Grandma's triple chocolate fudge cake may be the family's favorite dessert but the fat and calories in just one slice may deplete an entire day's allowance of fat and calories. Learning to make a few substitutions can keep delicious-but-decadent favorites from being relegated to the back of the cookbook.
Fix The Fat
Exchange shortening choices. Try substituting lower saturated fat choices like margarine with plant sterols for artery-clogging butter and lard. Some recipes will allow you to use beneficial oils like canola instead of solid shortenings. In muffin and cake recipes, substitute 1/2 the fat with applesauce or pureed prunes.
Lower fat content by substituting 1/2 the eggs in a recipe with just the egg white. If a recipe calls for two eggs, use one egg and one egg white. Most of the fat and cholesterol are found in the yolks.
Use broth or olive oil when sauteing. If a recipe calls for frying in oil, use a heart-healthy oil like olive or canola. Better yet, skip the oil and use a spray like Pam.
Cut fat grams by using lowfat versions of sour cream, cream cheese, and hard cheeses, like cheddar. Or substitute half the regular version with lowfat for a virtually unrecognizable difference.
Slash The Sugar
Reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe. You will notice very little difference in taste when you use only 3/4 a cup of sugar instead of a full cup.
Substitute with a substitute. You can easily exchange some artificial sweeteners for pure granulated sugar in many recipes, sometimes reducing the number of calories significantly.
Be sweet without the sugar. Try honey, molasses, or barley malt for a more natural sweetness.