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Healthy Holiday Baking

Healthy Holiday BakingFor many of us, dessert is the best part of the holiday meal. If you are looking for ways to lighten up your favorite holiday goodies without sacrificing taste, read on for a few good tips from the HT wellness team.

Applesauce or fruit purees. Pureed fruits can replace up to half of the fat called for in baked items. The natural sugars and fibers in purees help to retain moisture and sweetness without fat. Use pureed prunes in chocolate recipes for a great fudgy taste.

Cocoa. You can reduce the amount of baking chocolate in a recipe by using cocoa. This will lessen the total amount of fat and calories. Three tablespoons of cocoa plus 1 tablespoon of water equals one square of baking chocolate. Mix the cocoa into the dry ingredients and stir the water into the wet or creamed items in the recipe. 3 tablespoons of cocoa has only 7 calories and 2.2 grams fat, while 1 ounce of unsweetened baking chocolate has 146 calories and 15 grams fat!

Confectioners' Sugar
Confectioners' Sugar. Instead of frosting, use a light dusting of confectioners' sugar over cakes and brownies. This significantly cuts calories and fat (especially unhealthy trans and saturated fats) compared to canned frosting.

Eggs. Many people try to keep their egg consumption to a minimum, especially those watching their cholesterol intake. If this is you, simply substitute 2 egg whites for every whole egg in a recipe.

NutsNuts. Nuts may be high in healthy fats but it's okay to keep them on your shopping list. Simply decrease the amount you use in your recipe. For a stronger flavor, toast the nuts before mixing them into your batter or dough. This will allow you to use less without sacrificing taste.

Yogurt and Buttermilk. Replace up to half of the butter in your recipe with half as much nonfat plain yogurt. Another option is to use buttermilk instead of whole milk. Not only does this decrease the fat, but it also helps create tender products.

Don’t Over Bake. Lower fat baked goods are particularly prone to drying out. Be sure to adjust bake times and remove items before they are overdone.

** Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment. **