Baking is one of America’s favorite pastimes. There’s nothing better than relieving your stress by mixing a bowl of brownie batter or decorating a sugar cookie. Baking seems like all rainbows and sunshine but the calorie cloud of guilt always looms over our heads. A piece of layer cake is around 600 calories. Cupcakes and cookies may be serious diet downers but let’s face it, some days it’s impossible to deny your sweet tooth.
You’ll be happy to know that there are ways to make your cake and eat it too, without the guilty aftermath. Butter, oil and sugar all add insane amounts of calories and fat to the baked goods we love and crave. Here are some healthy substitutions that will transform your guilty pleasure into a healthy(ish) snack.
Substitutes for butter
Butter is a staple ingredient used when baking but one cup is around 1500 calories.
Swap 1: Apple Sauce
Use 1/2 cup of unsweetened apple sauce for every 1 cup of butter. This will cut the fat content of the recipe in half. This swap works best in white cakes and muffins.
Swap 2: Avocado Puree
Use 1 cup of avocado puree in place of 1 cup of butter in a brownie or chocolate cake recipe.
Substitutes for oil
Oil is extremely fattening and around 2,000 calories a cup.
Swap 1: Greek yogurt
Using 3/4 cup of plain greek yogurt in place of 1 cup oil will out most of the fat in a recipe. This works best with cakes and cookies.
Swap 2: Mashed bananas
Using 1 cup of mashed bananas instead of 1 cup of oil will add potassium, fiber and vitamin B6 to your brownie batter or cookie dough.
Substitutes for sugar
There are almost 800 calories in 1 cup of sugar.
Swap 1: Vanilla extract
Use 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract in place of 2 tablespoon of sugar. Assuming the recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, this swap will reduce the calorie count by 400 calories.
Swap 2: Stevia
Use 2 tablespoons of stevia powder in place of 1 cup of sugar. Remember to swap with caution because stevia is 300 times sweeter than regular sugar. Next time a recipe calls for any of these fat filled ingredients don’t be afraid to do a swap.