Healthy Baking Tips

The holidays are approaching fast which means desserts full of pumpkins, pecans, apples and sweet potatoes will soon be appearing on your table. Is your stomach growling yet? These pies are the perfect ending to any holiday dinner, but they can be the unhealthiest item on the menu.

But don’t let nutritional concerns spoil your holiday baking! Check out these healthy tips to make sure your dessert menu is as healthy as possible – without sacrificing too much flavor.

  • DIY – Do It Yourself Cooking
    • During the holidays, time management is key and buying store-bought anything can be convenient. But what exactly are you buying? These store-bought items are chock full of preservatives and other ingredients that extend shelf life at the cost of nutrition. Spend some time in the kitchen making homemade pie crusts and cookies. Your body will thank you!
  • Sour Cream or Yogurt Instead of Butter
    • A great substitution for butter or fat for your piecrusts is low-fat sour cream or Greek yogurt. This trick cuts down on fats while still allowing you to bake that light, flaky crust that’s a staple of holiday treats.
  • Stray From White & Turn To Wheat
    • When baking, substitute whole-wheat flour for white flour. Compared to white flour, whole grains create a coarser texture, so you’ll want to experiment. Start with a 50-50 mix and gradually increase the amount of wheat flour used with each batch until you find the perfect balance.
  • Less Sugar – More Spices
    • Pie-friendly ingredients such as cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg bring large amounts of flavor to a dish. With all this extra flavor spicing up (pun intended!) your cooking, you can back off the sugar, reducing pies’ empty calories.
  • Spend (More) Wisely
    • Higher-quality products, like premium chocolate and pure vanilla extract, may cost a little extra but it is worth it! These ingredients, like the spices above, bring more flavors into the desserts and the needed sugar amount lessens.
  • Crack Down On Eggs
    • Every baker relies on eggs. Break that habit (and cut down on the amount of fat and calories in every bite) by reaching for egg substitutes when possible, or cut down the number of yolks when you’re using real eggs.
      Slimmed Down A Holiday Favorite – Graham Cracker Crust
    • Graham cracker crusts, contrary to popular belief, hold together without butter. Create your own crust with graham cracker sheets pulsed together with low-fat milk and molded in pie dish.

With a little help and planning, your holiday baking will not only wow your dinner guests but also keep their bodies happy and healthy.