9 Ways to Support Your Baking Obsession Without Gaining Weight
I grew up baking with my mom, and when I moved out on my own and had my own kitchen to concoct amazing treats in, it showed. I gained tons of weight and hardly recognized myself in photos.
So I quit baking. And while I did lose the weight, I was sad — I missed baking. Now that I'm a mother, I want to share my baking obsession with my own children. Over the years, I've learned simple tweaks to lighten up baked goods without sacrificing taste. Here's how I'm able to bake once or twice a week without gaining weight.
Use Avocado as a Butter Substitute
When baking, substitute half the amount of butter in your recipe with mashed avocado. Substituting with avocado not only lowers the calorie content — half a cup of butter is 813 calories, and the same amount of avocado is 184 — but it also yields a moister baked good. Avocado is also lower in saturated fat and cholesterol and offers fiber, so baked goods are more filling (which means you might eat less!).
Use Dates Instead of Sugar
Dates are naturally sweet, so they make a great replacement for refined sugars in cookie recipes and also for bars. One cup of white sugar is 774 calories. Ten medjool dates are 666 calories. Dates also offer four grams of protein and 16 grams of fiber! I also find that eating treats sweetened with dates feels more satisfying, and I don't get those crazy cravings for eating more that happen when I eat white sugar.
Cut the Recipe in Half
If you know you can't be trusted with trays of frosted sugar cookies in your kitchen, cut the recipe in half or even quarter it. Just because a recipe makes two dozen doesn't mean you have to make that many!
Add Protein Powder
While replacing a little of the flour in your recipes with protein powder doesn't necessarily cut down on calories, the added protein makes your treat more satisfying. You'll feel full after one piece of this protein banana bread and won't need to go back for a second or third piece.
Use Your Frezer
It's not set in stone that you have to bake the entire batch of cookie dough! Make a few cookies and then freeze the rest of the dough in an empty ice cube tray. When cravings strike, just pop out one or two and bake them in your toaster oven, and you can have a little taste without the temptation to keep reaching for more.
Use Flaxmeal in Place of Eggs
For every egg, make a flax egg by mixing one tablespoon of flaxmeal and three tablespoons of water. The flax becomes gelatinous when soaked for five to 10 minutes, resembling the consistency of eggs. One flax egg is almost half the calories, so if you bake a lot, it's a huge bonus when it comes to weight loss. It also offers omega-3s and fiber, so baked goods are more filling. Here are some recipes that use flax eggs.
Share What You Bake
This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you share your baked goods, then you can't eat them all! Make a batch of brownies, save two for you, and give the rest away!