(Family Features) - Thick fall sweaters and cozy pants are no excuse to let your craving for comfort food expand your waistline. To keep your appetite at bay during the cool months of autumn, swap traditional baking ingredients with versions that can help you enjoy favorite baked goods without interfering with your weight goals. Read on for a few quick tips and new products that can help you stay on track.
To make over some of those high-fat fall baking favorites, try these quick substitutions:
- 1 cup whole milk: 1 cup skim milk
- 1 cup butter or oil: 2/3 cup applesauce
- 1 egg: 2 egg whites
- 1 cup cream cheese: 1 cup lower-calorie cream spread for cooking, such as Weight Watchers Reduced Fat Cream Cheese Spread
- 1 cup heavy cream: 1 cup evaporated skim milk
Smart substitutions can help you cut calories by more than half. The basic banana bread slice, for example, contains an average of 325 calories and 12 grams of fat, and fruity bread or carrot cake might sound healthy but can be surprisingly high in fat and cholesterol. Fortunately, a few tweaks on these American favorites can help you cut calories by half.
Simply replace eggs with low-calorie egg beaters, butter with no-sugar-added applesauce, and add whole-wheat flour to your regular banana bread all-purpose flour (mix 1 1/4 cups whole-wheat and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour for a large-loaf pan). And if you are a carrot cake fan, you don't have to skimp on the frosting if you use a rich low-calorie reduced-fat cream cheese. For example, Weight Watchers' new 8-ounce cream cheese spread contains 40 percent less fat than regular cream cheese and is perfect for cooking.
To enjoy warm baked goods and keep everyone in good shape also try serving a veggie quiche instead of a pie. When making a quiche, use fat-free milk, olive oil and low-fat cheese to keep it on the healthier side. Try this recipe for a delicious warm treat that the whole family will love.