Homemade desserts are always a treat, but how can we make them healthier and lighter? For example we can replace some ingredients with more nutritious and natural alternatives, as well as less calories. Here is what to use instead of butter, refined flour, white sugar and eggs – and not only – when we want to prepare cakes, cookies and other desserts at home.
Replace white sugar
White sugar is very rich in calories, but does not bring beneficial nutrients to the body. The easiest way to replace it is to use brown sugar in equal quantities. Other substitutes for white sugar may be malt (such as corn or rice), maple syrup, agave syrup and stevia. You will have to learn how to adjust with the quantities to get the desired degree of sweetness. The cakes, biscuits and creams will lose the typical cloying taste of white sugar and will have a much more natural taste. For example, for the dough of a cake or a 250 gr of flour plumcake you will need at least 60 grams of corn or rice malt.
The common butter can be replaced with homemade vegetable butter to obtain healthier and lighter desserts. It is a useful solution for desserts where it is necessary to use an ingredient of the same consistency as butter that can not be replaced by oil. Online there are various recipes to prepare vegetable butter with olive oil at home, or non-hydrogenated vegetable margarine, thickened with soy lecithin, which is so completely different from industrial margarine.
An interesting and healthy substitute for butter or industrial margarine is avocado pulp. You can use it to get lighter sweets. Making sure that it replaces at least half of the butter or margarine indicated in the recipes you will follow. The creamy texture of the avocado and its delicate flavor will not make you miss the butter. Try using crushed or blended avocado pulp to prepare cakes, pies and biscuits.
Agar agar is a vegetable thickener derived from algae. It is used to replace the common kitchen gelatine or isinglass, which is produced using animal fats. Agar agar is suitable for the preparation of jellies for pies, puddings, vegetable cheeses, jams, sweet creams and for all preparations that require the use of normal jelly. It is sold in powder or flakes. Usually 1 teaspoon is enough for every 500 milliliters of liquid ingredients.
Replace the liquid or powder vanilla with natural vanilla. Vanillin is an artificial flavor that has nothing to do with real vanilla. You can use minced vanilla berries, which are sold in organic food shops in jars, to replace the vanilla in cakes (just half a teaspoon), in creams or biscuits. To flavor vegetable milk, you can add a piece of vanilla bean and heat it to prepare a cake filling cream. Or you can prepare a liquid vanilla extract by letting a berry rest for two weeks in a small bottle with 500 milliliters of alcohol or rum. You will use the liquid vanilla extract with drops, as in the case of vanillin in vials
Homemade orange flower water
Orange blossom water is another of the classic artificial flavors we can find in supermarkets. Along with vanilla or fake almond flavoring. You can replace it with the grated peel of bio orange or orange with real orange flower water, natural and homemade. You will need 2 teaspoons of orange blossom, bicarbonate, water and 50 grams of brown sugar. Orange flowers are harvested between April and May Read more