So you've decided to be a little more health conscious. Since doing that, you may have noticed how unhealthy some of your favorite ingredients can be. You've tried to cut back on the bad stuff, but the alternatives lack flavor. How can you be expected to keep up a healthy lifestyle if the flavor doesn't match the satisfaction? Good news – you don't have to sacrifice taste for nutrition.
Check out this list of healthy baking substitutions that will only make your favorites better:
1. Flour meet black beans
You've heard cutting back on gluten is a good diet technique to cut back on carbs and help digestion, but there aren't many appealing alternatives to it. But the Greatist begs to differ. Swap out flour for a 15 ounce can of black bean puree. Now your cookies won't just be sweet, they'll also be a little protein treat as well.
2. The cauliflower cure
Now you can finally indulge in low-cal pizza that doesn't taste like cardboard. And don't start drooling because it tastes good, drool because it's only 600 calories tops, and that's only if you eat the whole pie, said Pop Sugar. Sub in turkey sausage or chicken for a healthy protein and load up with veggies for a yummy twist.
3. Sweets for sweets
You really don't need that much sugar in your diet. The American Heart Association recommended that you only need 100 to 150 calories a day. That's not a whole lot, so how do you substitute that? Greatist suggested giving unsweetened applesauce a try. The source explained that you you can swap with a 1:1 ratio, but for every cup you should try to reduce the liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup.
4. Pasta be gone
Spoon University divulged in the secret to help you keep cutting out that gluten by replacing it with pasta alternatives like spaghetti squash. It gives you the same exact texture and satisfaction that regular pasta does, except it can be thicker and creamier, so it's actually better than regular pasta.
5. Butter ask for something better
Everyone knows butter isn't the best ingredient, and you've definitely felt the guilt when a recipe calls for a whole stick of it, or if you smear a little too much on your toast. But consider this alternative from the Greatist: avocado. Act like that isn't music to your ears – you can't. Avocados are too delicious. Think about it, they're basically the same creamy textures, and an avocado isn't terribly overpowering so it makes the perfect substitution. The source explained that for every cup of butter you need a cup of avocado as a replacement.
6. You scream for something other than cream
Ice cream is another one of those guilty pleasures that doesn't have to be guilty. Try frozen bananas as an alternative base to your favorite frozen treats, said Spoon University. Mix this with your favorite fruits for the ultimate refreshing snack.