Updated: Jan 13, 2021
One of my favorite aspects of the holidays is baking. I love baking pumpkin breads, gingerbread muffins and sugar cookies. I love indulging on baked goods during the holiday season. But, the holiday season is long, and you don't want to completely derail your healthy eating lifestyle!
Here are some tips for staying on track during the holiday season.
1) Substitute refined sugars for maple syrup.
The flavor of maple syrup goes perfectly with pumpkin and gingerbread and works really well in loaf and muffin recipes. I live in Vermont, so it's easy to get pure maple syrup. Agave is another good substitute if you live in an area of the country where maple syrup is pricey. Just stay away from the fake processed syrups, as those are loaded with high fructose corn syrup.
2) Add protein powder to your baked goods.
I love to up the protein content of my muffins my adding protein powder. I typically add vanilla flavored protein ( I use Bob's Red Mill or Vega Sport), but chocolate would also be a delicious addition (think chocolate protein banana bread). Protein not only helps to satisfy your hunger, but also helps keep you full for longer.
3) Give baked goods as a gift to friends and neighbors.
I love trying all sorts of new recipes, but I don't always want to eat 12 muffins myself! The perfect solution is to gift baked goods to your friends, family and neighbors. This year I gifted chocolate candy cane cookies and gingerbread muffins. A great way to show love and gratitude towards people without spending a lot of money! Plus, I always keep a couple muffins or cookies for myself, but won't be tempted by them for days.
4) Cut the oil out of your recipes.
This is my favorite tip of all. Not only does cutting out the oil save on calories, but the oil substitutes make baked goods so moist! Here are a few of my favorite oil swaps.
- super ripe mashed banana
- non-dairy milk (soy, cashew, almond, hemp, coconut)
- unsweetened apple sauce
- canned pumpkin