The Holiday Season is upon us! The holidays can be a tricky time to stick to healthy eating goals, especially if baking is a part of your family’s traditions or you just truly enjoy baking regardless of the time of year! Did you know a few simple ingredient changes can help cut some of the fat, sugar, and calories out of your favorite sweet treats, without sacrificing the taste?
#1: Switch Up Your Flour: Many recipes often call for white flour, however, white refined flour lacks nutrients, and fiber and spikes your blood sugar. Try experimenting with other flour alternatives such as almond flour/almond meal; brown rice flour, chickpea flour, and the list goes on.
#2. Use a Lower Glycemic Sweetener: Try substituting white or brown sugar for a low glycemic sweetener. Low glycemic sweeteners don’t spike blood sugar levels as drastically or rapidly as white sugar. Xylitol, stevia, and erythritol are great options to try.
#3: Fill Up on Fiber: It can be as simple as adding oats, chia, or flax seeds to a recipe. Fiber is important for many reasons, but when it comes to baking and enjoying holiday treats, fiber can help slow the absorption of sugar and improve blood sugar levels as well! Give these holiday cookies a try: Chia Seed Cookies with Dark Chocolate & Candied Ginger.
#4: Sneak in the Veggies: If you can sneak a serving or even two of vegetables into a recipe and have it still taste DELICIOUS, then why not? Zucchini, sweet potatoes, and avocado are easy vegetables to hide in recipes like Zucchini Cookies with Browned Butter Frosting!
#5: Skip the Shortening: Shortening is common in many recipes, especially gingerbread cookies! However, shortening is high in saturated fats. Excessive consumption of saturated fats has been linked to cardiovascular diseases such as coronary artery disease. Instead of shortenings, butter or pureed fruits such as apples and bananas can be substituted.