If you’re like many other busy people these days, the Christmas holidays may be the only time you bake desserts. So, how do you bake up healthy, delicious sweets for every member of your family?
Only Bake Desserts Once a Year? Five No-Fuss Tips to Bake Up Healthy Holiday Desserts
Instead of baking rich, creamy desserts with low-fat or fat-free commercial alternatives, simply bake desserts that are naturally low in fat. Try baked fruit, like baked apples or pears topped with cranberries and nuts. Alternately, try meringue cookies made with egg whites and sugar, suggested by Lauren Chattman, author of the new book The Baking Answer Book.
Take advantage of natural sweetness
To cut down on fat, Chattman recommends taking advantage of the natural sweetness of fruit. Using mashed banana, for instance, can help you drastically cut the use of oil in a muffin recipe. Chattman, who is also the author of the cookbook Icebox Desserts, is passionate about flavor building. “Instead of baking a layered cake, why not bake an aromatic banana walnut bread that has complex flavor and texture while low in fat?” she suggests.
Start using cocoa powder and buttermilk
In place of traditional baker’s chocolate chips, Chattman highly recommends using cocoa powder. Cocoa powder offers intense flavor without the fat. And don’t be fooled by the name of buttermilk; it’s not made with butter at all. Buttermilk is naturally low in fat, with only 1/10 the calorie content of heavy cream. “Buttermilk has an acidic component too, making the dessert fluffy and light,” Chattman says.
Shy away from commercial mix
Commercial whipped cream, pudding mix, and jello mix have mysterious chemicals you may not know how to pronounce. “Whip your own cream; make your own gelatin dessert. You’ll be amazed how they taste so different,” Chattman says.
Use your freezer
For richer desserts like chocolate chip cookies, simply make smaller portion and freeze the remaining dough.
The Bottom Line
Whether you are an avid baker or a seasonal baker, nothing beats a homemade dessert enjoyed in the company of loved ones. We at HealthCastle.com wish you a happy holiday.
Gloria Tsang is the author of 5 books and the founder of HealthCastle.com, the largest online nutrition network run by registered dietitians. Her work has appeared in major national publications, and she is a regularly featured nutrition expert for media outlets across the country. The Huffington Post named her one of its Top 20 Nutrition Experts on Twitter. Gloria’s articles have appeared on various media such as Reuters, NBC & ABC affiliates, The Chicago Sun-Times, Reader’s Digest Canada, iVillage and USA Today.