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How to Make Your Favorite Baked Goods Healthier

By Stepy Kamei

I never grew up learning how to bake cookies and cakes in the kitchen, unfortunately. However, once I discovered the art of baking in college, I knew I was immediately hooked. It was the week before finals and I was stressing out about all the studying I had to do. For whatever reason, I decided to simply drop everything and bake a batch of cookies, even though I had never done so in my entire life. I made a mess of the kitchen, much the chagrin of my roommates, and I made more than a few mistakes. Still, I couldn’t help but notice how therapeutic the act of stirring the cookie dough and molding it together was for my mind. 

Imagine that, finding comfort in baking amid the chaos of college. I am not the only person out there who finds the act of baking various sweet treats to be very calming and fulfilling, which makes it a great and simple way to boost mental health.

Now, I’m not saying I ended up snacking on the best cookies ever that night -- they were really way too crispy -- but it was the moment in my life that began a burgeoning passion for baking. 

Making the Best of It

Most of us can agree that baked goods are simply not the healthiest kinds of foods out there for a person to consume. They are usually loaded with unnecessarily high amounts of sugar and fat, and sometimes even high amounts of sodium. Fortunately, we do not have to give up on making our favorite desserts and sweet treats in order to live a healthier lifestyle with a better diet. All we need to do is remember to indulge in baking in moderation, and to swap out some traditional baking ingredients in favor of healthier substitutes. I recently came across an article posted in Buzzfeed that provides some excellent suggestions to make classic and favorite recipes much healthier through some very simple ingredient swaps, changes, and additions.

One of the simplest ways you can improve the nutritional value of your baked goods is by swapping out the base for many pancakes, waffles, and cakes. Instead of mixing white flour, sugar, and milk, simply mash together bananas and whole wheat flour for a much more nutritious food. You also may want to start weaning yourself off using so much sugar by substituting traditional sweeteners, such as powdered sugar, icing, and maple syrup, with whole fresh fruit instead.

It's easy for bakers to pack on the pounds, but it doesn't have to be completely unhealthy. Baking can make you smile, and cooking treats that are healthier for you, friends and family, can make you smile too.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Missouri City, Tex. 

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