With healthier baking practices, seniors can enjoy their favorite sweet treats and still meet their nutritional goals. Here are seven of our dietitians’ tricks for making tasty baked indulgences that are suitable for senior menus.
Reduce the Sugar
Many baked treats can be just as sweet with less sugar. Often, you can cut the amount of sugar in a recipe by up to one-third without sacrificing flavor. Or, you can try substituting some of the sugar with pureed fruit.
Replace Solid Fats
Speaking of pureed fruit, mashed bananas, applesauce or canned pumpkin can be used to replace up to half of the butter, shortening or oil in most baking recipes. Fat-free sour cream and low-fat yogurt are other smart substitutions for solid fats.
Reduce White Flour
When making baked goods for dietitian-approved menus, reduce the amount of white flour in the recipes. In most sweet treats, you can replace up to one-half of the white flour with whole wheat flour without affecting taste or texture.
Use Healthier Dairy Products
Rather than using full-fat dairy in your baking recipes, try using low-fat milk, buttermilk and cream cheese. For the best results, be careful not to overmix because, with less fat, baked goods can become dry and tough if the batter is overmixed.
Use an Egg Substitute
For healthier baked desserts, pastries and sweet breads, you can swap out the eggs in your recipes for an egg substitute. Commercial egg substitutes work well in baked goods and, in some senior recipes, ¼ cup of applesauce or mashed banana can be used to replace an egg.
Add Nutrient Dense Ingredients
To boost the nutrition in recipes for seniors, dietitian-approved menus often add extra healthy ingredients. Raisins, dates, dried cranberries, berries and apples are a natural fit for healthier baking recipes. With some baked treats, you can also add zucchini, avocado or spinach.
Skip the Frosting
Frosting is essentially sugar and fat, so it should be used sparingly in any senior recipes. Instead, try topping baked goods with a light dusting of powdered sugar, cocoa powder, fresh berries or sliced fruit. When frosting is a must, make a healthier version using nut butter or Greek yogurt.
Finding healthy and delicious baked goods recipes for dietitian-approved menus doesn’t have to be a challenge for your senior care center. The Grove Menus meal planning software system is an excellent source of tasty, health-conscious recipe ideas for seniors.
Our cost-effective suite of user-friendly food menu program tools is designed to meet the dietary needs of older adults and make meal planning easier. For a free, no-pressure demonstration of the Grove Menus software system and a look at our dietitian-approved menus for seniors, contact us today.