We Brits just love to bake. Thanks to the Great British Bake Off, more of us are discovering a flair for baking – whipping up decadent cupcakes, gooey brownies and splendid loaves, whenever we have the opportunity.
However, despite the appeal, baking can be an unhealthy venture. The secret to baking in a healthy way is to make simple tweaks to ensure your baked goods are weighted with less of the bad stuff and more of the good.
We have some great ideas listed below:
Buy high quality ingredients
Baking with high quality ingredients and products such as premium chocolate and pure vanilla extract can make a big difference to the taste of your bakes. They will provide more flavour, which means you can enjoy a smaller portion without feeling like you’re missing out.
Pureed tofu (also known as bean curd) can make a healthier substitute to fat in recipes such as brownies. According to research from Idaho State University, eight in 10 people enjoyed fudge made with tofu instead of butter. The neutral taste of tofu means the chocolate flavour of brownies, for example, is not overwhelmed. An added bonus – tofu is high in protein and calcium.
Beetroot makes a great addition to a brownie or cake batter because it adds a hint of sweetness and moisture without taking away any flavour. Adding two thirds of a cup of grated raw beetroot to your cake batter means you can reduce the sugar dosage by a quarter cup.
Make a lighter icing
Cream cheese frosting used for icing cakes is typically made from full-fat cream cheese and butter. To cut the calories, choose reduced-fat cream cheese. Mix 227g with a cup of powdered sugar and one teaspoon of vanilla extract. This fluffy icing contains only 59 calories and three grams of fat.
Use agave nectar instead of butter
Agave nectar is a great sugar substitute when it comes to baking pies and tartlets. It has a lower glycaemic index (GI) value than sugar, and is also sweeter so you’ll only need half as much in your recipes. Of course this depends on how sweet you like your pie and how ripe your fruit is.
Use meringue as a pie crust
Meringue is easy to make and the fluffy texture makes a great topping for pies. Plus it will save you 40 calories and eight grams of fat per slice!
You can also use meringue to make pie crusts. The crunchy texture works best for this. To make a meringue crust, beat three egg whites with a quarter teaspoon of cream of tartar until foamy. Then gradually beat in three quarters of a cup of sugar until the whites become glossy and stiff. Finish by adding a teaspoon of vanilla, then spread the mixture into a greased pie dish and bake at 225 degrees for an hour.