four, and will not require as much as the original recipe calls for.

How to substitute: For every cup of all purpose flour, you will only need about 1/4 cup of coconut flour. Keep in mind that this flour substitute will also alter how many eggs you need to use in the recipe. For every 1/4 cup of flour, you will need to use 1 egg. 

Oat Flour

Oat flour is higher in protein and healthy fats than regular white flour, and is lower in carbohydrates, too! Oat flour contains fiber to aid in digestion and helps reduce cholesterol levels in the body. You can buy the oat flour already packaged or buy whole oats and make the flour from scratch.

How to substitute: Substitute 1 cup of regular white flour for 1 1/3 cup oat flour.

When it comes to baking, measurements are key. These substitutes for baking may require a few changes to the measurements in the original recipe. When you alter a recipe, it may require some trial and error to discover what works best for you. Think of it as an excuse to bake even more!

Not only that, but these may also change the amount of time the dish spends in the oven baking, so keep a close eye on them while they’re baking. Lastly, remember to have fun with it! You’re about to create a delicious (and healthy) new dessert option on your journey towards a healthier lifestyle. 

So now you have dessert, but what about your main meal? UpFresh Kitchen can help with that! We are a meal prep service specializing in healthy, balanced, ready-to-eat meals. We even deliver them right to your door, saving you even more time! Our menu changes each week, so you never get tired of eating the same thing. Discover what’s on this week’s menu and place your order online.