Cookies and other baked goods are a holiday staple for many people. Family gatherings and other holiday get-togethers wouldn’t be the same without at least one cookie tray or cake, right?
It can be difficult to resist the temptation, which often results in empty cookie trays and full bellies. If you’re working on losing weight or maintaining a diet, the holidays can really put your resolve to the test.
Sometimes, all you need is a strategy for navigating holiday party food spreads. However, there is another option for those who can’t - or simply don’t want to - resist the temptation to fill up on baked goods.
Adding fiber to baked goods is a great way to make them a little bit healthier. With just a few additions or substitutions, you can turn your favorite holiday treat into a fiber-rich option that you won’t feel too guilty eating.
Even better - you can make a lot of these changes without impacting the wonderful taste of these baked goods.
Before we start talking about the substitutions you can make, let’s go over why fiber is so beneficial to your diet.
The vast majority of Americans simply don't get enough fiber each and every day. You've probably seen commercials advertising products that are rich in fiber, but it always seems like a chore to add it to your diet.
But the truth is that it’s not that difficult to get your daily dose of fiber, and doing so actually comes with a variety of health benefits.
Fiber stimulates digestion, acting as a daily "mini-cleanse" of sorts. Getting enough fiber combats bloating, stops cravings before they start, and eliminates toxins from the body to help you feel more refreshed in general.
Even better, fiber-rich baked goods will help you feel full faster, so you’re less likely to overindulge.
Fiber also dramatically lowers your risk of heart disease. For every seven grams of fiber you eat, you can lower your risk for heart disease by 9 percent. Similarly, fiber-rich diets can lower your risk for several forms of cancer, including breast cancer or colorectal cancer.
There are plenty of ways to add more fiber to your diet, but some are tastier and more fun than others. Here are six great ways to sneak fiber into your baked goods. Your holiday party guests might not even notice!
Alternative flour options are becoming more popular thanks to their health benefits. White flour has almost no fiber, but almond, coconut, teff, and quinoa flour, and a variety of other substitutes are great sources of fiber. For example, just two tablespoons of sweet coconut flour contain five grams of fiber.
Though they can't be used as equal substitutes in most recipes, you can start by replacing up to a third of the flour a recipe calls for to see how you like the results.
If you're looking for a way to completely replace white flour in recipes, consider using whole wheat pastry flour. Pastry flour creates more tender baked goods that aren't too heavy, unlike regular whole wheat flour.
Fats and sweeteners can really drive up the calorie counts on baked goods. If a recipe calls for a cup of butter, you're adding 1,600 calories to your baked goods! Instead, why not replace some fats and sweeteners with pureed fruits or vegetables? Apples, pumpkin, bananas, pears, avocados, and even sweet potatoes are great options for a puree.
This substitute will add fiber and other nutrients to the finished product while also cutting down on calories. It's a win-win! To ensure the best results, replace two-thirds of oil, butter, or shortening with purees.
If you're looking for other options, pureed beans, like white beans or chickpeas, can also serve as a substitute. Vegan cookie recipes sometimes make use of this switch to replace butter or other fat. About 1/2 cup of beans will add five grams of fiber to your recipe. Plus, the mild flavor of the beans won't impact the resulting flavor of the cookies, so they act as a secret ingredient.
Walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, pecans, and pistachios are packed with fiber, good fats, and a variety of other minerals and vitamins. You can already find nuts in some baking recipes, but they really can be worked into most baked items, like cookies, brownies, or muffins. All you need to do is chop them up and add them to your batter.
If you’re a fan of nuts, you’ll love these additions and benefit from all the extra fiber.
This is just one more reason to love chocolate. Low-fat cocoa powder is a great source of dietary fiber, with 1/3 cup containing 10 grams. Not to mention, cocoa powder is chock full of antioxidants that prevent illness.
Flaxseeds, grains, and even certain cereals are great sources of fiber that can be useful when preparing your favorite holiday baked goods. A single tablespoon of ground flaxseeds can add over three grams of fiber without impacting the taste or texture of whatever you're making.
Just mix it in with the other dry ingredients from the recipe, and you're all set. High-fiber cereals, like those that contain oats or wheat bran, can also make great additions to cookies and other baked goods. Just 1/2 cup of wheat bran contains 12 grams of fiber. The cereals can give cookies a satisfying crunch.
Smart Pressed Juice’s Pineapple Chia Cleanse might be the best way to add flaxseeds to your baked goods. The entire product is made of flax, chia, and sprouted grains. Just add a scoop into the baked goods you are making, and you’ll be adding in living, activated fiber that’s good for you and the whole family!
Grated vegetables or fruits are another great way to add texture and fiber to a recipe. If you have recipes that call for add-ins, then consider cranberries or raisins, which offer three grams of fiber for just 1/2 cup.
Veggie and fruit additions can be whatever you like or are comfortable with. Apples and zucchini are popular choices, but feel free to get creative. There’s no wrong way to add fiber to your baked goods as long as you’re happy with the resulting products.
Adding fiber to baked goods is a great way to give your body what it needs during the holiday season, but baked goods shouldn’t have to be your main source for dietary fiber year-round.
Maintaining a high-fiber diet all year long will give you more energy, promote a healthy gut, and help you achieve a healthy body weight. The best way to get that much-needed fiber is also the easiest way: with Smart Pressed Juice’s Pineapple Chia Cleanse.
This unique blend of 15 superfood fibers is the best way to keep cravings under control - and it also combats bloating. If you’re committed to getting enough fiber on a daily basis, then you’ll want to check out our subscription service. Not only can it save you money, but you’ll never have to worry about not getting enough fiber again.