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Make Your Own Brownies That Can Be Much Healthier

Make Your Own Brownies That Can Be Much Healthier

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.

Reduced-Calorie Brownies

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    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.

    Dairy-Free Brownies

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      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.

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      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

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        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.

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        Chocolate Avocado Brownies

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          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.

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          Conclusion

          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

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          Last Updated on July 10, 2020

          How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

          How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

          We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

          We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

          So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

          Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

          What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

          Boundaries are limits

          —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

          Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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          Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

          Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

          Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

          How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

          Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

          1. Self-Awareness Comes First

          Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

          You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

          To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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          You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

          • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
          • When do you feel disrespected?
          • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
          • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
          • When do you want to be alone?
          • How much space do you need?

          You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

          2. Clear Communication Is Essential

          Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

          Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

          3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

          Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

          That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

          Sample language:

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          • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
          • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
          • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
          • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
          • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
          • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
          • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

          Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

          4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

          Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

          Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

          Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

          We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

          It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

          It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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          Final Thoughts

          Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

          Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

          Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

          The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

          Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

          Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

          They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

          Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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