Baking, and desserts in general, is a staple in some households. Whatever your favorite dessert or other baking favorite, it’s fun and often relaxing to prepare and eat, but not so fun if you’re trying to incorporate healthy eating into your diet.
The good news is, healthy eating doesn’t mean you have to cut out all the foods you love, even desserts. There are ways to prepare just about any recipe in a much healthier way. You can use alternative ingredients or substitute one ingredient for another to make it healthier. Even desserts packed with sugar and calories, like brownies, can be prepared with fewer calories and a better type of fat.
Here are just a few examples of healthier brownie recipes you can make at home.
Have you ever counted how many calories are actually in your standard homemade brownie? One delicious square has more empty calories (energy your body burns through quickly without much benefit to your health) than you might think. High quality, alternative ingredients are the solution to this calorie-packed problem.
Still want to enjoy your brownies without all the extra calories? Try this reduced-calorie brownie recipe and see how it turns out. It uses Greek yogurt to help the brownies keep their form and the texture you love while using less butter and fewer eggs in the process.
There are plenty of opportunities to get all your required daily servings of dairy, and dessert certainly doesn’t have to be one of them. Maybe you’re looking for a dessert that doesn’t have any extra dairy mixed in (not very easy to come across, since we love rich, creamy and chocolate-filled everything). Maybe you’re allergic to dairy and are tired of missing out on all the deliciousness.
Give this dairy-free brownie recipe a try if you’re on the hunt for something a little different. It uses pumpkin puree to replace some of the ingredients needed to keep a typical batch of brownies from getting too dry or falling apart, and it probably tastes just as good, too.
Healthy Brownie Bites
When a fresh pan of brownies comes out of the oven, it’s up to you (the baker), to choose how each square “portion” is cut. Theoretically, you can make each serving as big as you want to. Which is great for your sweet tooth and not so great for your waistline.
The healthy key to this protein-packed recipe is portion control. In this case, less is more. The smaller you make your brownie bites, the more you’ll have to share with family and friends. If you’re still worried you’ll eat too many at once, you can leave three or four in the refrigerator at one time and freeze the rest for later.
Chocolate Avocado Brownies
You may have heard avocados are healthy, even though they’re loaded with fat. How is that possible? How is the fat in an avocado different from the fat in butter?
Put simply, the kind of fat found in an avocado, called unsaturated fat, is better for your body to process and use than the kind of fat found in butter, called saturated fat. It’s “healthy” because it has the opposite effects on your body – it actually lowers your risk of developing heart disease, for example.
This brownie recipe uses avocado instead of butter, meaning your brownies will still taste rich and creamy. They just use a different, healthier form of fat in order to do so.
There’s no law that says you’re not allowed to enjoy your desserts. Made a little healthier, and in moderation, you can still get your chocolate fix at home whenever you need it.
Featured photo credit: alex lang via flickr.com