Cutting back on fat in baked foods may help out if you want to consume fewer calories. But according to Jananne Finck, University of Illinois Extension nutrition and wellness educator, lowering the fat and still having a tasty product can be a challenge. Here's how to do it without compromising quality.
Step 1: Swap the milk
One easy way to lower fat in recipes calling for milk is to use nonfat or lower fat milk products. This reduces fat, calories, and cholesterol (without adding additional fillers or carbs). But by using 1 cup skim milk in place of one cup whole milk, fat can be reduced by about 70 calories, 8 grams of fat and 28 milligrams of cholesterol.
Using evaporated skim milk in place of evaporated whole milk will save calories, fat and cholesterol, too.
Step 2: The fat to flour ratio
In some foods like gravies, sauces, puddings and cookies, the amount of fat usually may be reduced by one-third the amount. When lowering fat in cakes and quick breads, use at least 2 tablespoons fat per cup of flour for best results.
Step 3: Instead, add applesauce
For quick breads, unsweetened applesauce can be used in place of fats and oils. For the best flavor and texture, substitute half the amount of fat or oil it calls for with the applesauce. For example, if a recipe lists 1 cup of oil, use one-half cup oil and one-half cup applesauce.
Step 4: Substitute yogurt
Another tip for lowering fat is to use yogurt for part or all of the oil. When using a regular -- not lite or microwave -- brownie or cake mix, substitute 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt for the oil. When used in a cake mix, it makes an especially moist cupcake.
Step 5: Egg whites vs yellows
Using two egg whites in place of one whole egg can also lower fat in baked foods. This substitution lowers the calories from 80 in one egg to 32 for the two egg whites. Cholesterol is also lowered -- from about 215 milligrams to less than one milligram.
Step 6: Don't alter the altered
For best quality, it's not recommended to try to alter a recipe further if the recipe has already been lowered in fat, sugar and/or salt.
Step 7: Know that sometimes things change
Sometimes, when you alter a recipe to the healthier option, it doesn't taste good... and remember: taste is important!
When you first start to lower fat in foods, remember that the end result may not be the same as it was before. Some recipes, such as casseroles and soups, are more flexible than others.
While recipes for most baked products can be altered, and a cookie recipe is more adaptable than a cake recipe. Recipes for pickles, jellies, and most candies should not be changed.
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