Upgrade Your Holiday Recipes with These Easy Baking Swaps

Nana’s gingerbread recipe, your favorite apron (the one with the snowflakes) and a pack of parties on deck. You—and your kitchen—are ready for the holiday season. But when it comes to those family recipes, why not upgrade them to fit your eating habits, whether that means gluten-free, all-organic, vegan, or just a tiny bit better for you?

That’s where Kroger’s Simple Truth brand comes in. They make it easy and affordable to shop for smart swaps that’ll give your holiday recipes an added nutritional benefit without sacrificing on taste. Plus, you can feel good knowing that all Simple Truth products are free from over 101 unwanted ingredients (no artificial colors, flavors, ingredients or preservatives) and are non-GMO, USDA organic and fair trade. Check out some of our favorite baking swaps below. We have a feeling you’ll be using them long after the holidays are over.

Simple Truth flour alternatives 1
Simple Truth/Getty Images

1. Instead of flour, use…

Alternative flour power! Wheat flour is a staple in baking, but there are plenty of other swaps for equally tasty—and entirely gluten-free—treats. Try Simple Truth Organic™ Gluten Free Cassava Flour, which is made from the whole root of the yuca plant with a wheat-like taste and texture. Vegan Simple Truth Organic™ Chickpea Flour boasts a slightly nutty flavor and acts as a thickener for both sweet and savory batters. Simple Truth Organic™ Gluten-Free Coconut Flour is also vegan and made from high-fiber defatted coconut meat, while Simple Truth™ Finely Ground Almond Meal/Flour has a rich, buttery flavor and contains only 3 grams of carbs per serving.

Simple Truth sugar substitute
Simple Truth/Getty Images

2. Instead of sugar, use…

You may not have heard of erythritol before but trust us: There’s nothing complicated about this sugar substitute. In fact, it doesn’t cause side effects and tastes almost exactly like sugar—without the calories. And with zero grams net carbs per serving, Simple Truth™ Erythritol Blend Zero Calorie Sugar Substitute is also keto friendly.

Simple Truth butter substitutes
Simple Truth/Getty Images

3. Instead of butter, use…

Whether you’re spreading it on freshly baked bread or whipping up a batch of sugar cookies, butter is a baker’s best friend. For a smart swap, however, consider ghee. Simple Truth Organic™ Ghee Clarified Butter is a staple of Indian cuisine that’s also lactose-free, making it better than regular butter if you have allergies or sensitivities to dairy products. For an entirely dairy-free option, Simple Truth has you covered with their Organic™ Dairy Free Salted Butter, a plant-based, gluten-free and vegan butter substitute spread.

Simple Truth syrup alternatives
Simple Truth/Getty Images

4. Instead of syrup, use…

There’s nothing like waking up to the smell of waffles and pancakes. Make sure your family’s go-to maple syrup is free from any artificial preservatives or ingredients, like the Organic™ Grade A Dark Color Robust Maple Syrup from Simple Truth. You can also swap out regular sweetener in your seasonal baking or beverage recipes Simple Truth Organic™ Blue Agave Light Golden Syrup, a natural organic sweetener made from the blue agave plant. Psst: Agave is also 25 percent sweeter than sugar, so you can use even less. Don’t forget Simple Truth™ Vegan Honee, an entirely bee-free, better-for-you sweetener made from agave nectar, brewed chamomile tea, cane sugar, apple juice and certified gluten-free beer. Yum.

Simple Truth oil alternatives
Simple Truth/Getty Images

5. Instead of canola oil, use…

Sure, olive oil is already a regular in your rotation, but there are other alternatives that are equally as smart. Simple Truth™ Avocado Oil Cooking Spray is heart healthy, vegan, gluten-free and contains vitamin E, important for eye and skin health. The spray top makes it easy to apply on all your pans and baking dishes. For something with a rich, nutty flavor, try Simple Truth Organic™ Hemp Seed Oil, which is high in omega-3s. Drizzle it over dishes or blend into vinaigrettes and sauces for a finishing touch.

Simple Truth nutritional yeast
Simple Truth/Getty Images

6. Instead of cheese, use…

Simple Truth refers to their Nutritional Yeast as “the secret ingredient” and we can taste why. Just a sprinkle of the stuff adds a hit of savory, cheese-like flavor. The best part? It’s entirely vegan and gluten-free, not to mention a great source of vitamin B12 and niacin. Try it on popcorn, pasta, casseroles, roasted veggies or any of your favorite seasonal recipes.

Simple Truth flaxseed
Simple Truth/Getty Images

7. Instead of cornmeal, use…

Made from whole ground flaxseeds, Simple Truth™ Whole Ground Flaxseed Meal is easily digested, contains 2400 mg of omega-3 fatty acids, is a good source of fiber and gluten-free. The nutty flavor tastes great in hot or cold cereal or added to your favorite baked goods for an extra beneficial boost.

Simple Truth xanthan gum
Simple Truth/Getty Images

8. Instead of cornstarch, use…

Simple Truth™ Xanthan Gum is a great vegan-friendly additive for thickening—helping to mix liquids that normally don't mix together well and to thicken the viscosity of both liquids and batters. Gluten-free folks, listen up: It’s especially great for baking in order to give your goods the properties, like "doughy" elasticity and rise, they tend to miss without the gluten.

Simple Truth egg replacer
Simple Truth/Getty Images

9. Instead of eggs, use…

Made from two plant-based ingredients, Simple Truth Organic™ Plant Based Egg Replacer is the vegan fix for your baking needs. It’s sodium and cholesterol-free and the perfect swap for eggs in any recipe where they’re used as a binder—aka every cookie, cake or pastry you have planned for the holidays. 

Simple Truth milk alternatives
Simple Truth/Getty Images

10. Instead of milk, use…

Alternative milks aren’t so alternative these days. (Just ask any barista.) But why not try it in your baking as well as in your coffee? Both Simple Truth™ Unsweetened Almond Milk and Simple Truth™ Coconut Milk will give your goods a lactose- and soy-free creaminess that contains just 60 calories per serving.

IMG 3261

Senior Editor, Branded Content

Kelsey is a New York City-based writer, copy editor and Senior Editor of Branded Content at PureWow. She has over a decade of digital media experience covering travel, music...