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How to Bake Fat-Free (and Stay Delicious)

Updated on March 2, 2008
Cookies! (Photo by Crystal Woroniuk)
Cookies! (Photo by Crystal Woroniuk)

Substitutes are renowned for being tasteless or ruining the texture of baked goods. And who wants to eat a dry cookie that tastes like it hasn't got any sugar in it, anyway?

But it doesn't have to be like that! I grew up with my father baking for me with almost no fat, but I couldn't tell the difference between his carrot cakes and those of my favorite bakery.

Here are several tips I've gotten from him, as well as my findings in researching these tips around the rest of the internet; apparently my father is not the only one baking fat-free, delicious pastries!

Applesauce

Maybe you've heard of people using applesauce to replace something in recipes but were never exactly sure how to do it. Maybe you're skeptical about the usage of applesauce to replace traditional ingredients. Or maybe you've never even heard of its usage at all! Here's what applesauce is all about.

Applesauce is used to replace the fat in a recipe (butter, oil, or margerine). Obviously applesauce is going to be a lot better for you, especially your heart, because it doesn't have nearly the amount of saturated fat that butter does. In fact, applesauce is good for you! And if you do it right (that might take a little tweaking and a couple less-than-perfect batches), no one will be able to tell the difference.

Here's how to use applesauce in your baking:

  • You'll generally want to use unsweetened applesauce; after all, apples are naturally quite sweet, and the butter wouldn't sweeten the recipe anyway.
  • Measure applesauce in a one-to-one ratio to the ingredient you're replacing (for one tablespoon of butter, use one tablespoon of applesauce).
  • You might want to replace only half the fat in the recipe the first time; this will show you how the applesauce will behave when it's baked and reduce the risk of ruining the batch. As you're more experienced with it, raise the proportion of applesauce to butter until the butter's gone!

ExpertVillage Explains Applesauce Tips

Egg Beaters

Replacing the eggs in your baked recipes reduces unnecessary calories and harmful cholesterol. While some people use applesauce to replace eggs, I wouldn't recommend using it to replace your butter and your eggs; the structure of the recipe would be significantly changed.

Egg Beaters are made from real eggs but take out the yolk and then add some nutrients, including vitamins. This eliminates cholesterol and fat.

Instead, you can use Egg Beaters. Here's how:

  • In a recipe calling for one egg, you should use 1/4 cup of Egg Beaters.
  • Since they don't have the same proteins as regular eggs, watch baking carefully and follow the tips below. Be careful not to overbake.

Low Fat Baking Tips

Batter with a low fat content will be more likely to stick to the pan or baking sheet, so spray these liberally with a layer of canola or vegetable oil before placing the batter on them.

Be careful not to overbake your low-fat goods! The traditional "toothpick test" (sticking a toothpick or fork into the cake or bread, and if the batter doesn't stick to it, pastry is done) doesn't apply here. You actually will want to take your low-fat pastries and breads out of the oven when they're still a little moister than you would like because they dry out as they cool.

This means that a cake or bread with a slightly shiny top is ready to take out and cool if you can press lightly on the top and it springs back up. Cookies are done when the edges are browned even if the middle looks slightly undercooked; they'll be just right when they're cooled!

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Your Tips

If you have any fat-free tips for baking (or cooking in general), share them in a comment! I'd also love to hear your input if you've ever employed these tips and have ways to make them even better.

Then, get into your kitchen and bake something delicious. And don't forget to share!

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    • Trsmd profile image

      Trsmd 

      9 years ago from India

      I love Fat Free Baked Potato Toppings

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