Cut the Fat in Desserts?>

Supermarket Buying Guide: Desserts

Cut the Fat in Desserts

by Edward R. Blonz, Ph.D.  

One way to control sweet calories is to make dessert at home. The following natural "fat fakers" can help, so be sure to include them on your grocery list: prune butter (a puree of dried plums, also sold under its Hungarian name "lekvar"), apple butter, applesauce and/or bananas.

To make baked goods lower in fat, you can substitute them for some or all of the oil, butter or shortening in the recipe.

  • Applesauce, apple butter or prune butter can replace up to three-quarters of the shortening in many dessert recipes.
  • Prune butter works especially well with chocolate recipes. To make your own prune butter, combine 8 ounces of pitted dried plums (prunes) and 6 tablespoons of hot water in a food processer; process until pureed. Leftover puree can be refrigerated in a covered container for up to one month.
  • Mashed bananas can be substituted, measure for measure, for oil or shortening in simple cake, cookie and quickbread recipes.
  • To make your own healthful pumpkin pie, pick up some unsweetened canned pumpkin and nonfat evaporated milk (instead of cream).

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