Thursday, February 2, 2012

Cut the fat and the sugar!

My sister called me today to ask me what I do to cut the sugar in recipes.  This can be tricky when you are cooking/baking for your family.  These ideas are simply for when you are baking.  What I have come up with are these options:

  1. When I'm making cookies *in particular*, I will cut the sugar, but not eliminate it.  If the recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, I'll split it in half.  One half cup will be Splenda/Stevia and the other half cup will be regular sugar.  This holds true for brown sugar as well.  I use the Splenda brown sugar blend.  If the recipe I'm making is mainly for me, I'll use all Splenda/Stevia or split it so that there is more Splenda/Stevia than sugar.
  2. To cut the fat in a recipe, you can do one of a couple of things.  You can use pumpkin or unsweetened applesauce.  Sometimes, you can eliminate the fat all-together in certain recipes using one of those two items.  I have also used chia seed gel to cut the fat in half.  The gel is made from chia seeds and will take on the flavor of whatever it is added to.  I purchased my chia seeds from Amazon.
  3. If I am baking for a crowd, I won't cut the sugar/fat in the recipe.  I made our oldest daughter's birthday cake 'normal' since we were having a house full of friends and family.
  4. When I bake cookies, they will usually be half the fat and half the sugar.  I will also use parchment paper to bake them on because they tend to stick.  They still taste amazing, but this way I'm not breaking them off on the pan.
  5. When making cookies, I use a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop.  I scoop the cookies in a level tablespoon and a) you'll often get more cookies than you plan on b) you'll keep portion sizes smaller and c) the calories/points per serving will be less.
  6. When I bake bread, I don't substitute Splenda/Stevia for the sugar.  There isn't much sugar added to yeast bread recipes, so I don't even bother.
Sometimes, it takes a little tweaking to get things the way you want them.  If something doesn't work out quite right the first time, then I'll try it a different way the next.  Playing with your recipes is just another part of the journey and making things in a way that will allow you to have a treat every now and then, is a huge bonus.  Modify so you don't have to deprive.

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