5 Baking Substitutes that Don’t Sacrifice Flavor
I’m always looking for ways to tweak my favorite foods to make them a little more nutritious, so I love finding healthy ingredient swaps that won’t sacrifice flavor! If you’re like me, when you think of baking you automatically think of all-purpose flour, sugar, brown sugar, and corn starch. But as I learned more about nutrition, I learned that these “traditional” baking ingredients had tasty, better for you alternatives that yielded the same results. Here are 5 baking substitutes you can make for healthier baking:
Coconut Milk instead of Dairy Milk
Coconuts are high in good saturated fats, lauric acid, and the beautiful, easy-to-digest medium-chain fatty acids that actually help speed up your metabolism.
Coconut Milk Tips:
- Opt for canned, full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk unless you aren’t a fan of the taste.
- Substitute coconut milk in equal parts in your baking recipe. If the recipe calls for 1 cup of milk or cream, use 1 cup of coconut milk!
Unsweetened Apple Sauce instead of Sugar
Using applesauce in place of sugar can give the necessary sweetness without the extra calories. While one cup of unsweetened applesauce contains only about 100 calories, a cup of sugar can pack in more than 770 calories!
Apple Sauce Tips
- Sub sugar for apple sauce in a 1:1 ratio, but for every cup of applesauce you use, reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup
Almond Flour (in small quantities) instead of White Flour
Almond flour is high in protein; rich in vitamin E, many B-vitamins, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium; while also being lower in omega-6 polyunsaturated fats per gram than many other nuts.When baking with almond flour, you can use similar quantities to regular flour in your recipe, but this mainly applies to small amounts of flour like 1 or 2 tablespoons. Because almond flour doesn’t contain gluten, it doesn’t yield the elasticity or hold together the way wheat flour does!
Almond Flour Tips:
- The finer the almonds are ground, the better your baked goods will turn out. If you use coarser ground flour, your product will be grainy and the texture will be as if you added nuts to the batter.
- Nut flours burn easily so when baking with them, keep the temperatures lower by about 25°F to 50°F and bake for slightly longer. Keep a close eye on your baked goods, as all ovens heat differently.
- Almond flour is best if stored in your refrigerator or freezer. It will keep for a month in the refrigerator and 6 to 8 months in the freezer. If you store it in the freezer, just remove the portion you need for your recipe and let it come to room temperature for 20 minutes.
Coconut Oil instead of Vegetable Oil
Coconut Oil tips:
- Seek out unrefined, virgin-pressed coconut oil
- Use Equal Ratios – Use coconut oil at a 1:1 ratio to replace vegetable oils, margarine, shortening, and/or butter
- Be aware of the smoke point– Coconut oil is a very stable oil even at higher temperatures. However, it is best not to cook beyond the smoke point (450°F) of coconut oil, as it will begin to deteriorate the oil and turn it yellow. This is mostly a concern when cooking with the oil, as opposed to baking with it, but it’s important to know.
- Don’t refrigerate: Keep coconut oil in a cool dark cupboard. Refrigeration makes the oil hard and difficult to measure!
Avocado instead of Butter
The substitution of avocado for butter means the addition of 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Need I say more? In addition, over 75% of the fat in avocados is unsaturated (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats), making them a great baking substitute for foods or ingredients high in saturated fat. To top it off, avocados contain a high water content, so they can also make treats softer, chewier and less likely to crumble.
- Though the result may vary slightly by recipe you can assume a one-to-one substitution of avocado for butter
- Depending on how much you use, avocado can change the color of lighter colored baked goods. If the color of the finished product is important, we don’t recommend this substitution!
Sam Swensen & Suja Juice