The beginning of the year probably started off with several resolutions that did not make it to the second week, but you still decided to focus on your body and get it to its best state. You changed your eating habits, started working out, stopped consuming any unhealthy substances and now you feel and look amazing. It all paid off. But the holiday season is back along with all the delicious, sugary and calorie filled treats that go with it. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be the odd one out, you can join in the celebrations and still maintain your healthy lifestyle.

Here are some healthy ingredient swaps that pack a load of flavor.

Whole Wheat Flour

Forget about white processed flour and stock your kitchen with this secret ingredient. Whole wheat flour contains the whole grain and is more fibrous. Nowadays grocery stores have whole wheat products available. This includes bread and pastas.

Greek Yogurt

Rather than sour cream, use this to flavor your food. It is naturally sour, versatile, helps the heart and the digestion system. All you need is plain low-fat yoghurt and lemon. Avoid flavored and fruit filled yoghurts because they have more sugar than your body needs.

Egg Whites

When you are baking or making any meal like an egg salad, two egg whites can be used in place of one egg. Losing the yolk in your food means that you cut down on cholesterol but still have the yummy flavor.

Skim Milk

If you’ve incorporated dairy products in your day to day life then don’t worry, you can still enjoy it using skim milk as the alternative. In recipes feel free to use it as a substitute for whole milk and heavy cream. If you want to go on extra mile then substitute all your dairy products with plant based ones like soy, rice and almond milk.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

This is the most “heart friendly” form of fat that can be used while cooking. It can be used in place of butter and a creamy salad dressing when topped with lemon, salt and pepper.

Healthy Recipe: Light German Chocolate Cake

Light German chocolate cake: You don’t have to say no to cake with this amazing recipe.

Ingredients

For the Cake

4 Ounces of Chocolate
1/2 Cup of Boiling Water
1 Cup of Greek Yogurt
2/3 Cup of Vegetable Oil
1 Tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Teaspoons of Pure Vanilla Extract
4 Egg Whites
3 1/4 Cups of Whole Wheat Flour
1 3/4 Cups of Sugar
1/4 Cup of Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/2 Teaspoon of Salt

For the Frosting

1/2 Cup of Pecans
1/2 Cup of Flaked Coconut
12 Ounces of Evaporated Milk (Fat-Free)
1/2 Cup of Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons of Cornstarch
2 Tablespoons of Butter
1/2 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
1/4 Teaspoon of Salt

Directions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Get a mixing bowl and add the chocolate, boiling water, Greek yogurt, vegetable oil, vinegar and vanilla. Whisk all of this together, and then proceed to add the egg whites and whisk until the mix is smooth and consistent.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Then add the chocolate mix from the other bowl and mix until it is all combined.
  4. Get two round cake pans (9 x 1 1/2) and coat the pans with non stick cooking spray. Pour the batter evenly into the two pans. Place the pans in the oven and cook for 30-35 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes and remove the cakes from the pans.
  5. Chop the pecans into smaller pieces, and then place on a baking sheet along with the flaked coconut. Bake until they come to a light brown crisp (10 minutes), and set to the side to cool.
  6. Get a small sauce pan and mix together the evaporated milk and cornstarch. Cook on the stove at a medium temperature while whisking for 3-4 minutes. Add in the sugar, butter, vanilla and salt and whisk together and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Pour the frosting into a bowl and mix in the pecans and coconut.
  7. Put on of the cakes on a plate and cover with the frosting. Place the second cake on top of the first, and proceeed to cover that cake as well.

This is a great example of a fun, healthy and extremely tasty treat for the Holidays. So, go ahead and try it out. Bake smart and still get that blissful chocolate happiness.