Do you remember the initial lockdown days? Oh, that Dalgona coffee boom and those endless batches of banana bread and cookies your neighbor kept making for everyone. Baking is therapeutic, and it was the one activity that spread like wildfire during the lockdown. However, those endless baked goodies have a way of showing up in unhealthy ways on our bodies if we have too much. So is there a way to make those heavenly snacks a staple food again minus the negative effects? That’s exactly what we’re here to do. Let’s explore some of the best alternative ingredients to make those baked goodies much MUCH healthier.
Alternatives for White-Flour
White flour has been a vital ingredient for any sort of baked choice when making baked goods. It is easy to use and easy to mix but it isn’t the healthiest option available. Here are the alternatives you can switch to:
Whole wheat flour: Whole-wheat flour works with absolutely anything. The extra fiber helps in making digestion easier too! Makes way for an extra batch of cookies. Since it’s dense in texture, a few adjustments will need to be made to ensure your baked goodies still taste the same when you use white flour.
Almond flour: This substitution will make your otherwise ‘empty calories’ loaded with good nutrients. Almond flour is also very dense in consistency. But this makes it the perfect ingredient to make brownies and cookies while simultaneously loading them with good fats, protein, vitamin E, and soluble fiber.
Coconut flour: This gluten-free and hypoallergenic alternative is high in fiber and protein content. Moreover, it converts blood sugar at a much slower rate, which is an absolute blessing for people with diabetes. You read that right! Note that it’s very dense so we recommend mixing it with some other flour to balance it out.
- Brown rice flour: Brown rice flour has a texture similar to white flour, but it’s much healthier. It’s also unique in the fact that it doesn’t have any smell, and you can play around with different essences to make your goodies smell uniquely flavorful. Make your already delicious baked goodies even more so by adding a layer of interesting smells.
Alternatives for sugar
What are baked goods without their heavenly sweetness? Then again, those refined sugars and empty calories do worry quite a few of us. Not to worry, here are your swaps so that you don’t have to compromise on your tastebuds:
Natural sweeteners: Molasses, honey, jaggery, and maple syrup. They are an excellent healthier substitute for your regular refined sugar. Besides, they also contain a lot of nutrients and antioxidants, replenishing your body’s energy levels. Many of these natural sweeteners are usually in liquid form so make sure to adjust the water quantity in your recipe accordingly. 1 cup sugar ~ 3/4 cup of these natural alternatives.
- Coconut sugar: Coconut sugar can be used as a regular sugar replacement for a simple one-to-one ratio. It is less processed and has a much lower glycemic index than refined sugar. This is also another way to make your baked goods diabetic-friendly!
Alternatives for eggs
Eggs are a staple baking ingredient that helps bind your mixture and make it fluffy. However, if you are looking for alternatives for any reason at all, we’ve got you covered:
Flax seeds: Flax seeds are as good as eggs. Try it if you don’t believe us. They work just as well for binding and making your mixture rise. And, of course, they're a much healthier and ethical option as well.
Banana: 1/4 of a banana in place of one whole egg can load your baked goods with potassium, fiber, and a delicious banana flavor. They’re also great at making your brownies extra “gooey”, so this is definitely worth a try.
Chia seeds: Loaded with omega fatty acids and a wonderful source of protein, all the benefits of chia seeds can’t possibly be mentioned here. Moreover, having no taste of its own, one would never guess that chia seeds have replaced eggs in your recipe.
- Vegan Egg Replacements: An unconventional option compared to the rest, Vegan Egg Replacements are a thing! Explore these to get the eggy taste, texture, and fluffiness in your vegan brownies made with the flour of your choice.
We hope this list helps you out. And if it does, we’d gladly accept a batch of cookies as a note of thanks. Happy baking!