8 Healthy Baking Substitutions

Healthy Baking




Let’s face it, when you’re trying to be healthy baked goods are a serious pitfall.  Who can deny a delicious, gooey brownie every now and then?!  If you love to bake, or more important, if you love to eat baked treats, you don’t have to suffer through denied cravings.  With a few easy tweaks here and there, your baking will be much healthier and better for you and your family.  Best of all, these healthy baking substitutions are delicious and will leave your sweet tooth satisfied!


1. Ingredient: Flour

Substitution: Black Beans

Why: It may seem odd, but black beans are a great swap for regular white flour.  They make your baked goods gluten-free and add some extra protein to your diet.

How to do it: Rinse and drain your black beans as per normal, then use a food processor or blender to make a black bean puree.  Use a one to one ratio – one cup of black bean puree for one cup of flour.  This is best in brownies.


2. Ingredient: Flour

Substitution: Wheat Flour

Why: This may seem like a no-brainer, but wheat flour contains grains which add fiber and helps to prevent heart disease and diabetes.

How to do it: For every cup of white flour, substitute 7/8 cup of whole wheat flour.  It’s a great substitute in nearly any baked good you can think of.


3. Ingredient: Flour

Substitution: Nut Flours (almond flour, etc.)

Why: It’s gluten-free, adds protein and minerals, and adds a slight nutty flavor.

How to do it: Almond flour is a lot heavier than regular flour.  A blend of almond flour and wheat flour is a good way to go, and it’s good to add it in 1/4 cup increments.  If you use only almond flour, increase your rising agent (like baking soda or powder) by 1/2 tsp for every cup of almond flour.  This works well in nearly everything, especially cookies, sweet breads and cakes.


4. Ingredient: Vegetable Oil or Butter

Substitution: Unsweetened Applesauce

Why: It’s just a touch sweet without any of the fat.  There’s a bunch of added vitamins and minerals, too.

How to do it: When making a recipe, swap out 1/2 the fats (oil and butter).  If you can’t tell the difference, you can increase the amount of fats you swap the next time.  This works really well in muffins and sweet breads, and can also be good in boxed cake mixes.


5. Ingredient: Butter

Substitute: Avocado

Why: Avocados are chock full of vitamins and minerals – with more potassium than bananas!  The subtle flavor blends in well without much added difference and they’ve got lots of healthy fats – unlike butter.  Plus, the consistency of both is relatively similar which makes them a good substitute.

How to do it: Peel and cut your avocado, then use a food processor or blender to puree it.  Use about 1 cup avocado puree for each cup of butter, though it may take a bit of trial and error to perfect.


6. Ingredient: Heavy Cream

Substitute: Evaporated Milk

Why: Evaporated milk has the same consistency as cream, but contains less than half the fat!  That’s reason enough to swap, but also consider the benefits of being able to keep it on-hand in your pantry instead of having to run to the store every time you need it.

How to do it: This is a simple one to one swap – so one cup evaporated milk for every one cup of cream.  This works well in creamed sauces, custards, etc, but doesn’t have the same consistency when whipped.  Not that it can’t be done, but it’s definitely not the same whipped!


7. Ingredient: Cookies, Oreos, Nilla Wafers, etc.

Substitution: Graham Crackers

Why: Graham crackers have the same consistency and texture as cookies, which makes them the perfect substitute.  Use reduced fat graham crackers and you’ll cut the fat in half!

How to do it: Use this substitute for pie, tart and bar crusts.  You can also use it instead of cookies crushed up as a garnish.


8. Ingredient: Milk chocolate, Chocolate candies (like M&M’s)

Substitutions: Cacao Nibs or Dark chocolate flakes

Why: Cacao nibs contain a healthy dose of antioxidants and are less processed than milk chocolate morsels.  They have less sugar and less calories.  They can be a bit difficult to find in some stores, though, so opting instead for dark chocolate morsels or flakes has the same effect (just not quite as un-processed).

How to do it: Just swap exact amounts.  They can be used in anything you use chocolate candies or milk chocolate in – melted for ganache or frosting, added to cookies, cakes and muffins, sprinkled on top of different baked goods, spread into bars, the possibilities are endless.


This infographic is a great quick reference while you’re elbow-deep in a recipe!


Take a look at these 10 healthy snacks that are sure to satisfy your cravings!  And you won’t want to miss these healthy food blogs for lots of great recipes and ideas!


Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on FacebookPinterest,Bloglovin’ and Instagram. Email her at: bugabooblog(at)yahoo.com


More ideas for healthy cooking and baking:

Tipsaholic- 5 Healthy Food Blogs          Cooking With Coconut Oil via Tipsaholic.com          recipes for healthy french fries via Tipsaholic.com

5 Healthy Food Blogs          Cooking with Coconut Oil      5 Recipes for Healthy French Fries

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