Substituting a can of back beans (drained and rinsed) for oil in brownies is a great way to cut fat and calories while getting in an extra dose of protein— and they taste great.
2. Whole wheat flour for white flour
In virtually any baked good, replacing white flour with whole wheat can add a whole new dimension of nutrients, flavor, and texture. Because whole wheat includes the outer shell of the grain, it provides an extra punch of fiber, which aids in digestion and can even lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
3. Unsweetened applesauce for sugar
Using applesauce in place of sugar can give the necessary sweetness without the extra calories and, well, sugar. While 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce contains only about 100 calories, a cup of sugar can pack more than 770. Perfect for oatmeal raisin cookies.
4. Unsweetened applesauce for oil or butter
Don’t knock this one till you’ve tried it. The applesauce gives the right consistency and a hint of sweetness without all the fat of oil or butter. This works well in any sweet bread, like banana or zucchini, or in muffins, including pre-boxed mixes.
5. Almond flour for wheat flour
This gluten-free switch gives any baked good a dose of protein, omega-3s, and a delicious nutty flavor.
6. Avocado puree for butter
They’re both fats (albeit very different fats) and have nearly the same consistency at room temperature. The creaminess and subtle flavor of the avocado lends itself well to the texture of fudge brownies and dark chocolate flavorings.
7. Brown rice cereal and flax meal for Rice Crispies
Brown puffed rice has the same texture as conventional white rice, but with half the calories. The flax adds extra fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and phytochemicals to the mix without changing the flavor.
8. Marshmallow Fluff for butter and sugar (in frosting)
Replacing the fat and sugar in frosting with marshmallow gets the desired consistency with fewer calories. While 2 tablespoons of Fluff has just 40 calories and 6 grams of sugar (and no fat!), the same amount of conventional frosting can pack up to 100 calories, 5 grams of fat, and 14 grams of sugar.
9. Natural peanut butter for reduced fat peanut butter
While it may appear better than traditional Skippy or Jiff, reduced fat peanut butter can actually have more sugar (and a doubly long list of artificial additives) than the original. Natural peanut butter (preferably unsalted) provides the same sweetness without chemical additives.
10. Vanilla for sugar
Cutting sugar in half and adding 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla as a replacement can give just as much flavor with significantly fewer calories. Assuming the recipe originally calls for 1 cup of sugar, that’s already almost 400 calories cut by leaving out ½ cup of sugar.
11. Mashed ripe bananas for fats
The creamy, thickening-power of mashed banana acts the same as avocado in terms of replacing fat in baking recipes. The consistency is ideal, and the bananas add nutrients like potassium, fiber, and vitamin B6.
12. Graham crackers for cookies (in pie crusts)
Who doesn’t love a fresh baked cookie-crust pie? But next time, refrain from the traditional sugar or Oreo cookie crust and grab the graham crackers. Reduced-fat graham cracker pack about half the calories of the more conventional options.
13. Evaporated skim milk for cream
It’s the same consistency with a fraction of the fat. Evaporated milk tends to have a bit more sugar (only about 2 grams), but the major drop in fat content is well worth the switch.
14. Stevia for sugar
Natural sweetener stevia is lower in calories and up to 300 times sweeter than sugar.
15. Cacao Nibs for chocolate chips