Are you a Baking fan?
You'll be happy to know that you need to give up your favourite hobby. Here are tips for some healthy substitutes for common baking ingredients
Sugar substitute Unsweetened Pureed Apple
Best with: Cakes and baked goods.
How to: Cut the sugar amount in half by adding the same amount of pureed cooked apple plus an extra 1/3. Eg. If recipe calls for 1 cup sugar, you can use ½ cup sugar and about ¾ Cup pureed apple (½ cup +1/3). Keep in mind that you will need to cut down the recipe’s main liquid by about ¼ for every cup of apple sauce added.
Sugar substitute Vanilla Extract
Best with: Cakes, cookies, muffins and breads.
How to: Sugar equals calories and then some more calories. Replacing sugar with vanilla extract will cut down on total calories and add great flavour. Cut the sugar amount in half by adding 1 tsp vanilla extract. E.g. If a recipe call for 1 cup sugar, use ½ cup sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract.
Sugar substitute Xylitol / Stevia
Best with: Cakes, cookies, desserts, muffins and breads.
How to: An artificial sweetener equals no calories and still makes food taste great. Replace as a 1 to ½ ratio. Eg. If recipe call for 1cup of sugar replace it with ½ cup of xylitol. However this amount may change according to your taste buds and all recipes are different. So keep trying out your favourite recipe to get the correct ‘sweetness’ in the dish.
Butter substitute Mashed Avocado
Best with: Cakes and cookies. With cakes reduce oven temperature by 25% and increase baking time.
How to: Not only are avocados loaded with essential vitamins and minerals but they are a source of healthy fats. Using avo instead of butter will definitely reduce the total calories and fat. Replace as a 1 to 1 ratio. Eg. If recipe call for 1cup of butter replace it with 1cup of mashed avo. Keep in mind that dough / batter may have a slight green tinge to it.
Butter substitute Mashed Banana
Best with: Cakes, cookies, muffins and bread. Cooking time should decrease by 25%.
How to: Banana instead of butter will definitely result in a nice rich and dense texture to any baked good. Replace as a 1 to 1 ratio. Eg. If recipe call for 1cup of butter replace it with 1cup of mashed banana.
Cream substitute Evaporated Milk
Best with: Baked goods and dishes, whipped cream, dessert beverages
How to: Replacing the cream in a dish will always result in lowering the fat and calorie density of the dish. Replace as a 1 to 1 ratio. Eg. If recipe call for ½ cup of cream replace it with ½ cup evaporated milk.
Chocolate chip substitute Cacao bits (raw chocolate)
Best with: Any recipe that calls for choc chips
How to: Cacao bits contain no sugar and very little fat, and tastes just like chocolate. Replace as a 1 to 1 ratio. Eg. If recipe call for ½ cup of choc chips replace it with ½ cup of cacao bits.
Oil substitute Greek Yoghurt (Plain)
Best with: Cakes, cookies and bread
How to: Making recipes super moist and cutting out a lot of fat is not a bad idea at all. Cut the total amount of oil by half and add yoghurt. Eg. If the recipe calls for 2 cups of oil replace it with 1 cup oil and ¾ cup yoghurt.
Lila Bruk is a registered dietician, nutritional consultant and freelance health journalist.
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