Eat Your Cake & Have Abs
Summer = beach bod season. Doesn’t matter that we in the UAE still have to wait until ‘winter’ to show off those bods. We want abs but here’s the fact: abs are made in the kitchen. So what do you do when you want abs but your kitchen’s got decadent desserts on its menu?
Fear not, I wasn’t joking when I said you can eat your cake and have it…literally. The biggest culprit is usually butter but some food geniuses have played around in their kitchens and found healthier substitutions for your desserts. You can substitute everything from the flour, butter and sugar with healthier substitutes and still get the same amazing flavors and textures. These substitutes are packed with nutrients such as protein, fibre, good fats, and with fewer calories. Plus, they can be used for cakes, muffins, breads, cookies, and even frosting! Sounds too good to be true ey? I’ve baked muffins with applesauce and oat flour, made chocolate cake with oat flour and topped it off with chocolate frosting made with avocado and unsweetened cocoa powder and they always disappear quickly.
One thing though is that you have to be careful with your measurements when making swaps. Due to the varying densities of the healthier subs, you may not be able to swap them on a one to one ratio. Once, I was making a chocolate cake and I substituted half the butter with avocado, and it came out more like a brownie instead. That was a win-win for me but it could have turned out disastrous too. Read on to see how best to make your desserts more guilt-free and make sure you scroll all the way to the end. There’s a yummy recipe waiting for you to try.
Instead of 1 cup of white flour, use:
Whole-wheat flour: 3/4 cup
Oats flour: 1 cup (best in cookies, muffins and quick breads)
Coconut flour: 1/4 cup (+ 1 egg + 1/4 cup of liquids e.g. milk, orange juice, etc.)
Almond flour: 1 cup (you might need to increase your raising agents and slightly decrease the fats; not great with bread recipes)
Instead of 1 cup of butter, use:
Unsweetened Applesauce: 1 cup (great for moist products like muffins and cakes; for crispier products; try substituting . cup of applesauce with . cup of butter)
Greek yogurt: 1 cup (for recipes with over 1 cup one cup of butter, increase the amount of flour or decrease the total liquids by 1/4 cup) or 1/2 cup of butter + 1/4 cup of Greek yogurt
Avocado: 1 cup (decrease oven temp. by 25°F) or 1/2 cup of butter + 1/2 cup of Avocado
Mashed bananas: 1 cup (It’s great for cookies and cake-like recipes; note that it tends to cook quicker)
Coconut cream solids: 1 cup (for buttercream frosting; avocado can also be used)
When oiling baking pans, or coating grilled meats for that crunch, cooking sprays are a great substitute.
Instead of 1 cup of sugar, use:
Honey: . 1/2 to 3/4 cup (+ 1/4 tsp of baking soda per cup used and reduce oven temp. by 25°F)
Agave nectar: 2/3 cup (and reduce the total liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup)
Coconut sugar: 1 cup
Vanilla: 1/2 cup of sugar + 1 tsp of vanilla extract
So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and try making these swaps. You can start by substituting only a portion e.g. half butter and half applesauce in your next batch of muffins, until you find the right amount that works best for you. Cheers to getting your cake back ;)
P.S. there’s a great infographic by Greatist that shows more substitutions.
Written by Zainab Arulogun for Dubaifitfoodie.com