Healthy Baking


1. Bake using wholegrain flour
Try using Golden Wholegrain flour instead of white flour. Marriage’s Golden Wholegrain flour is naturally high in fibre; it contains over twice as much dietary fibre as regular white flour and is also a source of wholegrains. You can either substitute all or half of your usual flour with wholegrain flour – for extra fibre and a delicious taste too.

Fibre is an important ingredient in a healthy balanced diet; it helps to keep the digestive system healthy and increases the speed at which material passes through the digestive tract. Wholegrains offer a number of health benefits and studies show that eating three or more servings of wholegrain foods a day can help reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer.

2. Use the best quality baking ingredients
Premium quality baking ingredients such as chocolate and vanilla extract will generally have a superior flavour, meaning that you can use a smaller quantity in your bakes. Ideally too, choose chocolate with a low sugar content.

3. Bake with fruit and vegetables
Incorporating more fruit, such as bananas, apples and berries (fresh or frozen) into your baking can provide extra vitamins and fibre and flavour. They can also add natural sweetness, which may mean you don’t need to add as much refined sugar. Dried fruits are also good - dates are high in fibre and prunes are a source of iron.

Whilst carrot cake is always a popular bake, why not be more experimental and try incorporating other vegetables into your cake making. Beetroot, courgette, and parsnips are all naturally sweet and delicious additions to bakes. Beetroot has a lovely earthy flavour and is delicious pared with chocolate in brownies and muffins. Courgette is tasty in muffins, and sweet potatoes and parsnip can be used instead of carrots in cake recipes.

4. Reducing the fat
There are lots of ways you can reduce the fat content of your bakes – and particularly the saturated fat – here are just a few of our favourite ways:.

Blueberry Muffins
Substitute butter for an unsaturated vegetable spread or oil to lower the saturated fat content.
Rapeseed oil, sometimes called vegetable oil, is ideal to use in cooking and has less saturated fat than all other cooking oils and fats and is high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.Replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats in the diet has been shown to reduce blood cholesterol, which is beneficial for heart health.
Cholesterol lowering foods such as oats can be beneficial as part of a healthy balanced diet and add taste and texture to baking
Use skimmed or semi skimmed rather than full fat milk.
Use light cream cheese or quark for buttercream cake icing.

5. Use alternative sugars for baking

Try substituting sugar for a sweetener such as Stevia.
For fruit cakes and darker cakes, try using 1/2 golden caster sugar and 1/2 light muscovado sugar. This muscovado sugar will give more flavour, meaning that you can use a little less

6. Make easy baking ingredient swaps

Use fat-free yoghurt instead of cream or crème fraiche.
Use cocoa nibs instead of chocolate chips. These have a stronger flavour and provide antioxidant benefits.
Try evaporated skimmed milk instead of cream – whilst there is slightly more sugar in evaporated skimmed milk, the fat content is significantly less.
Make glace icing rather than butter cream for cake toppings – it’s a simple mix of icing sugar, water and vanilla flavouring.
7. Add seeds when baking bread
Adding seeds such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds or sesame seeds to your homemade bread increases the fibre content as well as adding vitamins and giving a more interesting texture and flavour.

Tip: After your dough has been kneaded for 8 to 10 minutes, add 50g seeds per 500g of flour. Knead these in until the dough has an even texture and then prove.

8. Watch the salt content when baking bread
Making your own bread means that you can also monitor how much salt goes into it. Our bread recipes include 7g per 500g flour, which falls within the UK Government’s current salt targets.

9. Add herbs and spices to your baking
When making crumbles and fruit pies, use spices to enhance the natural sweetness of the cooked fruit. Fruits such as apples and pears work well with spices like cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg and chocolate and chilli is a fabulous combination.

10. And finally…don’t be afraid to experiment!
Eating healthily doesn’t have to be boring! Nor does it have to be difficult and we think you may well be pleasantly surprised by how good your healthier bakes taste! Simple swops like Golden Wholegrain flour for traditional white flour , rapeseed oil for butter or adding ingredients like oats or beetroot to your baking, don’t just make nutritional good sense, they can also enhance the taste and texture of your cakes, bread, buns and biscuits!