Make Holiday Recipies More Healthy

Baked goods are symbolic of happy times with friends and family, especially around the holidays. Making substitutions to some of your favorite recipes will not only make your baked good a show stopper and the rave of the party, but also be friendly to the waist line. Try some of these substitutions to make even the sweetest treat, packed full of nutrients:
Whole Wheat Flour: First step with whole wheat flour is to get it in your cupboard – from there the possibilities are endless. Start with substituting 1/3 or a ½ of the white flour that the recipe calls for with whole wheat flour. As you get used to the taste and texture continue to increase the ratio of whole wheat flour to white flour.
Applesauce: Use as an equal substitution for fat in a recipe. For example, if the recipe calls for 1 cup of vegetable oil, add 1 cup of applesauce instead. Purchase ‘no sugar added’ applesauce, or make your own applesauce without any added sugar. Fruit has enough natural sweetness and does not need anything added to it (except for maybe some cinnamon and nutmeg).
Pumpkin: Use pumpkin as a substitute for fat, much like you would use applesauce. In most recipes there will be a ‘pumpkin’ taste so make sure you think about how the tastes will meld before substituting it for the fat in a recipe. See below for an easy recipe to try to start using pumpkin with baking.
Black Beans…yes, I said black beans! Black beans can be substituted for either the fat or the flour in a recipe. Google ‘black bean brownies’ to get ideas for how you can incorporate beans into some of your favorite recipes. Black beans not only are a great source of protein but also include many beneficial nutrients like folic acid, magnesium, phosphorus and iron.

Pumpkin Muffin Recipe


  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 12 cup muffin pan or line with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves until smooth. Spoon equal amounts of batter into the prepared muffin cups.
  3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted in the center of one comes out clean.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 199 | Total Fat: 5.2g | Cholesterol: < 1mg | Total Carbs: 36.8 g | Fiber 1.6 g
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Brenda Nurmela, RD, CD-Dietician, Oneida County Health Department

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Categorized as Blog - Nutrition

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