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Low-Fat Cooking Tips

Contributed by: Chris WebAdmin. of

Remember the days of sitting down with your family for a traditional Sunday dinner. The table was filled with a mouthwatering array of classic dishes made with plenty of butter and sugar.

With today's focus on healthy foods and cutting the fat out of diets, food made with lots of butter and sugar is a definite "no-no." However, contrary to what most people believe, "low fat" doesn't necessarily mean "less taste," according to Sarah Phillips, author of "The Healthy Oven Baking Book: Delicious Bake-from-Scratch Desserts with Less Fat and Lots of Flavor" (Doubleday).

The book features more than 125 classic baking recipes for old-fashioned dessert favorites transformed into tasty, low-fat dishes that are sure to tempt your taste buds.

"Most classic recipes are loaded with butter and sugar. In reduced-fat baking, the butter is significantly reduced or eliminated altogether, and the fat is often replaced by fruit puree and other ingredients," says Phillips. In fact, most of the recipes in the book are made with applesauce instead of butter.

"The recipes are not difficult to make, and when they are finished, it is hard to distinguish [the reduced-fat versions] from the classic, fat-packed versions of your favorite desserts," she says. Additionally, many of the desserts can be ready for the oven in less than 10 minutes.

Each delectable recipe contains a detailed nutritional analysis. The book also includes techniques for low-fat baking, mail-order sources, "The Healthy Oven Pantry" - a list of major ingredients used throughout the book, and tips for successful baking.

Fall is here. Time for fall foliage, trick-or-treaters and, of course, pumpkins. It also is the perfect time to whip up a batch of Phillips' Pumpkin-Ginger Muffins. This scrumptious treat is sure to warm you up on those cool autumn days, and, best of all, is filled with flavor, not fat.

Cooking low-fat desserts no longer equals desserts that have "no taste." Today's reduced-fat treats are fast, easy, healthy and delicious - a winning combination for those looking to reduce their fat and calorie intake without reducing food flavor.

The following tips, courtesy of "The Healthy Oven Baking Book: Delicious Bake-from-Scratch Desserts with Less Fat and Lots of Flavor" (Doubleday), by Sarah Phillips, will lead you on the path to successful low-fat baking.

Measure by the spoon-and-sweep method - As flour settles, it can compact itself in its bag. In order to give baked goods a nice, light crumb, the flour must be aerated. The best place to start is with this method: Place a dry measuring cup on a plate or a piece of waxed paper (to catch the excess flour). Using a large spoon, stir the flour in the bag or container, and lightly spoon it into the cup until it overflows. Do not pack the flour in the cup. Using a knife (or your finger), sweep off the excess flour so it is level with the top of the cup.

Use nonstick baking pans - To reduce sticking, always use nonstick pans and muffin tins sprayed with canola or vegetable oil spray. Low-fat batters especially stick to the surfaces of regular baking pans without a nonstick lining. In that case, generously spray with oil.

Do not open the oven until the last five minutes of baking - All low-fat and reduced-fat baked goods are extremely sensitive to shifts in oven temperature, which occur when the door is opened, and could fall.



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