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Heart Healthy Holiday Baking Tips
Holiday BakingHoliday baked goods often take center stage during the season's preparations. Maybe you do have a large life insurance policy, but that's not an excuse to load up on unhealthy baked goods this year. With a few simple substitutions, your goodies are heart healthy and yummy tasting.
  • Reduce fat in cakes and cookies when you use applesauce in place of the fats like shortening, butter, margarine or oil. You can also use three smashed ripe bananas as a substitute for 1/2 cup fat. While this tip boosts your heart's health, it also increases your vitamin C or potassium intake and ensures all your holiday goodies are moist.
  • Lower cholesterol by substituting several tablespoons of white refined flour with oat bran. The texture of your baked goods remains unaffected, but their health benefits skyrocket.
  • Increase antioxidants when you substitute one ounce of unsweetened baking chocolate with three tablespoons of antioxidant-rich cocoa and one tablespoon of canola oil. Why is this substitution important? Antioxidants may lower harmful LDL cholesterol and reduce your heart attack risk.
  • Boost omega-3 fats and antioxidants in your holiday diet when you add chopped walnuts to cookies, cakes and pies. Out of all the nuts on your grocery store shelf, these nuts pack the most powerful antioxidant punch. They taste great, too.
  • Consume more fiber by substituting whole wheat flour for half of the white refined flour in your baking recipes. The extra fiber helps you stay regular and reduces holiday bloat, but this important nutrient also lowers your cholesterol, regulates blood sugar and controls weight.
Which holiday goodies are you most excited about eating this year? Make a few simple changes to your ingredients list as you create health healthy desserts. Then, consider using these heart healthy switches in your baking year round as you improve your health and wellbeing.
Shawna Kreis
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