Ahhh, the holidays: It’s the most wonderful time of the year, full of cookie platters and get-togethers. And we all know that those desserts taste divine thanks to heaping amounts of butter, flour and sugar. It’s hard for moms to keep their kids healthy through the holiday season when they’re surrounded by snacks. But what if you could offer those same cookies and brownies to your kids knowing they were chock-full of good ingredients? Check out the list below to see some healthy baking alternatives!
- Substitute beans for flour
While many recipes now call for almond or rice flour instead of all purpose flour, you can use canned beans too! Food blogger Chocolate Covered Katie made eating chocolate chip cookie dough healthy with her chickpea cookie dough dip. Instead of using flour, she pureed chickpeas along with nut butter and oats to make a cookie dough dessert that’s safe to eat without baking it. For a baked final product, her chickpea cookie pie is the way to go. This healthy cookie might not rise like conventional cookies do – that’s because the gluten in flour provides structure to baked goods – but it’s still just as delicious.
- Use applesauce instead of oil
When you’re making quick breads and muffins, it can be unnerving to see how much oil goes into each recipe! Applesauce provides the same moistness and density in these kinds of baked goods, according to Livestrong.com. When swapping out oil for applesauce, you only need three quarters of the amount of applesauce. Livestrong recommended reducing the cooking time by 5 to 10 minutes after you pop your bread in the oven, as it might dry out.
- Cut down on butter with Greek yogurt
Add Greek yogurt to your chocolate chip cookies to cut down on fat. Greek yogurt works best in recipes when it’s replacing fats, like butter, that are solid at room temperature. The finished product, like these Greek yogurt chocolate chip cookies, will have the richness of a full-butter cookie with the added tangy flavor of yogurt and an added protein boost. If you’re adapting a recipe, Taste of Home suggested swapping out half the butter in a recipe for Greek yogurt.
- Add bananas instead of sugar
Bananas that have sat on the counter for a few days can taste sweet like brown sugar – so why not use bananas in lieu of sugar when baking? Prevention magazine noted that you can avoid a blood sugar spike by just using the fruit instead. Rochelle Bilow from Bon Appetit warned that adding bananas will create a wetter batter than simply adding sugar, so you may have to experiment to get the ratio right. She suggested using dates instead – they add sweetness without creating a runny batter.
With these substitutions, you and your kids can enjoy all the season has to offer. Here’s to the holidays!