Healthy Baking Substitutions

Today was supposed to be a nice, relaxing morning. Getting my hair done, scalp massage, and just relaxing. Was being the ultimate word. A sick little kid kept Mom and Dad up most of the night, and now ultimately demands my full time and attention. No relaxing massage, no pampering.
Oh well, this is the joy of parenting. But while I’m reading stories, holding a sick little boy (while praying I don’t get sick myself) and helping him get better, enjoy these healthy baking substitutions. I used these quite frequently and have found them to be so helpful in my baking and cooking. Try them out for yourself, than let me know what you think!
Here is a list of baking substitutions that you can make without sacrificing the taste or the integrity of a recipe with included vegan substitutes (where appropriate):
Bacon: Turkey bacon, Canadian bacon, low sodium low fat real bacon bits or smoked turkey.
Bread Crumbs: Crushed bran flakes. (Stick in a food processor or blender to more finely ground them).
Butter: (Measure equally to recipe) Prune puree, applesauce, canola or olive oil. Use these substitutions for baking only. Use nonfat cooking spray to brown food instead of butter. For vegans, use products like Earth Balance.
Buttermilk: 1 cup 1% or 2% milk + 2 tbsp lemon juice. Stir together; allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes before using in recipe. For vegans use 1 cup soy milk and 1 tsp lemon juice. (Measure equally to recipe)
Cheese: Use low fat or non fat alternatives. Avoid non fat in recipes that require melting, as non fat cheese does not melt. Low fat cheeses include Monterrey jack, cheddar, Parmesan, mozzarella, etc. If using low fat cheddar cheese, use sharp or extra sharp only for better flavor.
Cream Cheese: Substitute light or fat free cream cheese in place of regular. Do NOT use fat free cream cheese in dips or frostings. Will become runny. Only use low fat cream cheese. Can also use fat free or low fat cottage cheese blended until smooth. For vegans, add Tofutti cream cheese. (Measure equally to recipe)
Cream Cheese (For Cheesecakes): (Measure equally to recipe) Low fat yogurt and skim ricotta cheese, or use light cream cheese. Do not use nonfat cream cheese or cream cheese becomes runny.
Cream of Chicken Soup: 2 cups nonfat dry milk powder, 3/4 cup cornstarch, 1/4 cup low sodium chicken bouillon granules , 2 tablespoons dried onion flakes or 1 teaspoon onion powder , 1 teaspoon dried basil,1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Blend all ingredients together until well mixed. Store mixture in an airtight container until ready to use. To substitute one can of cream of chicken soup in a recipe, use 1/3 cup soup substitute and 1 1/4 cup water.
Egg: Substitute 1 large egg with 2 egg whites -or—use an egg replacer product like Ener-G. (Egg replacer products do not work as well for cakes like angel food).
Flour: Measure equally to recipe: Use ½ whole grain flour and ½ unbleached all purpose flour for recipes calling for all purpose flour. Can use white whole wheat flour. Use ½ whole wheat pastry flour and ½ unbleached all purpose flour in recipes like cakes and muffins. Using spelt flour is also a great substitution and adds a nuttier flavor to recipes.
Heavy Whipping Cream: Soups/Casseroles: Substitute evaporated skim milk or fat free evaporated skim milk . Baking: Light cream evaporated skim milk . Can also use ½ cup low fat yogurt + ½ cup low fat cottage cheese. (I usually put my cottage cheese in a blender first to get rid of the chunks). (Substitutions don’t work well for holiday favorites like caramels). (Measure equally to recipe).
Mayonnaise: Use light or fat free. Not recommended for recipes that require cooking because it turns sweet with heat. (Measure equally to recipe)
Meat: For beef, substitute TVP flakes in recipes like tacos, lean ground beef, ground turkey or chicken, or buffalo.
Milk: Substitute 2% or whole milk for 2% or 1% milk. For vegans, use hemp, coconut, rice, almond or soy milk. Use vanilla or unsweetened varieties only.
(Measure equally to recipe)
Oil: Applesauce. For Brownies you can substitute bean puree (black bean or white beans) Measure equally to recipe. In stir fry’s, substitute chicken broth instead of oil for cooking.
Oil Based Marinades: Wine, balsamic vinegar, fruit juice or fat free broth
Pasta: Whole wheat pasta. If your family does not like the taste, use ½ whole wheat pasta and ½ regular pasta
Plain Yogurt: Substitute low fat sour cream
Sour Cream: Substitute low fat plain yogurt or Greek yogurt (Measure equally to recipe) Or use 1 can fat free evaporated skim milk whipped with 1 teaspoon lemon juice.
Sugar: Most times you can reduce the amount of sugar in a recipe to ¾ of what the recipe calls for and increase spices like vanilla, cinnamon or nutmeg to compensate. Or for every 1 cup of sugar in a recipe you can substitute: 3/4 cup Agave Nectar, Reduce liquids by 1/3
3/4 cup Barley Malt Syrup, Reduce liquids by 1/4
1 cup Brown Rice Syrup, Reduce liquids by 1/4
2/3 Date Sugar (do not reduce liquids)
1 cup Fruit Syrup, Reduce liquids by 1/4
3/4 cup Honey, Reduce liquids by 1/8
3/4 Maple Syrup; Reduce liquids by 1/8
1 cup Pure Maple Syrup; Reduce liquids by 3 tbsp, add 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup Sucanat (do not reduce liquids)
1 tsp powdered Stevia (do not reduce liquid)
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  1. I use the buttermilk sub you mentioned here all the time. Way cheaper than buying another separate item at the store. Great info, thanks!

  2. I like the sugar and flour substitutions, but I’m disappointed by the heavy lowfat/nonfat slant. Good quality fat is not bad for us. Bring on the bacon (pastured, of course)!

  3. This is a great list! Thanks for sharing 🙂

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