Healthy Baking

Eating a healthy diet doesn’t mean you have to stop eating the food you love.

Here are some tips and hints from Red Cross’ Food Security Programs Team on how you can still have your cake and eat it too!

Red Cross works with a wide variety of communities with people experiencing hardship and have limited access to healthy food. Our nutrition and food security programs give people greater opportunities to improve their own and their families' health.

Modifying recipes

There are a lot of ways to modify recipes to make them healthier while keeping them tasty.
Many recipes call for more fat, sugar and salt than is needed for good flavour and a good quality result.

Try some of these healthy variations in your next bake:

  • use ½ wholemeal and ½ white flour to increase the fibre content
  • add chopped or grated vegetables or fruit to pikelets, pancakes, scones and muffins to increase vitamins and minerals
  • add nuts and seeds to add texture and crunch to your baking – you won’t need much

Swap out the fat and sugar:

  • swap butter for margarine or oil
  • swap sugar for fruit puree
  • swap full cream milk for skim or low fat milk
  • swap cream for natural yoghurt
  • swap some of the flour in a recipe for oat bran, fine polenta, or oats

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Portion control:

  • use mini muffin tins
  • split cake mixture between two smaller tins
  • match the cake tin size to the number of serves you want – this way you won’t be left with too much temptation at the end of your cake bake

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How to make natural sweetener:

To make a natural sweetener to substitute sugar in a recipe, just simmer apples or pears in a little water until soft, then puree.

Apple puree can be substituted in a ratio of 1:1 for sugar i.e. 1 cup of apple puree can be used to replace 1 cup of sugar. However, you will need to reduce the liquid in the recipe by ¼. For example if a recipe calls for 1 cup (250 mL) of milk, only add ¾ cup (190 mL) of milk.

Baking FAQ's

Are your cakes always cracked on top or mysteriously sink? Never again! Try out these tips from our Food Security experts!

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Baking Tips

Research shows that Australians throw away up to 20% of the food they purchase. Food waste doesn’t just effect the environment but also hurts the hip pocket. Here are some tips to help reduce food waste when baking.

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Our Red Cross Food Security Programs Team

Red Cross runs a number of food security and food literacy programs across the country, like the FoodREDi program (which runs everywhere except for QLD).

FoodREDi is an education program designed to teach people how to get value for money and achieve a balanced diet in a relaxed atmosphere.

Our FoodREDi program is delivered by staff and volunteers over four to eight free sessions, and is holistic, multifaceted and community focused. The program can be adapted to address the specific needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities, migrants, refugees, prisoners, the elderly, people with mental illness and young people. 

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In 2004, the team started delivering food literacy programs when Red Cross’ work with families and new mothers revealed food insecurity and a need for nutrition education.

The team deliver Red Cross’ FoodREDi programs to groups, individuals, children and families to achieve positive outcomes in improving knowledge of food safety, healthy eating, the benefits of physical exercise, budgeting and label reading. The team encourages people to make healthier lifestyle choices, even if it means starting small like swapping ice cream for low-fat yoghurt or sugary cereals for porridge topped with fruit.

When it comes to baking, the team knows that cakes are a treat to be enjoyed on special occasions and are always trying out healthier recipes using oats or bran for extra fibre, fruit instead of icing and cutting smaller slices!