With the holidays already over, you may not be ready to let go of cozy-feeling baked goods. But at the same time you know many goodies come loaded with fat and added sugar. Here are some simple add-ins that up the nutrition of muffins, breads, scones and more.
Protein Powder: Add a scoop of unflavored whey or plant-based protein powder (pea or soy for example) into dry mix for quick breads, muffins or cookies. Just one or two scoops per recipe can add a few grams of protein per serving. Adjust the recipe with less flour and potentially use of more liquid.
Whole Wheat/Grain Flour: Switch out ⅓ to ½ of the recipe’s flour allotment with a whole-grain version. This adds fiber and additional nutrients, besides making for a hearty baked texture to breads, muffins and cookies. Or if you are avoiding gluten, use gluten-free flour found in the bulk food aisle or baking aisle that is typically a blend of whole grain sorghum and fava bean flours.
Applesauce or Plum Puree: You can substitute these for a portion of the oil, butter or margarine in recipes. This reduces the calories and fat by about 40-50% without losing any flavor.
Nuts: Toss in chopped almonds, walnuts, pistachios or pecans to muffins, cookies or quick breads for some extra heart-healthy fats and vitamin E.
Seeds: Use chia, flax or sunflower seeds as a topper for breads and muffins for a source of plant-based omega-3 fats (shown to support brain health) along with vitamin E and the minerals zinc and selenium for immune system strength.
Dried Fruit: Add dried blueberries, cranberries or tart cherries for a kick of antioxidants in muffins and breads along with fiber and some potassium for healthy blood pressure.
Chocolate: Use small amounts of dark chocolate shavings or tiny bits for extra antioxidants in your baked goods thanks to a special type called anthocyanidins that have heart-protective benefits.