Ever avoided a cake shop because you’re worried about the calories?
We’ve all done it at some point. Calculating how many calories we have spare today, whether we can fit in a cheeky bite or not. Well it doesn’t always have to be so difficult, especially if you bake it yourself!
There are so many ingredients in cakes that can be substituted, reduced or left out all together and they can taste just as good! One main ingredient that everyone seems to worry about is the fat in cakes. Whether you use butter, margarine or oil in your cakes, there is always a healthier option. I always aim to find something that has the lowest amount of saturated fat and make sure if you do choose to use butter that it is unsalted.
Vegetable based solid fats are quite healthy to use in baking such as Flora Light or Soya Spread. If choosing an oil Olive oil or Canola oil are very healthy and tasty, especially in muffins!
If I’m baking from a recipe with a low fat substitute, I usually use around 10-20% less maragarine, butter or oil than stated in the recipe, depending on what I am baking. Cookies and many biscuits rely more on the butter however, upto half of the butter can be substituted with a fruit puree, making them tastier and much more healthier.
Another ingredient that can be substituted very easily is the sugar. So far, the best substitute I have found for a lower calorie sweeteness in my cakes is Canderel. Another good thing about these types of sweetners is that you only use 10-15% of the weight than
that specified in a recipe that uses sugar. I use Canderel on a daily basis as I personally do not use sugar in any of my food and I find that it is just as good, if not better, than normal sugar.
Splenda can also be used, it is also a sweetener like Canderel however, I have not used Splenda myself. Coconut sugar is a very healthy alternative too. I know people might be thinking, I don’t like coconut etc etc however, surprisingly it does not taste like coconut, it is actually made from the water of the coconut. It’s packed with so many vitamins and minerals and has no additives in it at all.
Thirdly, flour is a very important ingredient that can’t really be reduced or left out of a lot of baking however, there are quite a few low carb flours that can be used. Quinoa flour is low carb and also gluten free. You can replace the flour in a lot of recipes with this flour or you can mix half and half, either way double check the recipe and find out whether the cooking time or temperature needs to be altered.
Another flour that I have heard is a hit with healthy baking is Almond flour, which is made from ground almonds. I have not tried cooking with this however, it is low carb and apparently bakes very nice cakes. The same goes for this flour, you can mix it with another flour or use just this flour but the recipe and cooking time may differ.
Lastly, my favourite part! Cake fillings and toppings! I’d choose frosting over icing anyday so why not choose a low calorie frosting. Low calorie frosting can easily be made at home by using any low fat margarine or butter, a sweetener instead of sugar and semi-skimmed or skimmed milk. For people with lactose intolerance, like myself, almond milk, soy milk or lactose free milk is just as good. As well as this, use a low fat yoghurt or soy yoghurt in the frosting.
If you want a jam filling in your cakes, choose one with lower sugar, no preservatives or artificial enhancers in it. Fior Di Frutta is a proven healthy jam to use as well as the Meridian brand.
You can always use semi-sweet chocolate in a lot of baking, just make up for the sweetness with fresh fruit such as blueberries, strawberries, bananas, the options are endless 🙂 You can also use light corn syrup or natural honey to add sweetness to toppings or fillings.
Remember, leave out the guilt, do it yourself, learn something new and feel better! 🙂
Feel free to share any healthy substitutes that I may have missed out xx
“Its regret I think that really is the worst kind of pain. Yeah guilt is bad and sadness is bad but regret is the sickly combination of both.”