A lot of people think that in order for a diet to be healthy, desserts have to be completely off-limits. Luckily for anyone with a sweet tooth, however, this does not have to be the case! Instead of eliminating all things sweet from your diet, there are easy ways to bake yummy desserts that are actually good for you. Making intelligent choices about the ingredients you put into your food will improve your baked goodies’ nutritional contents and can provide your body with numerous health benefits you probably never thought could come from a cookie. Follow these simple tips and tricks to make desserts that taste so good, you won’t even know you’re eating healthy:
Add Some Oats
Adding oats to any recipe is an easy way to provide yourself with a whole host of health benefits. Not only do oats help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, control your blood sugar and prevent certain cancers, but they can also have positive effects on increasing your metabolism and can help you lose weight. They are also high in fiber, making them good for helping with digestion. Oats are easy to incorporate into almost any cookie, cake or dessert bar recipe, so there’s really no reason not to use them.
Use Egg Substitute
Using egg substitutes in place of shell eggs is another way to shave some calories off of your desserts. The yolks in shell eggs have extremely high levels of cholesterol and are the most caloric part of the egg. Egg substitutes are typically made out of egg whites, so you’ll be able to eliminate these calories and cholesterol from your recipes without sacrificing any of the taste.
Sub Wheat Flour for White Flour
Wheat flour contains all the healthy parts of the grain that get processed out when white flour is made. Since more of the grain is there, you’ll get more nutrients like iron and fiber that will make your dish a little healthier. Don’t substitute wheat flour entirely though—it might change the taste of the dish too drastically. Instead, stick to the rule of using wheat flour for half of the amount of white flour that the recipe calls for. This will allow you to keep the taste you love while making your desserts better for you.
Sneak in Veggies
Are you slacking in getting your full serving of veggies? The most delicious solution to this problem is to whip up a batch of muffins or cookies. Adding shredded carrots and zucchini are easy baking tips that can add nutrients to your baking and can help boost the amount of veggies you get on a daily basis. The best part about adding shredded veggies is that a lot of times you can’t even taste them, so it’s a perfect way to get kids to eat their vegetables without even realizing it.
Try this recipe for ‘Not Your Ordinary’ Zucchini Bread. With two whole cups of zucchini and half a cup of protein-packed pecans, a slice of this bread is a delicious, healthy snack you can feel good about serving and eating.
‘Not Your Ordinary’ Zucchini Bread
Makes: 2 loaves
Prep Time: 15 min
Total Time: 1.5 hours
Servings: 20 (1 slice each)
Calories per Serving: 186
- PAM Baking Spray
- 3 cups Ultragrain All Purpose Flour
- 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 cups grated zucchini (2 cups = about 2 medium zucchini)
- 4 eggs or 1 cup Egg Beaters (1 cup = 8 oz)
- 1/2 cup Pure Wesson Canola Oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly spray two 8-1/2 x 4-1/2-inch loaf pans with baking spray.
- Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, lemon peel, baking soda, baking powder, salt and nutmeg in large bowl; set aside. In a second bowl combine zucchini, Egg Beaters, oil and lemon juice.
- Pour Egg Beaters mixture into dry ingredients; stir just until moistened (batter will be thick). Add nuts and mix well.
- Divide batter between the prepared pans. Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean.
- Cool in pans on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from pans. May be served warm.
This recipe is brought to you by PAM. For more baking and cooking tips, visit pamcookingspray.com.