Try replacing half of the fat in a recipe (typically butter or oil) with mashed banana, prune puree, or applesauce. The creamy consistency and moisture of the fruit helps to maintain a great texture and prevent products from drying out while cutting the fat in half.
Or use beans or pumpkin! This tip usually surprises people. These make great substitutions for the oil and eggs in brownie mixes and recipes. You can substitute a 15.5 ounce can of beans, pureed in the blender or food processor, for the typical 1/3 cup oil and egg. Or you can do the same with a can of pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix). The beans contain much less fat and calories, and add fiber and antioxidants to the recipe! If you go with the pumpkin, you’re also cutting calories and fat and adding a hefty dose of vision boosting Vitamin A.
Use whole wheat flour rather than white flour. Whole wheat flour contains more minerals and fiber compared to its refined counterpart. Fiber can help you feel full quicker, so you may be more content indulging in a smaller serving. Whole wheat pastry flour is lighter and works better for dishes like cakes, while regular whole wheat flour can be a great choice for hearty breads.
Consider adding oats. They add fiber and texture, and can be incorporated easily into most cookie recipes. You can also use oats to make a modified pie crust! There are several recipes out there for pie crust made from oats – try this recipe which uses both oats and flour.
Use greek yogurt or low fat sour cream in place of regular sour cream or oils to cut down on fat in dips, toppings, and baked goods. For example, in my strawberry orange yogurt bread recipe I use greek yogurt to create a moist and delicious quick bread without any oil or butter. The greek yogurt also boosts the protein in your dish!
Replace cream or whole milk with fat free half and half, low fat milk, almond milk, or buttermilk. The best replacement will depend on the recipe. A half cup of heavy cream contains about 400 calories, while the same amount of 1% milk contains just 65 calories!
Add fruit to baked goods for added vitamins and minerals. Consider hearty breakfast breads made with banana, chopped apples, and cranberries, or cookies with dried cherries and dried blueberries.