Swaps to Avoid Dessert Disasters

desserts

It’s holiday time and that means cookies, cakes, puddings and every sweet treat on the planet tempting us around every corner. It’s unrealistic to not imbibe in sweet holiday cheer all season long, but if you make dessert in your own kitchen with some of these healthy ingredient swaps, you can indulge without all the guilt! Plus, by substituting certain ingredients, you can make your favorite treats gluten-free, paleo-friendly or vegan, depending on your dietary needs.

Instead of 1 cup of white flour, use:

  • 1 cup pureed black beans  in brownies
  • ⅓ cup of coconut flour (plus an extra egg per ounce of coconut flour and a dash of water) in pancakes, cookies and cakes
  • 1 cup of nut flour and a half teaspoon of baking powder or soda in cookies, sweet breads and cakes
  • 1 cup of whole wheat flour in anything

Instead of 1 cup of sugar, use:

  • 1 cup of unsweetened apple sauce in almost anything, including oatmeal cookies
  • 1 tsp of liquid stevia or 2 tbsp of powdered stevia in cookies, cakes and sweet breads
  • ½ tsp of vanilla (per 2 tbsp of sugar) in cookies, cakes, sweet breads and brownies

Instead of 1 cup of butter or oil, use:  

  • 1 cup of pureed avocado in chocolate cookies and brownies
  • ½ cup of unsweetened applesauce and ½ cup of fat (butter or oil) in any sweet bread or muffins
  • 2-3 tbsp of chia seeds and 1 cup of water (let sit for 15 minutes) in muffins, cakes and breads
  • 1 cup of mashed banana in brownies or cookies

Instead of 1 egg, use:

  • 1 tbsp of chia seeds and 1 cup of water (let sit for 15 minutes) in muffins, cakes and cookies
  • 1 tbsp of flax meal and 3 tbsp of water (let sit for 10 minutes) in muffins, cakes and cookies

Heather Bauer, RD CDN
Heather Bauer, RD CDN

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