While I love all things food, at heart, I am a true baker. I love to bake – new things and things I’ve made a thousand times. Chocolate-y, sweet, a little bit rich – this is what baking is for me. It is also my way to relieve stress and keep my sanity when things are rough.
We are currently going through a period of social isolation, which can be hard for many people. I am finding it especially hard to go without seeing people every day. I may be an introvert at heart, but I still am finding it hard to go without regular conversation and entertainment.
I hope the food and recipe ideas I’m sharing here can help you get through the rough times.**
Having said that, there are a lot of different baked goods out there, that have a lot of healthy ingredients. I think this trend became more mainstream with the rise in gluten-free foods. Everyone deserves to have fabulous baking, and once more and more people demanded gluten-free treats, I believe many capitalized on not only baking with other flours, but with healthier ingredients in general.
Don’t get me wrong, I am an equal opportunity baked-goods lover, but sometimes when you substitute other ingredients for your good old flour, butter, and sugar, the end result can turn out not as one might have hoped.
I have a couple of ideas to incorporate some healthier ingredients into some baked goods that only make the end result better. These tips can also be good if you have fussy children and can sneak some of this goodness into something you know they will eat.
While it sounds like an odd choice, zucchini adds a certain something to brownies, cake, and muffins that only it can. The high moisture content of zucchinis adds great moisture to these baked goods. This not only makes it last longer, but it adds a little bit of extra fibre to your cake or brownies that you wouldn’t get otherwise.
Bananas are classic to me. They go so well into so many baked goods because they complement so many different flavours. I use bananas in your classics, like banana bread and chocolate chip banana muffins, but you can also add them to chocolate chip peanut butter cookies.
They are best when they are dead and black, sitting in a bowl on your counter. They are extra sweet, and not only are they adding moisture and sweetness to your baking, but you get an extra nutritional boost with the potassium and fibre from the banana itself.
While I haven’t used dates myself, they are actually a great substitute for the sugar in your recipe. Dates are also high in fibre, potassium, and will also add iron to your baked goods.
I would just be aware that the texture of your baking will be different from that of your traditional sweetening ingredients.