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!