Andrea Donsky, Holistic Nutritionist, author of “Unjunk Your Junk Food,” and creator of NaturallySavvy.com, shares these tips:
Step 1: Trans Fat Alternatives
Many ready-to-eat baking goods contain partially or hydrogenated oils, artificial colors, and a host of preservatives. To avoid these chemicals look for products that do not contain them such as:
- Wholly Wholesome pie crust/shell
- Wholly Wholesome apple pie
- Immaculate Baking Cinnamon Rolls
- Dr. Oetker cake mix
- Earth’s Best butter, Barlean’s coconut oil (non-dairy) and organic butter (alternative to shortening, trans fats)
Trans fats are linked to: heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Step 2: High-fructose corn syrup Alternatives
This ingredient can be found in a variety of products on your supermarket shelves. When it comes to baking, it is important to read the label carefully to avoid it. These items do not contain it.
- Pamela’s baking products (cookies & brownies).
- Truwhip whipped topping
- Dark chocolate chips (they contain anti-oxidants)
HFCS is linked to obesity, heart diseases and increased belly fat.
Step 3: Artificial Color Alternatives
This is a big one when it comes to kids. Kids love bright colorful foods so the key is baking with ingredients that use natural colors derived from fruits and vegetables.
- Natures flavors all natural/organic food coloring and flavoring (alternative to chemicals dyes and flavors)
- Let’s do organic sprinkles (great for cookies and muffins/cupcakes)
Food dyes are linked to hyperactivity in children with and without behavioral issues.
Step 4: Artificial Sweetener Alternatives
There are many great tasting, better for you sweeteners on the market today that are perfect for baking. Use a 1:1 ratio to sugar and enjoy.
- Examples include: Xylitol, erythritol, palm sugar, stevia, etc.
Step 5: Gluten free alternatives
Food allergies are on the rise. For those with dairy and wheat sensitivities, here are some options to bake with:
- Almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk, organic milk.
- Quinoa and other gluten free flours