10 Ways to Cut Calories in Baking Recipes
How to lighten up your holiday recipes without sacrificing taste.
10 Ways to Cut Calories in Baking Recipes continued...
7. Keep a Carton of Fat-Free Sour Cream in Your Fridge
Fat-free sour cream is the bomb in light recipes for three reasons. It's an
easy replacement for real sour cream in recipes like pound cake or coffee cake.
You can use it as a substitute for part of the fat in recipes for things like
cookies (it works especially well for brownies), cake, or muffins. Further,
manufacturers often add soluble fiber-like ingredients (such as gelatin, agar
gum, xanthan gum, and locust bean gum) to keep fat-free sour cream stable.
These ingredients also help keep it from separating when you whip it into your
batter or heat it while baking. If your eight-serving recipe calls for 1 cup of
butter or oil, and you use 1/2 cup of fat-free sour cream in place of half the
butter or oil, you'll save about 110 calories and 13 grams of fat per
8. Go Cuckoo for Cocoa
Cocoa is a great way to add the chocolate flavor to bakery recipes without
getting the saturated fat (and calories) found in chocolate chips or chocolate
squares. Cocoa has the healthy flavonol antioxidants found in the cocoa bean,
too. Look for recipes that call for cocoa instead of chocolate chips or bars,
or use 6 tablespoons of cocoa plus 1 tablespoon of canola oil plus 1 tablespoon
of fat-free sour-cream instead of 2 squares of unsweetened baking chocolate.
For every 2 squares of baking chocolate you replace, you'll shave almost 90
calories and 14 grams of fat (most of which is saturated fat).
9. Add Zest to Your Batter With Citrus
The zest, or outermost layer, of a citrus fruit is full of aromatic oils and
flavor. Adding citrus zest is an easy, zero-calorie way to boost the flavor of
low-fat dough and batters. I use zest in all sorts of recipes, from muffins,
cookies, cakes, and bars to frosting, pies, and pancakes.
10. Use Cooking Spray and Nonstick Pans
Using nonstick pans and dishes and a spritz of canola cooking spray means
you'll need less fat in the batter or crust to keep food from sticking. All
sorts of nonstick bakeware are available, from springform pans, to cake and
muffin pans, to cookie sheets and deep-dish pie plates. When you use one of
these pans, your lighter cakes, muffins and tarts will come out nicely brown
and won't stick.
Lighter Holiday Recipes
Here are two holiday recipes that illustrate some of these lightening
Chocolate Mint Snowball Cookies
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members: Journal as 1 portion light
dessert + 1 tsp. margarine, light
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup mint-flavored, semisweet chocolate morsels (like Nestle Toll
3 tablespoons fat-free sour cream
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup Splenda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg (use a brand higher in omega-3s, if available)
2 tablespoons egg substitute or 1 egg white, beaten slightly