Holiday Baking Swaps

By: Jacqueline Gomes, RDN, MBA  

It’s that time of year again – when the smell of sugar literally fills the air! Going light on some of your recipes can go a long way to help reduce unwanted calories and weight gain. Many recipes can tolerate a healthy renovation without affecting the taste or texture of the food.

  • Reduce the amount of fat, sugar and sodium: For baked goods, use half the butter, shortening or oil and replace the other half with unsweetened applesauce, mashed banana or prune puree.
  • Make a healthy substitution: Replace cream cheese with Greek yogurt or Blue Diamond Almond milk in place of whole milk.  
  • Add nutrition: Replace white flour with Bob’s Red Mill Almond flour. Almonds provide vitamin E, protein, fiber and monounsaturated fats. They are also naturally gluten free. 
  • Black beans for flour: Pureed black beans add protein and fiber, use them in place of white flour in brownie recipes. Use equal parts, 1 cup flour to 1 cup black beans. 
  • Change the portion size: No matter how much you reduce, switch or omit ingredients, some recipes may still be high in sugar, fat or salt. Smaller portions have less fat, calories and sodium and allow you to eat a wider variety of foods during a meal.


Almond Flour Cranberry Banana Bread

Almond Flour Cranberry Banana Bread

Prep: 15 minutes

Bake: 50-60 minutes

Makes: 12 Servings



  • 3 very ripe medium bananas, mashed
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened Blue Diamond almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups packed Bob’s Red Mill blanched fine almond flour
  • ½ cup oats
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries (or 2/3cup dried cranberries)



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray a loaf pan (8.5 x 4.5) with cooking spray, line with parchment paper and spray again.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together the bananas, eggs, almond milk and vanilla. Stir in almond flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda and salt until well combined. Gently stir in cranberries.
  4. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan, sprinkle with additional oats if desired.
  5. Bake for 50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Place pan on a wire rack to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing.


Note: Bread can stay at room temperature for up to 3 days, then refrigerate or freeze.

Recipe: Jacqueline Gomes, RDN, MBA