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What does it mean to bake healthy?

Many people believe that if they're already baking they might as well go all out.  If they're already indulging why not take it to the extreme, the diet can start tomorrow.  

While I do believe in moderate indulgences, I don't believe that baking has to be bad for you.  I believe homemade baked goods gives you the chance to control the types of flour, the amount and type of sugar used and all the other ingredients in your breakfast, snack or dessert.  

Getting your kids and yourselves to eat healthier can be simply a matter of a few swaps in your favorite recipes.  

Here are 8 tips for healthier baking:

  1. Try all or at least 50% whole grain flour in everything from cakes to cookies to pies and brownies, the more ingredients the easier it is to hide. 
  2. Bake with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, EVOO can be used anywhere in the kitchen you need it, and it even gives some of your favorite baked treats a delicious twist.  See cakes made with EVOO. 
  3. Add healthy ingredients like fruits and vegetables as much as possible, who doesn't love Apple Carrot Muffins or Chocolate Zucchini.
  4. Use less sugar, most recipes can be made with 1/2 or at least 1/3 less sugar than they call for, try less and see if anyone notices. 
  5. Use natural sugar, such as honey or silan (date honey) which at least have some built in antioxidants. 
  6. Use high quality 70% or greater chocolate and enjoy all the health benefits of chocolate
  7. Consider beans, adding beans to your brownies will add fiber and protein and won't change the taste.
  8. Go small, when making cookies or other individual sized desserts, make them smaller to help keep portions moderate.

Now it's time to get cooking with these healthier baked goods.