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12 July 2011

Skip the Oil

Want to trim the fat and calories from one your favorite baking recipes?  No problem, as long as it is an oil-based recipe (i.e. most muffins, quick breads, and some cakes) and you don't mind a slight change in texture and taste, typically softer and slightly sweeter.

To make this change, simply substitute applesauce for the oil in the recipe.  Typically a 1:1 ratio is suggested, so if your recipe calls for 1 cup of oil, substitute 1 cup of applesauce.

A couple of tips:
  • Start easy.  If the recipe calls for 1 cup oil, start out with 1/2 cup of oil and 1/2 cup of applesauce, bake up the recipe and see if you are happy with the results.  If you are, slightly increase the ratio next time to see how it affects the recipe, you may find that you prefer a tablespoon or two of oil along with the applesauce (rather than only applesauce) to reach the perfect texture and taste for you.
  • Opt for unsweetened.  Use unsweetened applesauce or reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe if you use sweetened.
  • Be adventurous.  If you're feeling particularly adventurous, you can use the same method to substitute different fruit purees for the oil.  (I'd recommend using a fruit that will complement the final flavor of the dish though.)  And, keep in mind, that if you use a dark fruit in a fairly light colored recipe, it will alter the color of the final product.


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