It cannot be denied that over the last few years, healthy living has become increasingly popular. This trend has pervaded all areas of our daily lives, and the largest factor that has been affected by this new way of thinking is the food that we eat.
There are currently large numbers of bakeries which make healthy cakes, but these cakes are not cheap. The ingredients they’re made of can be varied, depending on the style of the cake and ingredients – and how they are sourced. We shall now get to know more about the ingredients used in the making of these healthy cakes, so that you can make clear choices when buying a cake for yourself, or as a gift for others.
Ingredients that can be used instead of regular flour
Artificial butter or margarine substitutes
Artificial butter or margarine is produced by taking unsaturated vegetable oil and adding hydrogen gas into the oil molecules. This process produces trans fats which are a chemical responsible for conditions such as high blood fat levels, cardiovascular disease and strokes. Owing to the fact that these ingredients are cheap, many shops use them instead of authentic butter made from cow’s milk. However, while real butter has its own distinctive taste and scent, it is also more expensive and higher in calories. Nowadays, when making healthy cakes, many people seek to reduce the calorie content by replacing butter with fruits or other foods, such as peanut butter, banana, avocado, chia seeds or flax seeds.
Sugar is dangerously sweet. If consumed in large amounts, it can have the effect of thickening the blood to the point that it becomes syrup-like. Over-consumption of sugar can manifest itself in the form of an accumulation of triglyceride, which can then lead to the deterioration of blood vessels, collagen and elastin. Currently, shops selling healthy cakes are turning to stevia extract, as it sweetens the product but does not contain a single calorie. However, adding too much could cause a bitter taste, so the mixture may require the addition of a sweetener from coconut flower or apple syrup. Vanilla extract may also be used as a sweetener and to reduce the amount of sugar required.
Normally, we use eggs as an emulsifier to ensure the cake rises and retains its shape. If you wish to avoid using eggs or are allergic, use ground flaxseeds, banana or tofu.
Regarding other products that are used for decorative purposes, or if you wish to increase the nutritional value of the cakes, using flaxseeds, pistachios, almonds, dark chocolate, nut oils and various types of grains can all ensure the nutritional value of your cakes is increased.
Master of Science in Clinical and Public Health Nutrition (Distinction). UCL Division of Medicine, London. , 2016