Better-For-You Baking Substitutions
(Family Features) Watching what you eat doesn’t have to mean saying goodbye to all your favorite foods. With some simple substitutions you can enjoy healthier versions of the baked dishes and desserts you crave.
Switching out some of the less nutritious ingredients in indulgent treats, such as sugar and saturated fat, is an easy way to feel a little less guilty for taking an extra bite – or two.
Modify your recipes with these better-for-you substitutions to trim calories without sacrificing flavor:
- Replace dairy products, such milk and evaporated milk, with fat-free or skim versions and cream with half-and-half or evaporated skim milk.
- Instead of a whole egg, use two egg whites.
- Cream cheese can be replaced with fat-free or low-fat varieties, or you can puree low-fat cottage cheese instead.
- Halve the amount of fats such as butter, margarine, shortening or oil and make up the difference with applesauce. Not a fan of applesauce? For darker baked goods like cakes or brownies, you can blend 3/4 cup prunes with 1/4 boiling water in place of each cup of butter, or try a cup of mashed banana in place of a cup of butter.
- To grease pans and prevent sticking, use cooking spray in place of butter or oil.
- Reduce the recommended amount of sugar by half, and add a touch of vanilla, nutmeg or cinnamon for a calorie-free flavor boost.
- In place of frosting, use marshmallow fluff or meringue.
You may need to experiment a little to get the taste and texture just right, but these little changes will go a long way to make enjoying decadent desserts pure pleasure without the guilt.