Me Only Better


If you are watching your weight, chances are that baking is something you avoid.  Loaded with sugar, fat, and excess calories, baked goods are usually on the no-no list.  But baking adds a wonderful element to our eating repertoire and swapping in the foods listed below can help put baked goods back on your yes-yes list!  🙂

Whole Wheat Flour

Just about every baked good out there has flour on the ingredient list and subbing in whole wheat flour instead is a no-brainer.  Whole wheat flour adds a whole bunch more fiber to your baked goods as well as added vital nutrients, like potassium and magnesium.  There will be a slight taste difference in your baked goods but the health differential more than makes up for it!

SWAP: Use slightly less whole wheat flour than the amount of white flour called for in the recipe.


The creamy sweetness of an avocado makes it the perfect substitute for butter or oil.  Try it out in chocolate or dark colored baked goods and get the benefit of all that monounsaturated fat (the “good” fat).

SWAP: Use the same amount of avocado as butter/oil called for in the recipe.

Black Beans

Surprisingly black beans are a perfect substitute for flour in brownies of chocolate baked goods.  Not only do they provide a delicious chewy texture, but they also add protein, reduce calories, and make your dessert gluten-free.

SWAP: Use the same amount of pureed black beans as flour called for in the recipe.

Unsweetened Applesauce

Unsweetened applesauce can replace sugar or oil in just about any recipe, including most boxed mixes.  Using applesauce significantly cuts down on the calories, fat, and sugar, while still maintaining the sweetness and texture you want.

SWAP:  Use the same amount of applesauce as sugar or oil called for in the recipe, but cut a little liquid somewhere else in the recipe.

Vanilla Extract

Vanilla helps bring out the sweetness in sugar which allows you to use significantly less sugar in your recipe and ultimately reduce the overall calories in your baked goods.

SWAP: Cut the sugar required in half and add 1/4 of that amount of vanilla extract instead.


Mashed bananas are a delicious and healthy replacement for butter or oil in most recipes.  Plus they load up your baked goods with potassium and fiber.   On occasion they can even sub for flour, like in these 2-ingredient pancakes:  Simple Pancakes.

SWAP:  Use the same amount of banana as butter or oil called for in the recipe, but cut a little liquid somewhere else in the recipe.

Evaporated Skim Milk

Evaporated skim milk easily replaces cream in many baked goods recipes while dramatically decreasing the fat content.  Keep it cold for the best outcome.

SWAP:  Use the same amount of evaporated skim milk as cream called for in the recipe.

Chia Seeds

This one may be a bit surprising but chia seeds are actually a great option to replace eggs in a recipe that needs to be vegan.  While eggs are a healthy addition to baked goods, chia seeds also add omega 3’s and fiber.  To use chia seeds, simply soak them in water for 10 minutes.

SWAP: Use 1 tablespoon of dry chia seed to replace one egg.

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Dr. Candice Seti


California-licensed Clinical Psychologist, Certified Nutrition Coach, and Certified Personal Trainer

Dr. Candice Seti

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