Reducing Calories in Holiday Baking

Added Dec 14 2014 to

Oh it is that time of year when sweets seems to be everywhere I look!  Trust me, I am not complaining – they are my weakness for sure!  Why not cut calories where we can? A lot of these changes can be made without even the noticing a taste difference.  I encourage you to give some of these suggestions a try.  You may need to experiment a bit as baking is a science, and remember, these will work for traditional recipes, not ones that have already been tinkered with.

Reducing Sugar
Sugar is a tenderizer, it helps a product to rise, adds moisture, flavor and helps it to brown.  You can cut up to half of the sugar in a recipe without really doing anything!  You can add sweet spices to kick up the flavor like cinnamon, nutmeg or ginger; or sweet extracts like vanilla or almond; even zests like orange or lemon.  For every cup of sugar you cut you will save over 800 calories!

Reducing Fat
Fat also gives moisture to recipes, adds flavor and that creamy, rich mouth feel that we look for in holiday baking.  You can cut up to half the fat in a recipe but you need to replace it.  Great things to add would be pureed fruit like banana, pumpkin, applesauce, prunes; low fat sour cream or yogurt.  For every half of cup of fat you cut, be it butter, margarine or oil, you will save over 850 calories and 100g of fat!

Egg Replacer
I am certainly not suggesting that eggs are not nutritious or good for you – they certainly are.  However, if you want to cut calories, this is another way to do it. My daughter is allergic to eggs – that is how I found this product.  A large egg has 70 calories and 5 g of fat.  Using egg replacer with save you 60 calories and 5g of fat! 

Low Fat/Fat-free Products
I am usually not a lover of reduced fat products.  However, when we are looking at cutting calories in baking – this is an easy way to do it!  Opt for fat free sour cream, reduced fat cream cheese and lower fat cheeses when baking.  You will hardly notice a flavor difference and you will be saving calories.

I actually tried the above tips in a traditional chocolate chip cookie recipe (found on the back of the chocolate chip bag).  I cut the sugar in half, added a bit more vanilla; cut the fat in half and added applesauce; and used an egg replacer.  I saved 40 calories and 2.5g of fat per cookie!  Now that is significant! (Just remember, it doesn’t mean that you can eat more!)

Happy Holidays!

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Who Is Laurie Barker Jackman?

I am super passionate about helping people understand the science of food and making it work for them. I love coming up with healthy and tasty meals for my family and sharing them with you!

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