Healthy and cake? Well, those two words don’t exactly go hand in hand. As a nation of health-conscious people, a majority of us are putting our fitness goals first. And that often means giving up sweet treats and desserts, including cakes. But, is that a good plan? Science says “no”. If you are looking for healthy cake recipes please read on.
A Time magazine article delved deeper into how and why having a “real, indulgent kind” of dessert every once in a while can actually help you stay on track with healthy eating.
Getting back to cakes. They are so much more than just a sinful dessert. They are a symbol of celebration, of people coming together around shared experiences, be that of joy or grief. And as Penny Wilson, PhD Researcher, Australian National University, puts it: “Let’s be clear: cakes are not universally unhealthy.” There are ways you can give your cakes a healthy ‘makeover’ by cutting back on ingredients that make them unhealthy in the first place.
Here are three healthy tweaks that you can make in your wanna be healthy cake recipes today.
Ditch butter for better alternatives:
Traditionally, cakes are laden with tons of butter, which is high in saturated fats. By omitting this one ingredient from your cake recipes, you can knock off a significant amount of calories and unhealthy fats. Plus, the dairy-free version can be enjoyed by those allergic or intolerant to dairy.
A couple of ways to do this:
Swap butter with olive oil and you have a healthy and tasty winner on your hands. Check out this recipe for a Basil cake that marries the beautiful aromatic flavour of basil with a healthy inclusion of olive oil.
Fancying a chocolate cake? Try Nigella Lawson’s olive oil chocolate cake that has no butter. Almond flour makes this a great gluten-free option.
How about something completely oil-free? Mashed bananas are a great alternative, not just for your cakes but any baked good recipe that calls for butter or oil.
Yogurt is another healthy switch that lets you cut back on butter or oil but still retains the moisture and richness of traditional cakes. Here’s a 3 ingredient yogurt cake mix recipe that has zero butter or oil.
Drop refined white flour from your recipes:
Or, go flourless. If you’re a fan of cakes with a rich, fudgy texture, then flourless cakes might be right up your alley. Try this flourless chocolate cake or this flourless honey almond cake — simple, gluten-free, and sugar-free!
For those looking for more cake-like texture, replace refined flour with wholegrain flour. Though the final product will be slightly denser, it’s going to be far more nutritious. Such cakes contain more fibre and are typically more filling, so you feel satiated even with a smaller portion.Whole grains also impart a lovely, nutty flavor, which go well with many types of cakes and baked items. If you’ve never baked with whole grain flours, here’s a handy guide for you.
Go without frosting:
When it comes to cakes, the devil lies in the frosting. A study on packaged cake mixes found that frosting added 134% more calories to the listed calories in recommend serving.
This means, simply by leaving out the frosting, you can chop off a bunch of extra calories from your favourite cakes. But if you’re serving a cake to your guests and want it to look pretty, here are some ideas for the final touch:
- Cover your cake with a drizzle of glacé icing instead of buttercream frosting
- Sprinkle a light dusting of icing sugar
- Use a topping of pureed fruits or compotes
You can also use molasses, stevia, fruit purees to sweeten your cakes instead of refined sugar.
Thanks to these healthy alternatives, you can now literally have your cake and eat it too! With little time and effort, you can whip up the cake recipes we’ve shared with you. And, once in a while when you’re feeling extra indulgent or not in a mood for baking, it’s okay to reach out for a cake delivery to satisfy your cake cravings. After all, life is too short to say “no” to cakes. Isn’t it?
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