Healthy Baking Mistakes that Cause Weight Gain

FitSugarFitSugarSource: Healthy Baking Mistakes That Cause Weight Gain

If you're a conscious eater who happens to have an enormous sweet tooth, you can bake your cake and eat it, too, as long as you use healthy recipes. Cookies, muffins, pies, and brownies can definitely be made with a nutritional twist, but if you're not careful, your healthy treat could still cause major weight gain. Avoid these mistakes in the kitchen to avoid needing a bigger apron.

  • Using Healthier Yet High-Calorie Substitutions : Margarine for butter, maple syrup or honey in place of white sugar, or whole-wheat flour instead of all-purpose white flour can save cholesterol and fat while adding more nutrition, but they still contain the same (if not more) calories. Healthier doesn't always mean lower in calories, so still practice portion control when eating these healthier treats.
  • Loading on Too Many Healthy Toppings: Walnuts, shredded coconut, and dark chocolate offer health benefits, but they're not void of calories or fat. If a recipe calls for adding one of these to the batter, and you don't bother to measure, or you load extra on the top to pump up antioxidants, keep in mind, you are also adding extra calories.
  • Making a Healthy Treat Not-So-Healthy: You just baked a batch of fudgy brownies using fresh spinach. Then you top it with a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, and hot fudge. Your healthy treat isn't so healthy anymore. If you're going to indulge, share the treat with a friend or just have a few bites.

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  • Baking Huge Batches and Not Sharing: You decided to double the recipe and now you have 48 oatmeal raisin cookies sitting in the cookie jar. The more cookies around, the more you're likely to eat - six cookies is not a serving! Even though they may be healthier, avoid keeping a huge batch of fresh baked goods in the house. If you don't have anyone to share your baked goods with, make half the recipe instead, or freeze some of the dough to use at a later time.
  • Using Dried Fruit Instead of Fresh: Some recipes have to be made with dried fruit - oatmeal grape cookies just doesn't cut it - but when you have more flexibility, use fresh fruit to save calories and cut back on sugar. Real cranberries, diced cherries, and fresh blueberries add moistness and sweetness, which means you can cut out some of the sugar or oil and save even more calories.
  • Going Gluten-Free: If you have a gluten allergy or sensitivity, making gluten-free baked goods is a must. But don't go out of your way to make your cookies or cakes gluten-free just to save calories. One cup of Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour contains 400 calories, and all-purpose flour is 440 calories a cup, so there's not a huge calorie difference. Go gluten-free for health reasons, but not to lose weight.
  • Baking Treats That Sound Healthy: Carrot cake is made with carrots, so it must be healthy, right? It still contains flour, eggs, and sugar. And even though it's made with a vitamin A-rich veggie, it's still cake and still contains calories, especially if it's covered with a thick layer of decadent cream-cheese frosting. Just because a recipe sounds healthy doesn't mean it won't cause weight gain.

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