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Holiday Baking, Part I

Written by Leah Schitter   
Monday, 29 November 2010 17:06

The holidays are upon us, and as we all know, the season brings endless baked goodies and sweet treats!  As you attend holiday gatherings and enjoy some fun holiday baking yourself, keep in mind that there are healthy, yet delectable ways to enjoy these goodies. You don’t have to sacrifice a healthy diet during the holidays. In addition, it is important to remember that a poor diet during the holidays doesn’t just show up on your figure, but is one of the key contributors to sickness during the holidays. Sugar is one of the primary culprits when it comes to suppression of the immune system, which leads to colds, flu, and a host of other undesirable sicknesses.

Try these simple ingredient substitutions in your next recipe, and you will be amazed how much healthier you can create treats, while maintaining their tasteful goodness!

  • Substitute unsweetened applesauce for oil.
  • Substitute ¼ cup of ground flaxseed in place of part of the flour quantity.
  • Use naturally derived sweeteners, rather than artificial or the white, processed kind. A few options include: pure maple syrup, honey, apple or orange juice, and agave nectar.
  • Try stevia or xylitol in place of sugar as well. Pure stevia is a naturally derived sweetener that is stronger than sugar, so you don’t need to use as much. Xylitol is also naturally derived and can be purchased in a granulated form like sugar and substituted 1:1.
  • Cut the sugar recommendation in a recipe. Often you can cut ¼ to ½ of the recommendation and it is still sweet enough!
  • Use dark chocolate when a recipe calls for chocolate. Dark chocolate is less processed, so it is higher in antioxidants and often has much less added sugar.
  • Avoid using shortenings or margarine with trans-fats, which are labeled in the ingredients as ‘partially hydrogenated’ or ‘hydrogenated’.  Instead use real butter or a butter substitute that is plant-based and non-dairy.
  • Use whole grains. Avoid the white, processed flour. Try whole-wheat flour or experiment with other types of flour, such as oat bran, garbanzo bean, rice, etc…You can also grind rolled oats in a blender, until it reaches a flour consistency and use this as well!

Happy Baking!


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