Trying to enjoy those delicious baked goods this holiday season without all the guilt? How about substituting applesauce for vegetable oil? It not only adds moisture and flavor, but also fiber and nutrients to your holiday treats. Sure, baking with applesauce requires some experimentation, but you have to start somewhere, right?
Replace applesauce for oil in cakes, quick breads or muffins that are already a little moist and dense. In fact, a lot of people rave about how well it works with carrot cake, chocolate cake, spice cake and gingerbread cake, along with quick bread and muffin recipes. You might not want to use this substitute with brownies, though, as it can make them too dry and crumbly. On a similar note, cookies can come out a little puffy with a cake-like texture, instead of crisp and chewy.
Be sure to use unsweetened, unflavored applesauce as the substitute for oil; sweetened varieties, on the other hand, add more sugar. Not only can this change the texture of the baked goods, but applesauce flavored with cinnamon or other types of flavoring can change the taste.
Using a glass measuring cup, measure ¾ the amount of oil required in your recipe. For example, if one of your recipes calls for 1 cup of oil, use ¾ cup of applesauce. But if the batter seems dry to you, then go ahead and add a tablespoon or two more.
Lower the oven temperature by 25 degrees and decrease the cooking time by 5 to 10 minutes. Baked goods made with applesauce typically cook quicker than those that contain oil, making it easy for them to dry out. Take them out of the oven as soon as they spring back lightly when touched. Or, you can simply place a toothpick in the center of the cake; you’ll know it’s done when you can take the toothpick out with a only a few moist crumbs clinging to it.
Keep in mind, applesauce alters the textures and taste of baked goods and some recipes tend to respond better than others. If you’re feeling a little nervous about using applesauce as a substitute, test it out by eliminating half the oil, instead of the full amount. As long as you’re pleased with the result, you can try using less oil the next time. To substitute some of the applesauce, use it at a rate of ¾ cup for each cup of oil. For instance, if a cake recipe is calling for 4 cups of oil, decrease the oil to 2 cups and substitute 1½ cup of applesauce for the rest of the oil.
Even if you stick to your own fitness plan or participate in group exercise classes like ZUMBA®, cross-training, aquatic, yoga in Cherry Hill, NJ or anywhere else, you should always be conscious about healthy eating – especially around the holidays. Fortunately, by using applesauce as a substitute for oil, you can still enjoy the great flavor of delicious holiday treats without the all fatty consequences. Make this smart, healthy decision to stay on track and remain in great shape as you enter into the new year!
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