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Fat Substitutes for Baking

This article was originally published on December 11, 2007 and expired on January 29, 2007. It is provided here for archival purposes and may contain dated information.

Cutting back on fat in baked foods may help those wanting to consume fewer calories. But according to Jananne Finck, Nutrition and Wellness Educator with University of Illinois Extension, Springfield Center, lowering the fat and still having a tasty product can be a challenge.

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. 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 also.

In some foods you prepare, like gravies, sauces, puddings and cookies, the amount of fat 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.

For quick breads, unsweetened applesauce can be used in place of fats and oils. For 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.

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.

Using two egg whites in place of one whole egg can also lower fat in baked foods. This can lower the calories from 80 (one egg) to 32 (two egg whites). Cholesterol is lowered from about 215 milligrams to less than one milligram.

When you first start to lower fat in foods, remember that the product may not be the same, but the health benefits will be worth it. For best quality, it's not recommended to try to alter a recipe further if it the recipe has already been altered to lower fat, sugar and/or salt. Sometimes we can alter a recipe to the point that while it's a healthier option, it doesn't taste good...and remember taste is important!

Moderate Fat Brownies

Makes 16 brownies

1/4 cup margarine

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 cup sugar

2 egg whites

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup flour

1/4 cup cocoa

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Spray a 9x9x2-inch baking pan with nonstick spray coating; set aside. In mixer bowl combine margarine, applesauce, sugar, egg whites, and vanilla. Stir in flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Stir in nuts. Spread in pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes.

Nutritional Analysis Per Brownie: 117 calories, 5 grams of fat, 34% of calories from fat, 13 milligrams cholesterol.

Source: Jananne Finck, Extension Educator, Nutrition and Wellness, finckj@illinois.edu

Pull date: January 29, 2007

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