Eating a paleo diet is challenging, especially for people who love baked goods. The common assumption is that baked foods are off-limits because you cannot eat refined sugar, flour, milk, oil, or butter on a paleo diet. However, the assumption is not exactly true. While traditional or conventional sugar, flour, dairy, and oil are technically a no-go on the paleo diet, there are alternatives to each ingredient, making baking possible.
In most baked goods, sugar is a critical ingredient. It is responsible for creating the sweetness of a dessert. Unfortunately, refined sugars are typically off-limits with paleo diets, meaning this critical ingredient is on the naughty list.
However, despite the restriction, there are still plenty of sweet options you can use instead of refined products. Organic honey is one of the most popular sugar alternatives.
Honey is an excellent option because it was likely a part of ancient diets and helps reduce blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels. It is still necessary to limit your use of honey because of the high concentration of fructose.
Other sugar replacements include stevia and raw maple syrup. Both ingredients come from stable resources and have been in use for centuries.
Flour is present in almost every baked good recipe. It is foundational to cakes, muffins, cookies, etc. The wheat flour you find at grocery stores is typically heavily processed.
Thankfully, as people move toward eating healthier, more paleo-friendly alternatives are available. You can find various coconut, almond, and tapioca flours in small specialty grocers, but larger organizations are making such products more available.
Because it is usually highly processed and contains significant levels of carbs, milk and dairy are rarely permitted on a paleo diet plan. Despite the restriction, some paleo dieters make exceptions for the occasional dessert.
Thankfully, you do not need to compromise. Nowadays, there are several options for nut milk that work well in desserts and baked goods. Two of the most popular varieties include almond milk and coconut milk. The option that suits your need will depend on the recipe and your preference.
The best oil substitutes to use are either coconut oil or ghee. Coconut oil is the most readily available of the two options and provides a similar texture and consistency to more conventional oil options, like vegetable oil and other seed oils.
Ghee has more in common with butter and can be used as an alternative for it. In its simplest definition, ghee is clarified butter. As with butter, you can add the ingredient to a pan before cooking.
If you opt for a pre-made, store-bought Ghee, look for organic or grass-fed options. One of the best options for store-bought ghee comes from the brand OMghee.
Paleo is not the easiest diet to master or commit to, but that is usually because people do not understand how to swap ingredients. When swapping ingredients, it is still possible to enjoy a complex diet full of premium entrees and sweet desserts. Success on paleo is about understanding ingredients and the various options available.
What is one thing interesting you have learned about paleo or eating healthy in general? Comment below.