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How to Bake Lighter: Healthy Baking Tips & More

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Are you one of the many people out there who think that lower-fat means no taste? Well, it's not true! Sure, there are lots of items out there that claim to be lower in fat or the absolute answer to good health. We know of no one product that can do everything! But, how can we do what's best for our bodies while still enjoying what we eat (without a lot of work)? We've got some healthy baking recipes that do just that!

Chocolate Spa Cake Parmesan Spinach Dip Hot 'n' Crispy Zucchini Bites

Low Fat, High Taste

Our suggestion is everything in moderation! Unless otherwise directed by your physician, you can simply cut back here and there. Instead of having a whole piece of cake of our tasty Chocolate Spa Cake (which has just 116 calories per serving, might we add), have just half — and this way you get the great taste without feeling like you're being denied. We have found that there are so many healthy baking recipes and tips that allow us to alter our cooking habits by changing a few basics.

  • When baking cookies or cakes, you can substitute applesauce for up to half of the vegetable oil or butter. You can also try mashed ripened bananas, pureed pumpkin, pureed canned fruit, and even baby food. 

  • You can also use prune puree in the same one-to-one substitution in darker baked goods. You should be able to find prune puree at your supermarket, or you can make your own by combining 1-1/3 cups (8 ounces) pitted prunes and 6 tablespoons water in a food processor. Pulse on and off until the mixture is smooth to make one delicious cup.

  • Substitute a portion of chocolate chips or baking chocolate with cocoa powder for the same rich chocolate flavor and less fat. Test this method out in our just-as-tasty Lighter Chocolate Chip Cookies.Three cheers for healthy cookie recipes! 

  • Use fat-free or lower-fat versions of ingredients like sour cream, cheese, cream cheese, and yogurt to create healthy baking recipes. You wouldn't believe our Parmesan Spinach Dip has just 85 calories per serving when you taste this creamy goodness, but we used reduced-fat cream cheese and fat-free mayonnaise to balance fat without sacrificing taste! 

Decadent Peanut Butter Pie Mexican Spaghetti Casserole Little Italy Cheesecake

How to Reduce Sugar

Many sugar substitutes are now available and some work well in healthy baking recipes, like in our Decadent Peanut Butter Pudding Pie. We used sugar-free pudding mix to create a heavenly diabetic-friendly dessert!  Just make sure you adjust the amounts as most sugar substitutes are sweeter than sugar. You will find substitution equivalents on the package. Our Test Kitchen finds Splenda to have the best results when baking since it stands up to the heat of the oven. Use a mix of sugar and sugar substitute so that you can achieve the same level of browning you get when using sugar.

  • Baking with sugar substitutes may shorten baking time, so watch your baked goods closely. Try substituting sugar in our fancy Little Italy Cheesecake – talk about authentic healthy cake recipes!

  • Fruits can also help replace some of the sugar. If you're using overripe bananas, for example, which are high in sugar, cut down on the amount of sugar you use in the recipe.

  • Note that when reducing sugar in cookies, you may want to slightly flatten the cookie dough rounds before baking, as the lower sugar content may prevent the cookies from spreading and baking evenly.

  • Think sugar-free substitutes are synonymous with bland flavors? You might rethink that after trying our No-Bake Key Lime Pie, made with sugar-free gelatin! The best part is that this tasty treat is perfect for gluten-free diets! 

Many manufacturers are now offering reduced-fat and reduced-calorie versions of their products. Remember, this doesn't necessarily mean that they're lower in everything else! Always consult your physician for your specific dietary guidelines. And if these products fit your lifestyle and diet, give some healthy baking recipes a try!

Ready to put what you've learned into practice? Check out some healthy baking recipes in our Top 10 Light & Easy Dessert Recipes!

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