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Tis the season!

No, I am not taking about Christmas… I am talking about Baking Season. This time of year it seems like all anyone is ever doing is baking. Myself included. And what comes along with baking lots of yummy, sweet treats? Eating lots of yummy, sweet treats. Guilty as charged!

Now, there is nothing wrong with indulging in a slice of full-fat, high-sugar goodness now and again. The problem comes when you do it on a continual basis…which lots of us tend to do this time of year, whether we choose to believe it or not! “Oh, did I just eat half of that pie? Nah, couldn’t have been me….”

Here are some simple tips you can use in the kitchen to help cut the fat, calories, sugar, etc. from your dishes, while still keeping the taste and texture up to standards.

Does this mean that I can still eat half the pie since it’s healthier? I won’t tell if you wont…. proceed at your own risk.

Butter: Use ¼ of what the recipe calls for, and ½ of the amount in non-fat plain greek yogurt (Example: if it calls for ½ cup butter, use ¼ cup greek yogurt and 2 tbsp butter)

Oil: Give applesauce a try as a substitute. It measures at a 1:1 ratio quite nicely.

Frosting: Whip it! The volume will increase, leading to using and consuming less.

Eggs: Use 2 egg whites in place of 1 egg. I find that this works best if you still use a whole egg, for instance, if the recipe calls for 2 eggs, still use 1 whole egg and replace egg whites for only one of them.

Serving Size: Simply scale down the serving size. Make cookies smaller or cut a dish into more pieces than the recipe says. Many times at holiday gatherings we just want to try a little bit of everything, no need to have a whole serving of each. Food-coma no more!

Flour: Swap bleached, all-purpose flour for white whole wheat flour. Your guests won’t be able to notice a difference. Expect maybe they’ll feel fuller due to the higher fiber content.

Crust: dare I say it… Skip the crust! When it comes to pies and quiches, the filling is what it’s all about. Skip the extra calories by ditching the crust.

Have you ever tried one of these simple swaps? What was your experience with it? As always, feedback is encouraged =]

Happy Holidays everyone!