October 18 2015

10 Ideas For Baking With Confidence (and losing the guilt) by Marissa Licursi, SFTL Contributing Writer and Business Manager

As a fitness fanatic and healthy food guru, I tend to shy away from eating too many baked goods.  Sure, cookies, cake, muffins, and pie crusts are undeniably delicious.  But I always seem to feel overly bloated, uncomfortable, guilty, and not-at-all confident after eating them.

The problem?  I had to find a way to still bake without using fatty butter and high-caloric sugar AND feel good.

The solution? Simple…just, DON’T USE THEM!  Instead, substitute those unhealthy ingredients for much healthier and delicious alternatives!  I’ve created a list of some of these healthy substitutes you can try out the next time you bake:

  1.  OUT Flour –> IN Black beans.
  • For brownies, swap out 1 cup of Flour for 1 cup of Pureed Black Beans! Black beans have far less calories than regular flour, and as strange as it may seem to use black beans, the brownies taste absolutely delicious.  You won’t even realize you’ve used black beans.  Plus, black beans are a protein-packed food, so eating these brownies will give you more energy than brownies made with high-caloric flour.
  • Screenshot 2015-10-18 13.10.28

2.  OUT Flour –> IN Whole Wheat Flour

  • For cookies, sweet breads, and cakes (really any type of baked good), get rid of the 1 cup of Flour and instead use 3/4 cup of wheat flour.  Whole wheat flour is packed with fiber, which can help with digestion and may lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Try One Degree’s Organic Whole Wheat Flour!

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3.  OUT Rice Krispies –> IN Brown rice krispies

  • For rice krispies, substitute 1 cup of regular rice krispies for 1 cup of Brown rice cereal and 2 tablespoons of flax seeds.  Brown puffed rice has the same texture as regular white puffed rice, with HALF the calories.

Screenshot 2015-10-18 13.10.544.  OUT Flour –> IN Coconut Flour

  • For pancakes, substitute 1 cup of flour for 1/3 cup of Coconut Flour + 1 extra egg per ounce of coconut flour + a sprinkle of extra water

Screenshot 2015-10-18 13.11.165.  OUT Sugar –> IN Applesauce

  • For cookies (especially oatmeal cookies), substitute 1 cup of sugar for applesauce. Compared to a whopping 773 calories in 1 cup of sugar, there are only 166 calories in 1 cup of sweetened applesauce and just 103 calories in unsweetened applesauce.  And you can hardly taste the difference between cookies made with sugar and cookies made with applesauce!  So, make the swap. (My personal favorite is Musselman’s Applesauce)

Screenshot 2015-10-18 13.11.506.  OUT Sugar –> IN Stevia

  • For cookies and cakes, take out the 1 cup of Sugar and replace it with just 1 teaspoon of liquid Stevia OR 2 tablespoons of Stevia powder.  For an amazing coconut cake recipe, click the picture below:


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7.  OUT Butter –> IN Prunes

  • For chocolate cookies, cakes, and brownies (dark baked goods), swap out 1 cup of butter for a blended mixture of 1/4 cup of boiling water and 3/4 cup of prunes.  It’s truly revolutionary. Substituting a healthy fruit for butter, you aren’t getting rid of the mouth-watering taste or the moist texture– you’re just getting rid of all that fat!   In 1 cup of prunes, there is less than 1 gram of fat.  In just 1 tablespoon of butter, there are 12 grams of fat — and in 1 cup of butter, there is an unbelievable 184 grams of fat! So make the swap.  Need we convince you more?


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8.  OUT Butter –> IN Bananas

  • For brownies, breads and cookies, swap out 1 cup of butter for 1 cup of mashed bananas.  Butter and bananas have basically the same consistency. But, unlike butter, bananas are packed with potassium, fiber, and other essential nutrients. Also, bananas are sweeter than butter. So, you can use LESS sugar than the recipe requires

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9.  OUT heavy cream –> IN Evaporated Skim Milk

  • For whipped cream, ice cream, scones, and biscuits, swap out 1 cup of heavy cream for 1 cup of evaporated skim milk.  These two have the same consistency, but evaporated skim milk is made with just a fraction of the fat. (Carnation’s Fat-Free Evaporated Skim Milk is the way to go on this one.).  To make these yummy chocolate pops, click the pic! 


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10.  OUT eggs and oil –> IN Canned pumpkin or sweet potato puree

  • For spice breads, spice cakes, and chocolate desserts, make this switch! Substitute the eggs and oil in your recipe for a can of pumpkin or sweet potatoes.

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How easy is that?  By making these easy switches, we can bake the delicious treats we know and love (and save ourselves from loads of unnecessary fat and sugar). It’s always nice to indulge and reward ourselves… but a lot of the times, eating desserts full of butter and sugar can leave us feeling bloated.  We should be able to enjoy our baked desserts while still feeling confident (and guilt-free!). Make these swaps in your next baking endeavor and I can promise you you’ll lose the guilt AND you’ll enjoy yourself.




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