Here are 4 healthy baking swaps in the kitchen for healthier and delicious treats.

There’s nothing wrong with good cookies and cakes, but what happens when you want a healthier version? Nutrition Expert Joanna Li shares 4 healthy swaps in the kitchen so your favorite baked goods can be healthier AND taste like the real deal!

With many hours spent in the kitchen playing around with ingredients, I’ve discovered easy swaps and tricks to make classic crowd pleasers healthier without compromising flavor. Swapping just one or two ingredients at a time and just half of the called-for ingredient is the best way to go.

Here are 4 simple ways to swap out for healthier ingredients when you’re baking in the kitchen:

1. Whole Wheat Flour

This is perhaps the easiest and least noticeable swap you can do for baking. Replacing half of the indicated amount of white flour with whole wheat flour will give your end product some extra fiber without tasting too “wheaty.”

2. Bananas

Surprise! You can actually replace butter with mashed ripe bananas, using a 1 to 1 ratio. Start out by replacing half the amount, and increase the amount if you don’t mind the banana taste. This swap works very well in baked goods, and homemade cookies and banana bread without butter are delicious.

3. Unsweetened applesauce

As one of my favorite swaps for baking, swap out sugar for unsweetened applesauce as a natural sweetener (and more fiber!).

4. Chickpeas

Replace flour with chickpeas in cookies or brownies (or black beans for darker baked goods).  However, I do recommend replacing just half versus the entire portion of flour for baked goods that require a chewier texture.

Have you tried substituting ingredients to make things healthier? What has worked for you?

Adapted from the original article.

Joanna Li, RD is a Registered Dietitian based in NYC, and is currently a nutrition coordinator helping to improve the health status of low-income pregnant women and their children. For more on Joanna’s love of sharing healthy and delicious meals, visit her at Just My Cup of Jo.