We all know dessert is the best part of a meal, but the guilt that comes with it is not nearly as delicious. It's okay to indulge sometimes, but with these healthy baking alternatives you can make your baking recipes a little healthier, and happily eat as much as you want.

Black Bean Brownies

Brownies are one of my favorite desserts, but unfortunately they're loaded with grease and sugar. The simple fix? Ditch the flour and use black beans to make deliciously moist brownies guilt free! Try this protein packed recipe next time you're craving brownies, and have as many as you can handle. Make sure the beans are drained before you puree (or use a blender) them, and see if your friends can tell a difference!

cereal, coffee, black beans, beans, vegetable, azuki bean, pasture, legume, kidney bean
Zoe Malin

Bananas in Place of Butter or Oil

It's pretty well known that butter is one of the most unhealthy ingredients commonly used in baking. Now, this is a tricky substitution, and may take some trial and error. Start by replacing half the fat in your recipe with mashed bananas. This healthy baking alternative will also allow you to reduce the amount of sugar and eggs used in the recipe. Keep in mind you'll need to decrease the amount of liquid you use. If you completely replace the fat with butter, you should also reduce the amount of eggs by half, or use only egg whites instead. Add small amounts of mashed banana until you get the right consistency. Try this with banana bread for an even healthier version of the delicious bread.

banana, apple, sweet, juice
Jocelyn Hsu

Applesauce for Sugar

Applesauce is a sweet and healthy baking alternative to use in place of sugar. It may seem contradictory, but you should use unsweetened applesauce since apples already contain natural sugars. You can replace the sugar with applesauce in your recipe in a 1:1 ratio. You'll also need to reduce the amount of liquid used to ensure the consistency stays similar to the original recipe. Try this trick with chocolate chip cookies for the softest cookies you've ever had! Once you make the switch, you may never go back.

apple, juice, sweet
Kristine Mahan

Almond Milk

Almond milk can easily be substituted for milk in a 1:1 ratio. From cereal to your favorite recipe, this is an easy switch to make. Almond milk provides many great health benefits and has way less sugar than cow's milk, not to mention how much more sustainable it is. Almond milk comes in especially handy if you're lactose intolerant, like 65% of the population. Be sure to use an unflavored version so your recipe doesn't come out with an extra hint of chocolate or vanilla, and don't forget to make sure your taste testers aren't allergic to almonds!

nut, almond, meat, walnut
Torey Walsh

Baking can be so much fun and the results are SO delicious, but that doesn't mean you should feel guilty about it. With these healthy baking alternatives, you can indulge as much as you want and even feel good about it! You'll hardly notice these small changes and the final product will taste just as delicious.