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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Avoid Wearing Santas Pants This Christmas

Christmas is an evil evil Holiday. If you are visiting family, friends, or work in an office with a cafeteria, people are going to have treats and desserts all over the place. Recipes full of eggs, cream, butter, Butter and more BUTTER. Things covered with chocolate and filled with peanut butter makes this holiday one big fat fest.

Why do you think Santa is a fat jolly man? He takes all the cookies left out for him on Christmas and eats them ALL YEAR. I think he might appreciate if you would cut some of the fat for him.

Everyone complains about it, but still continue to make all these fattening treats. No one should be afraid to cut corners. Even your favorite recipe of Grandmas double chocolate brownies can have substitutes in it that make you feel a little better about eating it. It is true that completely substituting one ingredient for another will change the whole flavor, texture or density of the treat, so just substitute half.

If you are baking and its something you have baked often enough, you will know what will work as a substitution, and what will not. Here is a list of common ingredients and my favorite substitutes for them.

Oil makes cakes and stuff really moist and helps a little with them sticking to pans. Plain low fat yogurt (or vanilla if you think that will taste good), as well as unsweetened apple sauce are fine substitutes for oil. My cakes have been just as moist using ALL yogurt in them. If you are too afraid, use half oil, half yogurt. Even 3/4 yogurt and 1/4 oil is fine.

Butter much like the oil can also be replaced with low fat plain yogurt or unsweetened apple sauce. When it comes to sugar cookies though (where you cream sugar and butter together) you may be able to get away with using only a half a stick of butter, and half low fat plain yogurt. Its worth experimenting with one day.

For chocolate recipes, substitute mashed up smooth avocado for butter. That's right! While avacados are still fattening, it's heart healthy good for you fat!

Eggs really don't have a perfect substitute. Recipes need eggs to stick together. You definitely cannot omit all eggs from recipes. Ive noticed though, if a recipe calls for 4 eggs or so, you can get away with using 1 less. To substitute one whole egg mix 2 Tbsp water + 1 Tbsp oil + 2 tsp baking powder in a separate dish. 

1/4 cup of mashed potatoes also could be used to substitute an egg in your cake. To keep it even more simple, replace half of the eggs in your recipe with just the egg whites.

Sugar is so yummy. What good are treats without it? What good are treats with Splenda or chemical sugars too? Yuck!! That is NO substitute for sugar if you ask me! Do your body good, and keep it natural. Unsweetened applesauce easily replaces sugar in a recipe. Think about the calories you save too. 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce is about 100 calories, while 1 cup of sugar is over 750!

Flour is needed in like all cake or cookie recipes. Easily swap white flour for wheat flour and I swear you wont tell the difference. Oatmeal that has been put into the blender can also replace half of the flour in your recipe. I make pancakes now using ALL oatmeal flour I made myself. Experimenting with almond flour is worthwhile too.

I also heard that using canned black beans that have been drained and rinsed can also substitute flour in brownie recipes and fudgey cake! Very vegan. lol. Cuts back on gluten too.

Frosting tops those naked cakes and cupcakes. Making it from scratch involves a lot of sugar and butter. Replace both of those with marshmallow fluff, and you'll still have a tasty treat.

So give it a go! I do it all the time, and I like my baked goods. Experimenting is fun and you will find that you can still make everything come super close to the original tasting recipe. If you have a good, lower fat holiday recipe to share, I'd love to see it!



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