Healthy Holiday Baking and Cooking Swaps

Healthy Holiday Baking and Cooking Swaps

Dec 01, 2022Margaret Barrow

The holidays are all about those delicious, nostalgic recipes that you enjoyed growing up as a child. Think of things like Christmas cookies, homemade pies, and other decadent desserts. Unfortunately, many of those classic holiday desserts can be filled with sugar and possibly other questionable ingredients. This holiday season, give your family favorites a more mindful twist, keep your holiday hors d’oeuvres healthy, and try these healthy holiday baking and cooking swaps for all of your holiday baking recipes. Photo credit: DragonImages


#1 All About That Aquafaba

Aquafaba is the common name for the cooking liquid of beans and legumes. It can boost fiber in recipes and can be used as an egg binder or a whipped egg substitute in dessert recipes like meringues. (Who knew!) Here is a basic guide for beginners on how to easily use aquafaba in all of your holiday baking recipes.

Tip: If you are just getting started with Aquafaba, it is easiest to begin with using the leftover liquid from a can of chickpeas. Homemade hummus? Save the chickpea liquid for holiday baking!

#2 Better for You Butter Options

As if you needed another reason to fall in love with avocados. Try using avocado in place of butter in all of your holiday baking recipes. One medium avocado will be the equivalent of about two sticks of butter. Avocados are naturally high in potassium and are loaded with fiber and heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids. Not only can you use avocado to whip up a handcrafted batch of homemade guacamole, but you can also use it in your holiday baking recipes too. Photo credit: NelliSyr

#3 Choose Cacao Over Cocoa Powder

Cacao is the purest form of chocolate, which makes it less processed than cocoa powder. Cacao offers an incredibly high source of antioxidants and magnesium and contains more fiber than cocoa powder. Photo credit: YelenaYemchuk

Cocoa powder, on the other hand, is less expensive than cocoa and some people appreciate the sweeter taste. While cocoa powder still has some nutritional value, it is more processed and offers fewer antioxidants and nutrients when compared to cacao.

#4 Exchange Your Eggs

If you are baking or cooking for Vegan guests this holiday season, try making a chia egg or flax egg. Mix together 3 tablespoons of water with 1 tablespoon of ground chia seeds or flax seeds until well combined. Then place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to chill and use as you would an egg in any of your baking recipes. What an “eggcellent” idea if we do say so ourselves!

#5 Fancy a New Flour

Instead of basic white flour in all of your holiday baking recipes, try a new alternative like arrowroot flour, cassava flour, or coconut flour. You can even create your own nut flour using your favorite nuts. Think of things like hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts. All you need is your favorite type of nut and a food processor.

Hazelnut flour will add a deep aromatic nuttiness to baked goods giving your holiday recipes an intense richness. If pecans are more your preference, create your own pecan flour, which will deliver a deliciously rich and nutty flavor to all of your favorite holiday baking recipes.

#6 Opt for Non-Industrial Oils

When baking up holiday recipes, swap shortening and traditional vegetable oils for more mindful options like coconut oil. Many vegetable oils and shortening may contain GMOs and trans fats, so replace them with a more mindful alternative instead.

#7 Select a Smart Sweetener

Almost all holiday dessert recipes will call for sugar, but instead of using processed white sugar, select a smart sweetener like agave syrup, coconut sugar, date syrup, honey, maple syrup, or monk fruit. If you are Vegan, skip the honey and try one of these other options instead.

You can still enjoy your favorite holiday baked goods and desserts, just with a more mindful spin by making these easy ingredient swaps. Happy holiday baking everyone!

- Stay Healthy and Happy

Need some new recipe ideas to bake up this holiday season? Check out @mbveganvegetarianshare or join our CEO live @itsnolasnacks every other Sunday when she shares some delicious and nutritious vegan recipes. Do not worry, even if you are not vegan, you will still enjoy these dishes.

Tag us @itsnolasnacks so we can see all of your favorite healthy holiday baking recipes.

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