Let’s start this Friday with a huge dose of gratitude and a side of Shout Out – You, my Reader-friends, are awesome. Thank you so much for all the love and “Congrats” yesterday!!
Since Fitness magazine can only include so much in a short Q&A, I’m here to share more tips with you – Baking Substitutions, Fruit (or Vegetable) for Fat!
Beginning with options, where should you look? Any pureed fruit or vegetable will moisten your cake (or muffin) and essentially replace the need for fat (oil, butter, Crisco, etc). Most people assume applesauce is the go-to, but it’s just one of your choices. Pureed pumpkin, squash, tomato, (mashed) banana, etc – they would all work! They would obviously contribute some of their own flavor, so that where a personal preference comes in. In my opinion, mashed bananas & applesauce offer a more neutral taste.
As the Fitness article mentioned, the substitution isn’t always a 1:1 ratio. “Use one-half cup of applesauce, or other fruit puree, in place of one cup of butter or oil…”
While there are differing opinions, I’ve always gone with the 1/2 cup-rule (to replace 1 c fat), and then added additional puree if necessary (i.e. if the dough seems too dry). Fruit or vegetable purees contain water, so using too much will alter the texture.
All of this being said, there is an exception – Cookies. Again, this is personal opinion and personal kitchen failures. I’ve yet to bake a cookie I truly loved without any fat.; some things just shouldn’t be messed with.
Low-fat (or no-fat) cookies generally have a cake-like texture; less crisp & less spread.
That’s not to say you can’t make them a little bit healthier than the store-bought Oreo or Chip’s Ahoy chewy disc. Here are the differences between the main fat sources:
Margarine: Made from vegetable fat
Butter: Made from animal fat
Crisco: Made from liquid plant oil, turned solid (i.e. not natural)
Oils: Generally made from one source (i.e. Olive, Sunflower, Coconut, etc). Vegetable oil is a mix of vegetable and nut/seed sources.
You’ll never see a can of Crisco in my kitchen. I would recommend going with Oils – avoiding butter, Crisco & margarine – to provide more mono/poly-unsaturated fats. You can also decrease fat and calories in cookies or cakes/muffins, by using egg whites (in place of a full egg) and non-fat yogurt.
It comes down to your preferences and practices! These are tips to help you adjust your recipes to suit your taste buds, and help you create healthier treats.
Feel free to add some of your healthy-baking tips, experiences, opinions or questions!