From vegan brownies to gluten-free cookies, there’s no shortage of “healthier” dessert recipes. With all the ingenious ingredient swaps out there, we decided to make it easy and put 3 of our favorite healthy baking alternatives together in one place. Try these sugar, fat, and calorie-cutting tricks to make your favorite dessert more heart-healthy:
Instead of: Sugar
Use: Agave Nectar
Refined sweeteners like granulated sugar or corn syrup can raise blood sugar levels quickly, triggering the body to release insulin. Sugar alternative Agave Nectar (derived from cactus plants) is processed more slowly by the body, and does not result in the “sugar rush” that we experience so often with sweets.
Instead of: Butter
Avocado trumps butter in nearly every nutritional category. To be exact, 2 Tbsp. of butter contains 204 calories, 23 grams of fat and 164 mg of sodium. Whereas the same amount of avocado contains only 50 calories, 4.5 grams of fat and 0 mg of sodium. This is a no-brainer! In addition to the dietary benefits, avocados contain many vitamins and nutrients that support a healthy body and prevent disease and illness. Try using a 50/50 ratio of avocado and your usual butter/oil in desserts — you might not even notice the difference.
Instead of: Eggs
Although eggs are full of protein, their yolk is also high in cholesterol, so moderation is key. 1/4 cup of applesauce is a great egg replacer in baked goods because it mimics the thickness and moisture of eggs — for only 25 calories! Another health perk of using applesauce is added fiber, which helps keeps you feeling fuller. Apple sauce also has about 80% of your daily vitamin C, which helps keep the immune system strong. Tip: Remember to limit the amount of sweetener you use when subbing in apple sauce to a recipe, as it does have natural sugars.