I am extremely health minded when it comes to fitness and nutrition. I don’t believe in using anything fake in my food to make it lower in fat, calories, sugar or even gluten. I prefer to avoid these things on a regular basis, and indulge in the real deal from time to time.
Recently, I have started experimenting with substituting a bit, and have been creating recipes that still use all natural food based ingredients, but make things just a bit healthier in the process.
When last night’s gluten free cheesecake with an almond meal crust drew rave reviews from people who preferred it to my usual cheesecake recipe, I realized that I was onto something.
Butter is a mainstay to baking, and I would never consider using margarine or “fake butter” instead. There are lots of healthy and even vegan foods that can be substituted that will still yield moist, rich baked goods without sacrificing taste.
Applesauce is a great alternative to butter in denser baked goods, such as muffins and banana bread. Substitute ½ the butter for the same quantity of applesauce. You can use all applesauce if you like an even moister, heavier texture.
Avocado is also a good butter substitute. Use ½ butter and ½ of the equivalent amount of mashed avocado. It creates a softer, chewier texture, making it a great choice for cookies.
Greek yogurt is a rich creamy dairy product that can also be used instead of butter. The rule of thumb is replace ½ of the butter, with ½ the amount of yogurt. (If the recipe asks for 1 cup of butter, use ½ cup of butter and ¼ cup of yogurt.)
You may need to experiment a bit to find the consistency you like best.
I have made an amazing lemon yogurt loaf cake that is one of best versions of a lemon pound cake around. It uses both yogurt and canola oil, instead of butter.
I will continue to experiment and share some of my successes here on indigo jones.
Remember that even with substitutions to make baked goods a little more virtuous, they still are not “diet foods.” With a little practice, you may actually come up with something better than the original recipe!
photos: Glasshouse Images