December 2, 2012

Have Your Cake And Eat It Too

Okay, I admit I never quite got this cliché (I mean really, if I have my cake why can’t I eat it?), but the reverse seems appropriate for this time of year.  Defend yourself against the onslaught of fattening goodies by making a healthier version yourself.  Volunteer to bring it to a party or dinner, so you CAN have cake and eat it too.
Most baked goods can be made with fewer calories and less fat with little change in flavor:

  • Substitute unsweetened applesauce for an equal amount of butter or oil in muffins, quick breads and cakes.  (This does not work in cookies or pies).  Experiment with switching out up to 75%, the texture may be a bit denser, but the flavor will not change. 
  • Use skim milk instead of whole; this is another switch that will pass unnoticed.
  • Try using less sugar or one of the sugar blends.  Most baked goods can handle a reduction in sweetness.
  • Substitute two egg whites for one egg, you will save fat and calories.
  • Brownies are an easy place to hide healthy ingredients.  You can blend in pureed white or black beans in place of up to half the shortening.  Try an equal amount of pureed silken tofu to replace half the oil without shortchanging the flavor. 
Of course, you do not want to incorporate all these changes at once, but each of them can make treats a little healthier, while leaving the deliciousness.  Just don’t make the mistake of advertising your ingredients in advance: Wait until everyone has complimented your black bean brownies, then you can let them know the secret ingredient.

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