Enjoying yourself during the holidays and eating delicious baked foods with family members doesn’t have to be unhealthy! Indulging on special occasions is okay, but if you focus on making healthy choices during those times as well, you can “have your cake, and eat it too.”
Mix in some healthy baking substitutes
Aiming to use healthier ingredients in your baking can help your health go a long way. When you have the option, use whole grains and natural sweeteners. If possible, use real fruits and vegetables for flair and taste.
Where possible, substitute applesauce for butter. Use whole wheat flour, nut flour, or coconut flour instead of white flour. You can try using half the amount of sugar and include applesauce or overripe bananas. Overripe bananas are very sweet and make a great sweetener for baking or even “nicecream.” Other effective and tasty sweeteners are natural honey, agave nectar, dates, and maple syrup.
To help lower your cholesterol ratings, use flaxseeds with water instead of eggs. To make a flax egg, mix one tablespoon of ground flaxseeds with 3 tablespoons of water. Let it thicken for 15 – 30 minutes, then use as a regular egg.
Healthy baking ideas for breakfast
You can use healthier ingredients for making meals besides desserts. You can share healthy baked goods with friends and family at any time of the day. Here are a few examples you can have for breakfast:
- Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Muffins
- Vegetarian egg muffins
- Mini vegetable quiches
- Eggy pizza
- Dark chocolate pancakes
- Cornbread muffins
Recipes for snacks and dinner
You can also bake healthy snacks and meals for later in the day, including lunch and dinner. You can make healthy banana bread with applesauce in place of the butter and maple syrup instead of the sugar. Add your favorite nuts, seeds, or spices like cinnamon and ginger for taste.
Healthy granola or granola bars is another item that you can bake with healthy ingredients. Add oats, your favorite nuts, seeds, and dried fruit into a bowl. Coat with honey, maple syrup, and spices. Bake on a tray on a low setting until lightly browned, stirring halfway through.
Healthy dessert ideas
Desserts are often a favorite during the holidays, and focusing on health doesn’t mean you have to skip the fun! Here are a variety of healthy dessert ideas that taste great, help you stay healthy, and are great for the fall and winter holidays:
- Pumpkin sugar cookies
- Cranberry scones
- Mini pumpkin cupcakes
- Healthy pie (cranberry, apple, etc)
- Chocolate chip oatmeal muffins
- Black bean brownies
Adding a few real fruits or vegetables, along with your favorite spices, can bring out the flavor of any baked dessert. Follow a recipe and include substitutions for best results.
You can still have seasonal flavors and baked treats while taking care of your body and being healthy. You can even fit in a holiday workout plan that works for the season. For healthy baking recipes, try out several to see which you like the best. You and your family will stay healthier, and you may just end up with a new favorite recipe.
If you need more information about fitting healthier choices into your holiday meal plan, contact us today!