Ready for easy, healthy baking swaps that will turn all your fall goodies into healthy, nourishing foods?
Hey there, fellow bakers and health enthusiasts! 🍂🍁
The leaves are beginning to show off those vibrant autumnal hues and the air takes on that unmistakable crispness (bonfires, anyone?). It's official — fall is here! Do you know what that means in our home? Time to get our ovens fired up and our mixing bowls ready for some serious baking adventures.
I'm Elderberry Queen, a proud mom of five endlessly hungry boys, and I'm all about creating wholesome, delicious treats for my family. It’s the heart behind my recipe blog. Especially with my tasty, healthy baking alternatives!
There are so many recipe blogs to follow, but let me tell you what sets mine apart. In every single recipe, I find a way to incorporate my Organic Elderberry Syrup. It elevates the simplest meals, like baked oatmeal and granola bars, into a realm of immune-boosting excellence.
Yup. Healthy, nourishing, and immune-boosting. 🙌
In this season of cozy sweaters and pumpkin-spiced everything, join me as we explore easy swaps for healthier baking.
I’m on a mission to make your favorite fall goodies mouthwatering and nourishing. So, grab your aprons (yup, I still wear one), and let's dive headfirst into the world of healthier baking!
The Healthier Baking Basics
It's essential to understand the basics of healthier baking.
It’s more than just cutting calories, which is what a lot of people associate with being healthy. Instead, it's about making thoughtful ingredient choices that simultaneously nourish your body and satisfy your taste buds.
So, let's lay the groundwork for your culinary adventure into a more wholesome, health-conscious kitchen. Here are your easy swaps for healthier baking this fall and all year round.
1. Almond Butter Instead of Peanut Butter
When it comes to healthier baking, one of my all-time favorite swaps is ditching traditional peanut butter in favor of almond butter. Now, don't get me wrong — I adore peanut butter as much as the next person, but almond butter is a way healthier choice.
- Heart-healthy monounsaturated fats
- Vitamin E
- Fewer saturated fats
Most peanut butter contains a naturally occurring mold called aflatoxins because they’re grown underground. Aflatoxin toxicity may result in nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, convulsions and other signs of acute liver injury. You may not experience liver issues, but the abdominal pain is something I’ve experienced myself after eating peanut butter.
So our family opts for almond butter instead. I’ll skip out on the mold, and you should consider it too.
It's a small change that makes a world of difference in your baking journey.
SWAP TIP: Buy organic to skip out on the pesticides and read the labels. You’re looking for pure almonds and possibly a little salt. If it has seed oils listed, put it back on the shelf.
RECIPE IDEA: Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
2. Honey or Pure Maple Syrup Instead of Sugar
Say goodbye to empty-calorie white sugar. Opt for the natural goodness of honey or 100% pure maple syrup to enhance the nutritional value of your baked creations. Easily substitute 1:1. This means if a recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, you can substitute it with 1 cup of maple syrup or honey.
Honey and maple syrup introduce essential minerals into the mix. It exerts a gentler impact on blood sugar levels when compared to their highly processed counterparts.
In fact, my Organic Elderberry Syrup is only sweetened with honey for a light sweetness that my kids can’t get enough of!
SWAP TIP: Choose raw organic honey and pure maple syrup with no extra additives for the healthiest version.
RECIPE IDEA: Mini Elderberry Cheesecakes
3. Dark Chocolate Chips Instead of Milk Chocolate Chips
These little gems are a game-changer for any health-conscious baker.
Dark chocolate chips offer a more nutrient-dense alternative to the typical milk chocolate option. They're a rich source of dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals, all while delivering that irresistible chocolatey goodness we crave.
Make this switch – your taste buds and body will thank you.
Super clean and super healthy!
SWAP TIP: Skip any chocolate chips with added ingredients you can’t pronounce! You don’t want any of those fillers, just pure delicious chocolate.
RECIPE IDEA: Rich Chocolate Zucchini Bread
4. Whole Wheat or Almond Flour Instead of Enriched Flour
Choose whole wheat or almond flour over white flour’s blandness and nutrient emptiness. With white flour, you get empty calories and refined carbohydrates in your baked goods. Nothing else.
Diversifying your flour selection can introduce valuable nutrients such as fiber and protein and even cater to gluten-free needs. It's a simple switch that can elevate the nutrition and taste of your baked creations.
SWAP RATIO GUIDE
Almond flour: 1 cup to 1 cup
Coconut flour: ¼ cup to 1 cup of enriched flour
SWAP TIP: If you’re looking for a tasty gluten-free alternative, try gluten-free 1:1 baking mixes. Just be sure to read the ingredients and make sure the ingredients are nutrient-dense.
RECIPE IDEA: Elderberry Shortbread Bars
5. Greek Yogurt Instead of Sour Cream
The reason for this swap: your gut health!
Unlike sour cream, which typically lacks probiotics, Greek yogurt is rich in beneficial probiotics that promote a healthy gut microbiome. These live bacteria help improve digestion, boost immunity, and maintain a balanced gut flora.
Greek yogurt contains more protein and fewer saturated fats than sour cream, making it a healthier option for those looking to support their gut while enjoying a creamy and tangy flavor in their dishes. So, when it comes to gut-friendly choices, Greek yogurt is undoubtedly the better option.
SWAP TIP: Choose organic Greek yogurt to skip out on the pesticides and hormones. Go with plain to pass on added sugar and sweeten with a splash of elderberry syrup, maple syrup, or honey instead.
RECIPE IDEA: Berry Fruit Pizza
6. Almond, Coconut, or Oat Milk Instead of Cow’s Milk
Swapping almond, coconut, or oat milk for cow's milk offers a multitude of benefits. These plant-based milk alternatives are typically lower in saturated fats and calories. This makes it a healthier choice if you’re concerned about heart health or weight management.
They’re also lactose-free, making them an excellent option for anyone lactose intolerant.
SWAP TIP: Try making your own milk. It’s super simple and can save you big bucks. If you decide to buy it in the store, read those labels. My favorite brand of almond milk is Three Trees.
RECIPE IDEA: Chocolate Elderberry Tart
7. Avocado Oil Instead of Seed Oils
Vegetable, canola, soybean, corn, rapeseed, grapeseed and sunflower oils are all seed oils. They’re highly processed and packed with omega-6 fatty acids. While omega-6 fatty acids are essential for our health, an excessive intake, common with seed oils, can upset the delicate balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fats in our diet.
This imbalance has been linked to inflammation and an increased risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
On top of that, the industrial processing methods used to extract seed oils can involve harsh chemicals and high temperatures, potentially leading to the formation of harmful trans fats. As a result, many health-conscious individuals choose healthier alternatives like olive or avocado oil for cooking. These offer a more favorable fatty acid profile and are less processed.
Avocado oil is rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, such as vitamin E, which can promote cardiovascular health and reduce inflammation.
You might be thinking, what about olive oil? Olive oil is great for drizzling, but not for baking. Once it hits 350℉, it can turn rancid and release harmful toxins.
The neutral flavor of avocado oil makes it perfect for baking. It won't overpower the taste of your dishes, allowing the natural flavors of your dish to shine.
SWAP TIP: Try to choose unrefined cold-pressed avocado oil. This is the purest form with the most nutritional benefits.
RECIPE IDEA: Sheet Pan Elderberry Balsamic Chicken & Veggie Bake
The Best Healthy Baking Swap I’ve Ever Made
I used to dread the fall. It meant the kids were back in school, and sickness was everywhere. It felt like one of my boys came down with something every week.
There were so many missed days of school. So much to catch up on.
But we were also exhausted from being sick all the flippin’ time. You know the cycle, right? One person gets sick, and by the time each family member has taken a turn, it feels like a month or so has been wasted and the cycle starts over again.
So, instead of giving my kids Dayquil or any other over-the-counter cold medicine, I started giving them Organic Elderberry Syrup.
I quickly realized this magical elixir of elderberry syrup was helping them kick these bugs in days instead of weeks. I did all the research I could and decided we weren’t just taking it when we were sick. We’re taking it daily as a preventative measure. 💜
So from there on, that’s exactly what we did. The kids take their multivitamins and a spoonful of organic elderberry syrup — now, they’re rarely ever sick!
It’s the answer to so many prayers for my family.
With fall in full swing, I pray that my Organic Elderberry Syrup offers a line of defense for your family against all the nasty bugs out there.
Check out my Beginner’s Immunity Bundle here.
You’ll get both my elderberry syrup and my elderberry gummies at a discounted price. Perfect for days at home and days that are on the go.
>>> If you’re tired of the sickness cycle in your home, give my elderberry products a try. There’s nothing to lose except snotty noses and coughs that keep everyone awake at night.
🍁 Wishing you a beautiful fall! ~ Lindsey, Elderberry Queen 🍁