Are you looking for clever ingredient substitutes for healthier baking? I’ve got 22 great alternatives that will boost the nutrient count of your bakes, without compromising on flavour.
You know sometimes when you’re browsing things on the internet, and you get sucked into an internet black hole? And you end up reading things on a completely different topic than when you first started out? Or is that just me?! Well, there I was on Sunday, browsing away and I stumbled upon a great infographic on healthier recipe ingredient substitutes for when you’re baking. The authors say “healthy” but I would say “healthier”, just to be pedantic!
The infographic is especially useful if you’re vegan and/or gluten-free and looking for ideas for ingredient substitutes as a lot of the baking swaps (although not all) are for vegan and/or gluten-free foodstuffs.
NB: The original infographic goes into a bit more detail about why the baking substitutions work and some tips for using them:
Clever Ingredient Substitutes for Healthier Baking
If you’re using a text reader to read this article, then I will set out below the text:
Healthier Substitutes to Sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce instead of 1 cup of sugar. For every cup of applesauce you use, reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe by 1 quarter cup.
- One half teaspoon of vanilla extract instead of 2 tablespoons of sugar.
- One teaspoon of liquid stevia, or 2 tablespoons of stevia powder instead of 1 cup of sugar.
Vegan Alternatives to Eggs
- 1 tablespoon of chia seeds and 1 cup of water, left to sit for 15 minutes is a substitute for one egg.
- Alternatively, 1 tablespoon of flax meal and 3 tablespoons of water, left to sit for 5 to 10 minutes is also a substitute for one egg.
Healthier Baking Alternatives to Butter or Oil
- Half a cup of unsweetened applesauce and half a cup of fat instead of one cup of butter or oil.
- 3/4 cup of prunes and 1/4 cup boiling water, blended, is a substitute for one cup of butter.
- 1 cup of pureed avocado is a substitute for one cup of butter.
- 3 tablespoons of flax meal and 1 tablespoon of water, left to sit for 5 – 10 minutes, is a substitute for one tablespoon of butter.
- 2 – 3 tablespoons of chia seeds, and one cup of water, left to sit for around 15 minutes is a healthier vegan baking substitute for one cup of butter.
- 1 cup of mashed banana can be substituted for one cup of oil or butter.
Healthier Cake Fillings & Toppings
- 1 cup of fluff instead of 1 cup of icing.
- Substitute 1 cup of natural peanut butter instead of reduced-fat peanut butter.
- 1 cup of meringue instead of 1 cup of icing.
- Use 1 cup of evaporated skimmed milk instead of 1 cup of double cream.
- Crush 1 cup of Graham Crackers instead of 1 cup of crushed cookies.
- 1 cup of cocoa nibs instead of 1 cup of chocolate chip cookies.
Flour & Starch Alternatives
- 1 cup of pureed black beans instead of one cup of flour.
- 1/4 cup of nut flour, or 1 cup of nut flour plus 1/2 teaspoon of a raising agent instead of 1 cup of flour
- 1/3 cup of coconut flour plus 1 extra egg per ounce of coconut flour plus a dash of extra water instead of 1 cup of flour
- 1 cup of wholewheat flour in place of 1 cup of flour
- 3/4 cup of brown rice cereal plus 2 tablespoons of flax meal instead of 1 cup of Rice Krispies.
What do you think about these healthier baking ideas? I haven’t heard many good things about using stevia in place of sugar so I am dubious about that one. Meanwhile, the idea of a cake iced in marshmallow fluff doesn’t especially appeal (although it is vegetarian, surprisingly). However, some of the other suggestions sound pretty good.
I’d like to give the chia seeds in place of an egg a try, and I for one am especially intrigued by the idea of using black beans in place of flour in chocolate brownies! It sounds a bit out there, but I am itching to give it a go just to try it! Would you do it? Or have you tried it? Did it work? Was it tasty? I’m all ears!