Top 5 Baking Tips to make your Desserts Healthier
Baking is an interesting hobby that many choose to pick because it is just as fun as it is therapeutic. Beyond the delight of whipping up warm treats for you and your family, studies have shown that baking is an effective tool to calm your nerves and rejuvenate your body.
However, many shy away from the practice because they believe that the more they bake, the more they eat. This particularly affects the weight watchers and calorie-conscious.
While it is true that common baking ingredients often use a lot of unsaturated fats and sugar, that needn't always be the case! Freshlist brings to you its top picks of baking in a healthy way.
1. Make your own bread to use less salt
Bread is probably the bakery product we eat the most, which means that, while it might not be the saltiest food you can think of, it can make a significant contribution to the salt content of our diet.
Using whole grain flour instead of white flour will help to increase the fibre content and make your baking more satisfying to eat
In recent years, many manufacturers have reduced the amount of salt that they add to bread, but it can still vary widely.
A recent survey found that one in four loaves contained more salt in two slices than a packet of crisps. This means we all need to check food labels carefully but, better still, why not make your own bread so that you have complete control?
2. Try different flours and flavourings
Making your own bread also gives you flexibility in terms of the type of flour you use. Wholegrain flour is a healthier choice than white, but it doesn't have to be just wheat - you could try spelt, barley or oat, either on their own or mixed. Add some seeds or herbs to give an interesting crunch and flavour.
3. Bake with unsaturated fat
Cakes should really be an ‘every now and then’ food. However, with a few tweaks to the ingredients and toppings, baking your own can be better for you than buying them.
Using an unsaturated spread instead of butter has more benefits than simply reducing the amount of saturated fat: it actually gives a lighter texture, especially if you’re making an all-in-one sponge cake. You can just swap spreads for butter in most recipes without making any other changes. Just make sure the spread you use is suitable for baking.
4. Add healthier ingredients to your baking
As with bread, using whole grain flour instead of white flour will help to increase the fibre content and make your baking feel more substantial and filling. The flavour will be slightly different – some people say it tastes a bit nutty. If you want a more subtle flavour, you can try using half wholegrain and half white flour.
Using fruit and vegetables will also add fibre and sweetness. There might not be enough in a portion to count as one of your 5-a-day, but it’s a nutritious way to help keep your cakes and scones moist. And by using sweet vegetables such as carrots, beetroots or courgettes, or fruit such as apples, berries or pineapples, you won’t need to add so much sugar.
5. Healthier Icings
Use a drizzle of glacé (water) icing rather than butter icing for cake toppings. Or, a light sprinkle of icing sugar may be all you need to give your bake the final touch. Try cutting out stencils from greaseproof paper and sifting your icing sugar over it for a professional-looking finish.
Did you enjoy our tips and find them helpful? Have any of your own? Do let us know, we’d love to hear from you!