Saturday, February 25, 2012

Clean Baking Substitutions

  • Sugar can be substituted with half the amount of sugar plus 1-2 tsp vanilla extract (the vanilla flavor tricks our brains into think it's sweeter than it is.  A better substitution would be coconut nectar, agave nectar or palm sugar.  Stevia also works but can have an aftertaste.  To go completely natural, you can use a banana with 1/2 a cup of dates blended together and this will sweeten a batch of 6 muffins (double that for a dozen)
  • Eggs can be substituted with 2 egg whites per whole egg
  • Wheat-based flour can be substituted with coconut or almond flour.  Both of these flours contain fiber and protein naturally and give baked goods some extra sweetness so you don't miss using as much sugar.
  • Vegetable oil/canola oil can be substituted with coconut oil - if you are going to eat your confection early in the day.  Coconut oil is a medium-chain triglyceride and the only saturated fat our bodies treat like a carb.  This means that we burn coconut oil immediately if we move after ingesting it.  It's great fuel for a workout  You can add it to your protein shake.  Apple sauce, mashed bananas or pumpkin (like pie filling) also works.  
  • Milk can be replaced with almond milk.  8 oz of almond milk has half the calories and double the nutrients of 8 oz of skim milk.
  • Crisco can be replaced with palm shortening, a natural non-hydrogenated shortening
  • Butter may also be replaced with apple sauce or mashed bananas.  If you do want to use butter, pick a natural and grass-fed (well, the cows are grass-fed, not the butter) butter that isn't hydrogenated like Kerrygold brand.  You should try their garlic and herb butter - it's amazing.  Earth Balance makes a "butter" that is vegan made from olive oil that is full of ALA omega-6.  Butter is not bad for you!  In fact, butter contains something called butyric acid which helps lubricate your GI tract, eliminating irritation caused by digesting grains or peanuts.   Grains, peanuts, legumes and dairy can cause gut irritation that actually can make your tummy puffier than it needs to be (why my dessert recipes do not include these ingredients.)
  • If something asks for peanut butter, use almond butter or pistachio or even cashew butter instead.  These are easier on the digestion and won't stick around your waistline.  Peanut butter is not bad for you, but many people have trouble digesting it.    

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