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Swapping to Make your Baking Healthy

When it comes to baked goods, we often only think of sugary cakes and glazed treats, but just because something is baked doesn't mean it has to be unhealthy. With several simple substitutes, you can turn your favorite baked goods recipe into a nutrient-packed goodie you'll feel better after enjoying. While eating healthy foods that nourish your body is essential, completely depriving yourself of occasional indulgences is unnecessary.

Instead of Butter or Oil: Avocado, Pumpkin, or Banana

Avocados have those healthy fats your body needs, plus loads of nutrients. If you replace even half the butter with pureed or mashed avocado, you'll still have delicious cookies, muffins, and cakes. For cakes, in particular, reduce the baking temperature by 25% to keep them from rising too high in the center.

Canned pumpkin, the pure stuff, can also replace your butter and add more nutrition. If fall is your favorite time of year, you can make pumpkin-flavored treats any time by using organic canned pumpkins. Use an equal amount to replace butter or oil for cookies, cakes, muffins, and bread.

Bananas are great, too, especially if you have to replace oil in a recipe. They're also naturally sweet while being high in fiber and potassium. Mash up a banana and let it take over the job in your recipe of butter or oil. However, be advised th