Image courtesy of Marks Daily Apple

Some of the items that are needed, but tricky to stock up on, are Oil and Shortening as they are shelf stable.  However, they can go rancid over time.  We need these important fats for health.  But, did you know that in baking we have several options to use in place of Fats?   Knowing this, you can think differently about how much of these oils/fats you actually need to store.

There are many options for substituting other foods for oils or fats in baking.  Here are some options:

  • Beans: This is my favorite because this food also has fiber.  You can substitute cup for cup for the fat required in a recipe.  If you are cooking a light colored food, used cooked light colored beans.  The same is true for bakin dark baked goods, used dark cooked beans.  You may be surprised at how moist your baked goods will be.  Beans are also very economical as a substitute as oils and fats are much more costly pound-for-pound.
  • Applesauce:  Many folks use this as a substitution ( 1:1 ratio).  The caution here is to watch your baking temperature as it can scorch or burn and leave an after-taste.  Also, some sources caution you from using more than 1 Cup of Applesauce per recipe that you are preparing.  
  • Shredded Zucchini:  This is great in muffins, breads, and chocolate treats as it provides a great deal of moisture.
  • Pureed Pumpkin:  Have you ever had leftover canned pumpkin and wondered what to do with it?  You can substitute  it for fat. Your food will take on the color and flavor of  pumpkin...but who doesn't love a chocolate chip pumpkin cookie?
  • Dairy:  This was a surprise to me.  You can substitute yogurt (preferably Greek yogurt as it is strained and does not have excess liquid) or cottage Cheese (use half of the required fat called for).  These are good in pastries and biscuits but can add a 'rubbery' texture.  Ricotta Cheese reportedly can be used in some recipes 1:1.  
  • Baby Food:  Specifically carrots, pears and prunes.  This is a good way to take care of left over purees that you may have in the refrigerator.
  • Banana:  Mashed Banana can be used 1:1. 
  • Tofu:  Silken Tofu reportedly can be used (use only 1/2 the amount called for).

Try to experiment with one or more of these options in your when baking your next yummy treat or food.  

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