Slightly Less Evil Shenanigans – The 10 in 10 Challenge Week 2

Welcome to Week 2 of the Ten in Ten Challenge!

Believe it or not, I really like food that is terribly bad for you (I’ll wait while you pick your jaw up off the floor). The fastest way to wreck a healthy eating plan is to say that certain foods are forbidden. All that does is make you want them more … trust me, I have a lot of experience in this area.  I never make a food forbidden, I either find a way to lighten it up, I limit myself to a small serving, or I save the food for special occasions.

This week I have thought a lot about how to lighten up the foods I love.  Some are as simple as a substitution, for example low-fat cream cheese for full-fat, or low-fat milk for whole milk.  Others are not as intuitive, or require a little tweaking.  Here are a few substitutions for baking that I use with great success.

Substitute applesauce for 2/3 of the fat in a recipe.  This is a common one, but I never substitute more than 2/3 of the fat for applesauce.  Baked goods need some fat to make them tender, moist, and flavorful.  Also, fat increases the shelf-life of your baked items, so you don’t want to remove it totally.

Substitute low-fat buttermilk for regular milk or water in cake and brownie recipes.  Buttermilk is a marvelous ingredient.  It adds a little extra ‘oomph’ to your chemical leaveners making your baked goods lighter, it adds richness, and it adds a depth of flavor.  It is perfect in cakes particularly because it adds moisture to cakes as well.

Use 2 egg whites for each whole egg after the first egg in baked goods.  This is another popular substitution and it works fairly well.  Most of the time I use one whole egg and for all additional eggs I substitute egg whites.  Egg yolks, aside from being the fattiest part of the egg, add color and some nutrition to your baked goods.   Cookies, or example, made with no egg yolks, do not brown as quickly as cookies with some yolk which can lead to over baking.

Use whole wheat pastry flour for up to 1/2 of the all-purpose flour in a recipe.  This will not save calories or fat, but it will add fiber and whole grains to your baked goods.  This is an easy swap and for the most part you will not be able to tell anything has changed.

My goals update:

This week I got all my workouts in that I planned for, however they were all belly dance workouts so I need to find time for the elliptical.  I lost 1.5 pounds which was great, and I found time to read twice this week for an hour.  I also had three meatless meals in a row, but they were not all in the same day, so I guess that kind of counts toward a meatless day in the week.  This week I will try to have three meatless meals all in one day.

Next week I am going to discuss ways to cut down fat and add nutrition to your everyday cooking.

So, until next time, help a girl out … what baking substitutions do you use to decrease fat/calories and increase fiber/whole grains?  I’d love to get some new tricks!

© 2010, Evil Shenanigans. All rights reserved.

Author: Kelly

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  • Excellent tips! One thing that I like to do is go half egg-whites in breakfast dishes. For frittatas, I usually use 2 egg whites + 2 whole eggs… I’m not a fan of all egg whites, but I figure half and half is better than nothing. You can also throw in some wheat germ in muffins/breads to add some extra fiber.

  • Great tips. I love using applesauce, whole wheat flour, egg whites, cutting the sugar, limiting butter/oil, adding in extra fruit/veggies, etc. Keep up the good work:)

  • My big thing with baked goods is they need to have a ton of flavor because I’m satisfied with just one small portion rather than a huge piece.

    My favorite flavor to bake now is lemon, because it can be really quite strong and you don’t need a big piece. Or do something where at least half of your baked dessert or snack consists of fruit. Like pudding with fresh berries, or something that is incredibly dark chocolate.

    My biggest challenge is portion control. I don’t eat too much sugar/sweets now (if ever) but I just like to eat.

  • That’s really good progress. I like the tips on ingredient substitutions. I’ll definitely have to keep them in mind. I’m in the same boat as you, i love foods that are deemed unhealthy, too. hehehe… But luckily I don’t eat them all the time. Maybe once in a while.

  • Keep up the good work with Ten in ’10! It’s so great to have a large community to keep everyone motivated.

    Great baking tips! I use the ones you mentioned and try to add fruits and veggies (zucchini, pumpkin, banana) wherever possible, without overhauling the flavor.

  • Good for you, my friend. I sub white whole wheat for ALL of the white flour in everything except dessert, which I rarely make. I can’t tell a taste difference, but that may be because I haven’t made bread or muffins or pancakes with anything except whole wheat or another whole grain for years. My son’s little friends used to look with great suspicion of my brown pancakes when they would spend the night. Hee.

  • Good for you! I love substituting healthier ingredients in baking. You might try other high-fiber flours, such as coconut flour or buckwheat flour. I only really became interested in all of the alternative flours since going gluten-free, but you might find you really enjoy the varied textures and flavors in these flours. Also, agave nectar is wonderful as a sugar substitute – you may have to reduce other liquid ingredients in your recipe to accomodate, but you can sub agave nectar for sugar – and you can get away with using 1/2-3/4 the amount of agave to sugar. Also, using agave can allow you to lower the oil or butter in a recipe while still giving the baked good body and moisture. Best of all – your baked sweets won’t give you that sugar rush and crash. For me, it seems like I can also stop at one cookie if it’s made with agave – if it’s made with sugar, I’m eating 3-4 cookies! Good luck!

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