Health | Food

Make Your Desserts Guilt-Free By Adding These 7 Ingredients

Have you ever baked a whole pan of brownies and eaten the entire thing? What about that time you bought four chocolate bars at the grocery store and somehow they disappeared on the way home. Maybe that last one is just me...

Anyhow, we all have our guilty moments when it comes to desserts. This tip will make it easier (and healthier!) to indulge in your favorite treats without having to feel bad about it.

The secret is to add a few veggies to your cookie batter. If a cookie with salad in it doesn't appeal, I don't blame you. That's why you have to pick the right vegetables for each recipe. You won't even be able to taste them!

1. Carrots

A Pretty Life

We've all had carrot cake, but you can add grated carrots to cookies, muffins, brownies, and cakes for a healthy boost of vitamin A and beta carotene. Add 1/4 or 1/2 cup of shredded carrot to your recipe and make sure your recipe has a minimum of 30 minutes of cooking time - it will ensure the carrots will soften.

2. Spinach

Less Sam By The Day

This leafy green is a good source of folate and iron, and you can easily sneak in 1/2 cup of chopped spinach into brownies or chocolate cake. You won't see it and you won't taste it, but it will give you a ton of nutritional benefits.  

3. Avocado

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Who doesn't love avocados? The creamy consistency makes them an ideal addition to chocolate pudding, and you'll get the added benefit of healthy omega fats, vitamin K, and vitamin E! The kids don't have to know.

4. Zucchini

One Family Meal

This yummy veggie might not have a strong taste, but it has a load of carotenoids that help prevent macular degeneration. Add 1/2 cup of grated zucchini to quick breads and cakes. It will help hold the batter together and give it a soft consistency.

5. Sweet Potatoes

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Believe it or not, you can replace some of the sugar and fat in your dessert recipe with sweet potato puree! Similar to carrots, sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A and beta carotene. Replace 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of butter in your recipe with 1/2 cup of cooled sweet potato puree. It will both sweeten the batter and and act as a binding agent as your recipe bakes.

6. Beets

From the Grapevine

Here's an idea! You can use beets to make red velvet cake! As a source of dietary fiber and vitamin C, they're much better for you than adding synthetic food coloring. Simply puree 1/2 cup of well-cooked beets (cooled) and add to the cake batter. Don't be afraid to experiment.

7. Cauliflower

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Luckily, cauliflower is white and doesn't have a very strong flavor. That means you can slip it into a host of different recipes and it will go completely unnoticed. Cauliflower is rich in vitamin C and helps prevent cancer, so why wouldn't you? Steam it first before making it into a puree, then substitute it for butter or shortening to help reduce unhealthy fats.  

We want to hear from you! Would you try one of these healthy substitutions in your baking? Why or why not?

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