Carolinas HealthCare System
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A Pinch of This, a Dash of That – Healthy Baking Substitutions

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Baking for (and with!) your family and friends is one of the joys of the holidays. Just because you’re working to make healthy choices at the table doesn’t mean you can’t continue to enjoy creating and partaking in the cakes, cookies and breads sure to start popping up in the office break room, the church buffet and your family’s gathering dinner.

Brittany Baird, DO, with Union Family Practice, part of Carolinas HealthCare System, advises patients to make just a few small changes in how they approach holiday baking. “Being mindful of what we eat during times of celebration doesn’t have to dampen the fun,” says Dr. Baird.

With some twists and substitutions, most recipes can be altered to reduce fat and calories. It’s best to test these substitutions on your favorite recipes to see how they change taste or texture. In many cases, the change is minimal but the payoff is great.

Try these substitutions to bake a batch of good cheer:

  • Use sugar-free chocolate chips.
  • Replace some of the oil or shortening in a recipe with fruit purees. Try apple sauce, prune puree or banana puree.
  • Cut sugar or honey in recipes by one-third.
  • Use egg substitutes or egg whites instead of whole eggs (experiment with one whole egg and two egg whites for every three eggs in a recipe).
  • Replace the sour cream in recipes with plain nonfat yogurt or nonfat sour cream.
  • Use evaporated skim milk as a low-fat alternative to cream in many sauces.
  • Substitute some of the white flour with wheat flour.

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The primary care doctors at Carolinas HealthCare System can help you get (and stay) on the path to wellness.

Call 844-881-2180 or complete an online request form to find a doctor near you.