Consider Using Fruit Instead of Sugar in Your Holiday Baking

We listen to our customers’ feedback on social media. You all have some great conversations with each other about health tips! We know that some people have favorite no-calorie sweeteners, some stick to only enjoying sugar in moderation and others avoid it altogether. We hear you! Every person is different, and your health goals are different. It’s so important to talk to your doctor and find what works for you.

We like to offer different options to fit your lifestyle. We give reviews and make suggestions you might not have thought of before. Of course, you should talk to someone familiar with your medical history and health goals before making lifestyle changes. But, this holiday season, might we suggest using fruit in the place of sugar in some of your favorite holiday bakes?

It might sound silly. Fruit contains sugar! How is switching one sugar for another a healthy option? We’ve written so many times about the dangers of fruit juice — once you separate the juice from the flesh, it’s a ton of sugar. But, adding fruit to your batter can make your cakes, cookies or desserts sweet while adding beneficial fiber that helps keep your blood sugar stable!    

We’ve shared recipes in the past that featured figs. Their high fiber content is great for blood sugar stability. They’re also packed with calcium, iron and potassium. Making a puree of eight ounces of figs and 1/4-1/3 of a cup of water will eliminate the need for sweetener in a recipe. And it will allow you to cut back on the amount of fat you use as well.  

Applesauce, on the other hand, is a one-two punch. It replaces sugar with fewer calories, and it can be used to substitute eggs. While eggs are healthy, some people need to cut them out to remove fat from their diet. And, obviously, vegans can’t use eggs.

When you bake using fruit, your best options are apples, bananas, dates, figs, papaya or pumpkin. Fruit-sweetened baked goods tend to be denser than normal treats. That’s because you’re adding a puree to the mix. You should reduce the other liquids in the recipe where possible. The rule is that, if you remove all the other sweeteners from the recipe, reduce the other liquids by 1/4 of a cup per one cup of puree. When you use fruit, you should match the flavor profile so that the fruit blends into whatever you’re baking.

It’s essential to keep in mind that the fruit you add does contain sugar, carbs and calories. These won’t be low-carb baked goods and won’t be suitable for everyone’s health needs. But, if your aim is to keep your blood sugar stable by adding more fiber and you’re someone who avoids artificial sweeteners, this might be a good option for you. And, even during the holidays, it’s important to remember portion control and enjoy your treats in moderation!  

Banner image: Casey Chae via Unsplash

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