Who doesn't love dessert? But when you're on a diet, you may think sweets are the last thing you can have. But that isn't true. With the right ingredients, you can make delicious desserts to satisfy your cravings without derailing your diet.
These are the best tips we live by for healthier baking:
Swap butter for extra virgin coconut oil.
Coconut oil provides monounsaturated fatty acids that can help fill you up and even boost the metabolism. The coconut flavor shouldn't be very noticeable in the final product.
Change out white sugar for a natural sweetener.
White, refined sugar contains chemicals and adds lots of calories, not too mention its impact on your blood sugar and waist line. Stevia, agave, maple syrup and raw honey are all excellent natural sweeteners to use instead and much sweeter than sugar, so you can use less of them.
Replace 1/4 of your white flour with almond flour.
Almonds provide protein as well vitamin E, which keeps skin glowing. They also have a mild sweetness that's perfect for desserts, so make the switch to almond flour the next time you bake.
Better yet, change out your white flour entirely for whole wheat flour.
Whole wheat or whole grain flour will provide additional fiber to help you eat less and will prevent spikes and crashes in your blood sugar. Whole grains are also better for the cholesterol and the heart.
Use applesauce instead of eggs.
Just 1/4 cup of applesauce is all you need to eliminate an egg from a baking recipe. If you don't want to make your own applesauce, make sure to find one that's organic and without any artificial ingredients or added sweeteners. If it does contain sugar, limit how much additional sweetener you add.
Add moisture with shredded vegetables.
Eggs are often added for moisture as well as butter. One way to cut back is to use shredded vegetables like zucchini. Zucchini, even with the skin on, has a mild flavor that blends in easily when finely grated and is a wonderful source of vitamin C.
Add deep color with beets.
Artificial food dyes are worth eliminating from your food whenever possible. One way to get rich red or purple color is to use beet juice or even shredded beets. If you're making red velvet cake, this is a perfect opportunity to use beets instead. You'll also be adding fiber, potassium and vitamin C.
Sweeten with medjool dates.
Instead of adding sugar, try some dried medjool dates, which are loaded with heart-healthy fiber and potassium, a vital electrolyte. While they do contain plenty of natural sugar, they're a much more natural option and can be chopped up and added to batters and even ice cream.
Boost nutrients with chia seeds.
Whenever you're making something that could use some added nutrition, consider adding some chia seeds for omega-3 essential fatty acids and fiber. An easy dessert is chia seed pudding, which typically combines chia seeds with yogurt and almond milk and natural flavorings like fruit and maple syrup.
Add good fats with flax seed.
The next time you need a crunchy streusel topping for muffins or even cobbler, mix in some flax seeds for omega-3s that support the heart, mind and skin. The mild, nutty flavor will work perfectly.
Now even with these swaps, moderation is still key. Make sure to exercise portion control -- you can have too much of a good thing.
You can find everything you need to make delicious desserts at eVitamins. Have a great day!