Healthy cookie baking tips
It’s that time of year again. Holiday cookies, cakes, candies and goodies are hard to resist and often break our healthy eating habits; however, there are simple substitutions that can be made in our recipes that can cut fat, calories and cholesterol.
To cut fat from recipes:
- Unsweetened applesauce, nonfat Greek yogurt, plain yogurt, mashed banana and pureed prunes can all be used as substitutes for items such as sour cream or butter.
- Use egg substitute instead of whole eggs. For each whole egg use 2 egg whites or 1/4 cup of egg substitute.
- If a recipe calls for sour cream, replace with non-fat Greek yogurt.
- Instead of buttermilk, use 1 cup of skim milk with 1 tablespoon of vinegar.
- Use canola oil instead of corn oil as it is a healthier fat.
- Substitute regular evaporated milk with its non-fat version.
If you are concerned about losing flavor or have picky eaters, replace 1/2 of the fat with one of the above. For example, replace 1/2 cup of butter with 1/4 cup of applesauce. This substitution will save you 400 calories and 44g of fat.
As a general rule of thumb, use ½ cup of the substitute for 1 cup of the original ingredient. If the dough seems dry, add more until it is the desired consistency.
To cut cholesterol from recipes:
Egg yolks add cholesterol to any recipe. Instead, replace whole eggs with one of the following:
- Use only egg whites.
- Opt for an egg substitute.
- Replace with flaxseed by adding 3 tablespoons of flaxseed meal to 1 tablespoon of water. In turn, you will cut the cholesterol and add healthy fat and fiber to your recipe.
To cut sugar from recipes:
- Use 1/3 less sugar than the recipe suggests
- Blend traditional sugar with a substitute to cut 1/2 the calories.
To cut salt from recipes:
- Most recipes do not need salt in them unless there is yeast, or a rising element involved in baking. Cut the amount of salt needed in half or don’t add any at all.
- In savory dishes, substitute salt with onion powder, garlic powders, celery powders or herbs.
- Instead of white flour, use whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour to increase fiber content.
- If peanut allergies are a concern, try using a soy butter, sesame butter or almond butter in place of peanut butter. These butters also contain less calories and fat than peanut butter.
- Add flax seeds, chia seeds, or oatmeal to bulk up fiber content and healthy fats.
- Continue to watch portion sizes. Though you are replacing some of the higher calorie ingredients with lower calorie alternatives, eating too much can still cause unwanted weight gain.
-Katie Lambert, RD, LD