Baking Light and Tasting Right : Reducing Butter, Egg and Sugar in Recipes


When you bake your old-time favorite recipes, you can look for substitute low-calorie ingredients and you will be quite surprised how the taste will still be delicious. You cannot just leave out high fat ingredients because it will certainly create a tasteless product. You have to be careful and precise in swapping one ingredient for another. Most of the calories in our bakery goods come from butter or oil, eggs and sugar. These ingredients help to keep your cookies moist, yummy and crispy.

When you bake your recipe that calls for butter, you can substitute half of the butter with the following fruit purees. Please do not swap all the butter with fruit puree because if you will, your cookie will have a cake-like texture, and your muffins will be dense.

Reducing Butter in Recipes

  • Unsweetened Applesauce. Unsweetened applesauce works well in most baked goods. It adds moistureand can cut the fat content in half. Replace half of the butter or oil withan equal amount of applesauce. Butter adds 1600 calories per cup andby using ½ cup applesauce, you are saving 800 calories of fat.A half cup of unsweetened applesauce is only 100 calories and no fat.

  • Pumpkin Puree. Pumpkin puree is another amazing ingredient that can de-fat spicedbreads, cakes or muffins and even pancakes and brownies. Again, just replace half the amount of butter with an equal amount of pumpkin. I tell my clients that in the winter months, the leftover puree is yummy when heated up and when added a hint of vanilla and cinnamon.

  • Prune Puree. Believe it or not, prune puree has a rich flavor and can blend well with chocolate and spices. To make the puree, all you have to do is buy jarred prunes in the baby food aisle or make your own by mixing 6 tablespoons of hot water with 8 oz. of prunes in a blender. Again, just replace prune puree with half the amount of butter the recipe calls for.

  • Egg Substitute

    Yes, another interesting food to use is Silken Tofu which has a creamy texture and can be whipped or pureed. For those of you who cannot have eggs, all you have to do is use ¼ cup tofu to replace 1 egg. Again, this can be used in all cakes, brownies and cookie recipes.

    Reducing Sugar in Recipes

    Sugar is important in recipes because it keeps the cookies moist, adds color and of course, enrich flavor. Sugar contains 775 calories per cup, and that’s way too much. That’s why when I bake a new cookie recipe, I always make sure to take half of the recipe and reduce the sugar by ¼ cup and then the other half of the recipe I reduce the sugar by ½ cup. Then I’ll have my family taste test and see if there is a noticeable difference. In all my pie recipes especially when the fruit is very sweet, I always cut the amount of sugar in half.

    I hope you now realize how cutting the fat and sugar content can save you many calories. Try these ideas with your favorite recipes and you can enjoy them more often with less guilt.

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