Baking is a science, but who says you can’t have a little fun with your experiment? Here are some simple ingredient swaps that won’t sacrifice any flavor and will save you hundreds of calories.
Unsweetened Apple Sauce for Oil
Despite the fact that it is unsweetened, apple sauce will sweeten your recipe while reducing the fat content. If your recipe calls for oil, start by using half of the oil recommended and replacing the other half with apple sauce. If the recipe calls for 1/2 cup of oil, use 1/4 cup oil and 1/4 cup apple sauce. If the texture of your recipe came out okay, try swapping out a little more the next time. This simple swap will save you many calories and fat! A half cup of oil is 960 calories and 112 grams of fat, while a half cup of unsweetened apple sauce is 50 calories and 0.1 grams of fat.
Mashed Banana for Butter
Although the idea of mashed bananas may bring you back to your playground days, they help add a lot of moisture and flavor to your baking. Say hello to more flavor and wave goodbye to a boatload of fat. One cup of butter tips the scale at 1627 calories and 184 grams of fat. A cup of mashed bananas has only 200 calories and 0.7 grams of fat. The substitution ratio for bananas to butter is 1:1, so if a recipe calls for one cup of butter, replace it with one cup of mashed bananas. Some recipes work better than others, so experiment away and enjoy all of the added potassium, fiber and vitamin B6 bananas bring to the table.
Whole Wheat Flour for White Flour
Whole wheat flour is more nutritious than white flour because it includes the outer shell of grain, which contains more fiber. A diet high in fiber may lower your risk of heart disease by 40% and lowers your risk of diabetes. If you plan on adding more whole grains to your recipe, replace every cup of white flour with 7/8 cup of whole wheat flour. Have you tried this swap before and not enjoyed it? There are many lighter whole wheat options on the market. Try whole wheat pastry flour, which won’t weigh your recipes down.
Unsweetened Almond Milk for Cow’s Milk
Almond milk won’t work in a dairy heavy dish (pudding, whipped cream, etc.) but it can cut down on the fat and sugar content of most recipes. If you substitute 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk for 1 cup whole milk, you’ll save yourself 110 calories, 12 grams of sugar, and 5.5 grams of fat. Almond milk is available at most grocery stores and comes in a variety of flavors. Vanilla or original would be the best for baking, and steer clear of the sweetened versions. Sweetened almond milk still has fewer calories than cows milk, but almost all of the sugar with none of the benefits of milk’s protein.
Egg Whites for Whole Eggs
Don’t get us wrong, you shouldn’t be afraid to eat whole eggs, but substituting them for egg whites in a recipe is a good call. For each whole egg the recipe calls for, swap it out for two egg whites. Two egg whites are only 34 calories, .2 grams fat, and 0 milligrams of cholesterol. One egg, on the other hand, is 70 calories, 5 grams of fat, and 187 milligrams of cholesterol. This swap would be perfect if you plan on making a boxed cake mix or brownies.