With the holiday season come sweet treats too for what seems to be at every house, shop, or place you visit. Those treats are likely loaded with fats, sugars, and salts that can easily ruin your healthy routine if not consumed in moderation. With sweets around a lot more than normal, this can be hard to do. Baking your own holiday treats can not only be more fun but make this easier for you too. Less sugar, fat and smaller serving sizes mean you have fewer opportunities to overconsume. Thus, making it easier to maintain your weight while still enjoying the holidays.
Here are 4 tips on how to bake and prepare healthier holiday treats:
Use Less or Natural Sugar
Reduce the sugar by a fourth to a half. Be prepared that some recipes may react differently to this. For example, your cookies may not spread as thin as normal but will still taste delicious. You can even use honey or molasses in exchange for sugar too. Two great healthier sugar alternatives that your body processes easier.
Watch for Trans Fats or Other Artificial Ingredients
Use real butter instead of shortening or fats that contain partially hydrogenated oils. This includes margarine as well as many packaged treats you purchase from the grocery store. This is why baking your own treats is that much better. Not only do you get to control the sugar and portion size, but you also get the control the amount and type of fat. Trans fats can raise your bad cholesterol that leads to heart disease.
Reduce the Serving Size
In other words, make cute or smaller alternatives such as mini cupcakes, cookies, and pies. Bite-size treats reduce the calories as long as you don’t eat too many, which means you should make half the recipe anyways, even if you plan to make smaller treats. This way, you can be sure your mini dessert plan actually works, and you cross out any possibilities of giving in to your temptations.
Try Alternative Flour
Experiment with whole wheat, chickpea, almond, coconut, or other nut and bean flours. This is a great way to add more fiber and protein to your treats to keep you regulated and fuller longer. Thus, preventing you from grabbing more treats. White flour or all-purpose flour is low in nutritional value, while many of these alternatives are not. For every cup of flour, try using one-fourth of almond flour instead.
Try baking your sweet treats this year instead using these tips. Baking is another form of exercise that can help you lose calories while still enjoying sweets during the holidays. As you can see, baking healthier treats can be done with just a few tricks, reductions, and swaps. With more nutritious treats, you can enjoy the holidays more with less worry and more health.