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Love to bake? You can still make your favorite recipes on Weight Watchers, using the following substitutions to reduce the Points values without sacrificing taste.
Better without Butter
Butters and oils add moisture to cakes and cookies. However, butter has over 50 Points Plus per cup! Luckily, there are several healthy swaps you can make to maintain moisture and richness without losing the flavor of your cookies, cakes, and breads. The next time a recipe calls for butter, substitute one of these ingredients instead. Best of all, each healthy substitution is 0 Points Plus Values!
Unsweetened applesauce. Unsweetened applesauce works well as a replacement for butter in a wide range of baked goods, especially cakes. The applesauce adds fiber and moisture while reducing the fat content. You replace the butter with an equal amount of applesauce, or use a half-butter, half-oil mixture.
Canned pumpkin. Pumpkin puree isn’t just for pumpkin pies. Replace half of the butter or oil with an equal amount of canned pumpkin for a subtle pumpkin flavor and a dense, spongy texture. Like applesauce, pumpkin is 0 Points Plus. Make sure you choose canned pumpkin, rather than pumpkin pie mix, at the grocery store. Pumpkin pie mix has added sugar and can have two to three Points Plus Values per cup!
Bananas. Substitute ½ mashed or pureed banana for each cup of butter that your recipe calls for. For optimal results, choose an extremely ripe banana. This recipe substitution is best used in breads and coffee cakes. Since bananas are so dense, they are not a good replacement for baked goods that are light and fluffy in texture.
Eggs play two main roles in baking: to make breads and cakes light and fluffy, and to keep everything together as a binding agent. An egg is 2 Points Plus, so using them in baked recipes doesn’t exactly do too much harm to your diet. However, if you’re looking for small ways to save on Points—and especially if you’re watching your cholesterol—you may want to opt for these smart swaps:
Egg whites. Replace eggs with egg whites to cut down on saturated fat in most cake and bread recipes. ½ cup of egg whites is only 2 Points Plus!
Unsweetened applesauce. Yes, applesauce provides both moisture and texture in recipes. Replace each egg with ¼ cup of unsweetened applesauce. If you’re already swapping the butter for applesauce, however, you may want to consider another replacement from this list.
Ground flaxseeds. Ground flaxseeds are an excellent source of fiber and rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed, when mixed with 3 tablespoons of lukewarm water, becomes a thick, creamygel which is an excellent replacement for an egg. Each tablespoon of flaxseed is only 1 Points Plus! For best results, use ground flaxseed as a replacement in baked goods which can handle flaxseed’s oatmeal-like texture and nutty taste — pancakes, waffles, muffins, carrot cake, and oatmeal cookies.
For more ideas about baking and cooking while on Weight Watchers, see Tara’s great list of 30 Weight Watchers Dinner Recipes.
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