Healthier Baking Alternatives
Cookies, candies, and cakes—oh my! Treats packed with refined sugars and artificial colors, flavours, and preservatives can lead to less than jolly moods and behaviour in our kids.
Instead of giving in to the aisles of slice-and-bake cookies and chocolaty marshmallow confections, focus on healthier alternatives and you’ll soon see that you CAN have fun with children while preparing goodies. To get started, consider trying these substitutes in your favorite recipes:
Sweeten it Naturally
Natural sugars, such as maple and date, replace refined (white) sugar. So do honey, applesauce, and sucanat (similar to brown sugar). A good rule of thumb is ½ cup of honey for every 1 cup of sugar. Don’t be afraid to experiment to get just the right consistency and flavor. It may take a few tries.
Whole wheat pastry flour or alternative whole grain flour like rice, oat, or others available at your natural food store, are high in fiber and nutrients.
Spice it Up
Spices and flavorings like cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon, and vanilla add great taste and a hint of sweetness to cakes and cookies.
Nuts, a healthful addition, are rich in essential fatty acids (the good fat), and add bulk to baked goods.
Healthy oils like sunflower, organic coconut, and safflower are good shortening alternatives, replacing unwanted saturated fats.
Plant-based food colorings will help you keep the red and green in the holidays versus synthetic dyes that result in observable negative ,behaviors.
Also, choose your bakeware wisely. Glass pans or parchment-lined cookie sheets prevent exposure to potentially harmful substances found in coated and aluminum pans.
Lastly, pure clean water or diluted natural fruit juices are the perfect complement to homemade treats.