3 Easy Dessert Ingredient Swaps For A Healthier Treat


whole wheat flour hearts filled with seeds on a wooden surface

Whipping up healthy desserts through simple ingredient swaps may be easier than you think

You can make simple ingredient swaps to create healthy recipes that don’t sacrifice the taste and keep you on a healthier track.

To create healthy recipes using ingredient swaps, first look at what’s on hand in your own pantry. You may have healthier ingredients available and not realize it. If you don’t have the ingredients on hand to create healthier recipes, just make a shopping list for the next time you hit the store.

Use the below substitution guide to help reduce the amount of fat, salt, sugar and calories as you prepare healthy recipes.

Drop the Fat

Trade each tablespoon of butter in a recipe for half a tablespoon of avocado for a significant difference in calories and fat. 

  • 1 T Butter = 102 calories, 11.5grams of fat
  • 1/2 T Avocado = 12 calories, 1.1 grams of fat


Trade each tablespoon of butter one for one for silken tofu.

  • 8 Tablespoons of butter (1 stick) = 4oz = 813 calories, 92 grams of fat
  • 4oz of tofu = 69 calories, 4 grams of fat


Drop the Sugar

A quarter cup of pureed fruit can replace a half cup of sugar, that said, because fruit has a higher water content, you’ll also need to reduce the liquid in the recipe a bit, typically by a quarter cup.

  • ½ cup of sugar = 8 Tablespoons of sugar
  • ½ banana = 2 teaspoons of sugar


Increase the fiber

Opt for whole wheat flour instead of the processed and refined white flour.  Fiber is that lovely nutrient that keeps our digestive system working properly and also helps us stay full for longer – so we’re less likely to reach for seconds (or thirds). 

  • 1 cup of white flour = 3.4 grams of fiber
  • 1 cup of whole wheat flour = 12.8 grams of fiber


Swap some of the flour for black beans the next time you make brownies!  It sounds odd, but you’d never know the beans are in there.  This is an easy way to make a recipe gluten free, plus it’s a great way to increase the fiber and protein in your brownies. 

  • 1 cup of white flour = 3.4 grams of fiber
  • 1 cup of black beans = 16.6 grams of fiber


Rebecca Lewis

Rebecca Lewis

Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist & Nutrition Manager, HelloFresh

It is her mission to change the world by empowering people to take control of their health. Her passion lies in getting people back into the kitchen, reconnecting them with fresh foods, and rebuilding their confidence in having FUN with cooking.

When she thinks of cooking and eating, the image that immediately comes to mind is the comfortable and intimate nature of sharing a meal between friends and family.We are all busy in our daily lives, but taking a small portion of the day to slow down and focus on a basic need like food – sustains us more than just nutritionally. Food has the power to connect us to our bodies, our emotional drives, other people, and even nature itself.
Rebecca Lewis

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