Fall weather always makes me think about baking something. Maybe muffins, maybe quick bread, maybe from scratch or maybe from a box. I just love the smell in the kitchen when something is baking. The whole house feels toasty and warm. The first bite of whatever I baked is heaven. All I need is a cup of tea and a warm spot to cuddle up in and relax.
I think most people feel it is a struggle to bake something healthy. By healthy, I mean using organic ingredients and smart substitutes, such as maple syrup instead of sugar or flax eggs instead of chicken eggs or nut milk instead of cow’s milk. Sometimes it takes a little trial and error, especially if using a different flour, such as almond flour instead of wheat or white flour. But once you start substituting, you won’t go back to traditional ways of baking.
Here are some guidelines on how to make healthy substitutions:
Flax eggs: 1 TBSP Ground Flax Seed mixed with 3 TBSP water. This equals one chicken egg.
Sugar: Organic Cane Sugar is a 1 to 1 replacement. But you can also use raw honey or maple syrup as well.
Nut Milk: This is a 1 to 1 replacement to cow’s milk.
Flour: This is bit more difficult since it is not a 1 to 1 replacement. Here are suggestions for specific types of flours:
Almond Flour: ¾ cup all purpose flour = 1 ½ cups almond flour (Source: Natures Eats)
Coconut Flour: 1 cup all purpose flour = ¼ cup to 1/3 cup coconut flour (Source: Nourished Kitchen)
Oat Flour: 1 cup of oat flour is made from blending 1 and ¼ cup of oats. This can be used as a replacement for all purpose flour. However, it is best used for those recipes that do not requiring rising, such as quick breads and cookies. Go to Bon Appetit for more information.
Rice Flour: This is the most difficult substitution because it requires a combination of the flour with tapioca starch and cornstarch. You can read more about it on Livestrong.com
Before we get to some really delicious and healthy recipes, I did want to tell you about a recent find in Target. You have to love Target. When I go in for one item, I always walk out with 3-5 other things. I recently found FoodStirs, which are organic baking mixes. So when I feel like baking something but I don’t have the time, FoodStirs is the perfect compromise.
They have so many great products on the website. Baking mixes, mug cakes, brownies, cookie mixes, chewy oat bar mixes and protein bar mixes. I can’t wait to try the two mixes I bought at Target: Warm Apple Spice and Chocolate Chippy Pumpkin Bread Mix. The mix is organic, but you may still need to make substitutions depending on your lifestyle. I will be using flax eggs and non-dairy yogurt or milk (depending on the mix) and coconut oil instead of vegetable oil.
I couldn’t wait to tell you about that product! Now I can get on to sharing healthy recipes that you can bake when the mood strikes! But first, if you want to receive healthy living tips and recipes for free, follow my blog on Bloglovin.
Healthy Pumpkin Pie Thumbprint Cookies by Amy’s Healthy Cooking. This is a great seasonal take on the classic thumbprint cookie. What I love about this recipe is that if you don’t feel like making a pumpkin pie, these cookies give you the same flavor but in a smaller package. I see more grocery stores offering organic canned pumpkin to make these extra healthy. Click here for the recipe.
Low Fat Apple Cake by As Easy As Apple Pie. This cake mixes up quick and bakes in only 35 minutes. In fact, most of the work is around peeling the apples. You can substitute flax eggs and a different type flour to make this healthier. Eat this either for breakfast, a snack or dessert. Click here for the recipe.
4 Ingredient No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars from Beaming Baker. Who doesn’t love chocolate with peanut butter? It is one of my favorite combination. This recipe is vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free. It is pretty easy to mix together and it takes about 60 minutes in the freezer to set. MMM – delicious! Click here for the recipe.
Cranberry Almond Quick Bread from Healthy Seasonal Recipes. I love quick breads to break up the monotony of oatmeal for breakfast. Slices heated up with a little vegan butter and a cup of tea is a light morning breakfast to get the day going. This recipe is already designed to be healthy without having to make too many substitutions. It even uses coconut sugar or maple sugar, making it free of refined sugar. Click here for the recipe.
Organic mini-carrot cupcakes from Whole Lifestyle Nutrition. I love a good carrot cake! Yet I don’t see it offered frequently for dessert. This recipe uses traditional ingredients like cream cheese, but it also uses coconut flour, coconut oil and raw honey. So a combination of healthier ingredients with not so healthy ingredients. Balance is key to a healthy lifestyle so if you don’t have a dairy allergy, go for the cream cheese! Click here for the recipe.
I hope this post inspires you to start baking. If you make any of the recipes I shared, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram as @heatherleehurst and use the #heathershealthhabits hashtag. I love seeing your takes on the recipes!