Easy ingredient swaps for healthier baking


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Comfort food may be good for the soul, but the same can’t always be said for your health. Luckily, when it comes to baking, there are some simple substitutions that can make a big impact on calorie and fat content without sacrificing taste.


I don’t eat eggs, which are also a common allergen, so my family and I bake with Ener-G Egg Replacer, which comes in powdered form and only contains 10 calories per serving. Two tablespoons of water mixed with 1.5 tablespoons of dry Egg Replacer is the equivalent of one egg and does not alter the texture or flavor in any way. The company also provides conversions for egg whites and yolks, for recipes calling for separation.

Oil is another easily replaced ingredient. Coconut oil is a healthier option than vegetable or other oils, but if you want to cut it out altogether, you can swap it for applesauce using a 1:1 ratio. For example, if a recipe requires 1/3 cup oil, use 1/3 cup applesauce instead. (Learn more about healthy cooking oils here.)

Plain yogurt (low-fat or fat-free) is another popular switch for common ingredients:

  • Equal amounts of yogurt can be used instead of sour cream.
  • For butter, half is replaced with half as much yogurt. (1 cup of butter would become ½ cup of butter and ¼ cup of yogurt.)
  • For shortening or oil, replace half the oil with three-quarters the amount of yogurt. (For example, instead of 1 cup of oil, use 1/2 cup of oil and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of yogurt.)