It’s easy to make your savory dishes healthier because you can just adjust the amount of oil you put in, change the cut of meat you use, or use a different type of binding substance.
It’s hard when it comes to baking, because there are things that butter, sugar and eggs do for our baked goods that makes it moist and fluffy.
Since my husband and I own a health food restaurant, I’ve been working on variations of different baked goods to make them healthier but still taste awesome. Below are some substitutes I’ve been using on a variations of different items that go into my baking.
Buttermilk – Substitute an equal amount of soymilk mixed with lemon juice. Allow the mixture to thicken for 5 minutes before using.
Cream – Tofu. Soft tofu will yield you a light cream when pureed while extra firm tofu will produce you with the thickest options. For a truly creamy texture, always choose varieties that are labeled “silken”. For pumpkin pies and cheesecakes, the non-silken tofu selection will give your dessert a more traditional texture.
Eggs. In order to correctly substitute eggs in your baking, you need to understand what function eggs are playing in your baked goods. Eggs function in binding and thickening and leavening. Leavening is what makes baked goods light and fluffy. Be prepared to do a little experimenting with this.
Leavening: For one egg: use ¼ cup of soymilk and 1 tablespoon of lemon. Add 2 tablespoon of cornstarch for each egg replaced. This will give it a nice soft texture.
Thickening and Binding: For one egg: use 3 tablespoon pureed tofu + 2 teaspoon of cornstarch.
Strictly Binding – For 1 egg: ¼ cup of applesauce, pureed bananas, squash or pumpkin. This may or may not be desirable for some recipes though.
I’m still playing with a healthy substitute for butter which is the main ingredient in most baked goods. If anyone has some great ideas, I’ll be very open to trying it.
Till then, happy experimenting!