Ten top tips for a healthy take on baking
Losing weight can mean you miss out on having a slice of cake or a muffin, so knowing how to bake my low-fat way will help you feel less-deprived and able to enjoy your baking guilt-free.
10 tips for baking the low-fat healthy way
1. Choose low-fat dairy options where possible. It's amazing how much fat you can save using skim milk: only 0.2g of fat a cup compared with nearly 10g for full-cream milk.
2. Use evaporated light milk instead of adding cream to sauces. It works a treat, and for coconut cream, stir ¾ teaspoon of coconut essence into a can of evaporated light milk.
3. Ditch the egg yolks. These are high in saturated fat and of no real benefit to cakes. The egg whites have all the nutrients and raising ability.
4. Use 110g jars of baby apple puree instead of oil or butter in a cake or batch of muffins. Add some bi-carb soda to the apple sauce (it will froth). This will keep the baking light. Apple puree gives the moisture butter or oil would normally give but has no fat, so this is another fantastic way to cut down the fats in baking.
5. Use low-fat margarines to lower the fat count.
6. Reduce the quantity of nuts or coconut in baking recipes as these add extra calories and fat. For example, one cup of coconut has 50g of fat. I usually use 1 or 2 tablespoons in my low-fat recipes.
7. When adding nuts, I use around ¼ cup, whereas most recipes use a lot more. To give you an idea: 1 cup of pecan nuts or walnuts has around 90g of fat, almonds contain 78g, and macadamia nuts 107g of fat per cup.
8. Fold the flour rather than beat it through the mix for lighter, low-fat cakes or muffins. Beating the mix can cause the low-fat baked goods to be tough or rubbery. Fats normally protect the gluten (which is in flour) when beating the mix, so fold the flour through as you would when making a delicate sponge.
9. Use cooking spray or baking paper rather than greasing cake pans with butter and flour.
10. Add dried fruits in moderate amounts as these are high in natural sugars. No need to add sugar to a fruit cake as the dried fruit will give the cake enough sweetness.
11. Use chocolate in moderate amounts. Fat content is around 15g for 50g of chocolate, or 23g for ½ cup. Cocoa, which is very low in fat, is a great way to give the illusion that there's a lot of chocolate in the cake. Make sure you sift cocoa as it can be quite lumpy.
By using these simple steps, you'll cook deliciously healthy low-fat baking recipes that the whole family will enjoy.
Annette's cookbooks series Symply Too Good To Be True is available online.
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