Although some people say that butter makes everything better, it also adds a whopping 1,600 calories and 177 grams of fat for every cup you use while baking. Fats such as butter are typically used to add tenderness and moisture to breads, muffins, cakes cookies and other baked goods. You can easily lighten up some of your recipes by substituting all, or most, of the fat in your recipe with mashed bananas.
Making the Switch
Banana isn’t usually used as a measure-for-measure replacement. Start by using half as much mashed banana and mixing the batter. If the batter is too dry, add more mashed banana in small amounts until you've gotten the right consistency. Don't be afraid of trial and error; experimenting is usually the best way to find the right ratio for the recipe. Some baked goods may need to have a tablespoon or two of butter added back into it in order to get the best results.
Bananas are sweeter than butter, so you can usually use less sugar than the recipe requires. Additionally, since you're eliminating the fat in the recipe, you should also use half the amount of eggs, or replace whole eggs with egg whites to keep your baked goods tender. To keep your cakes and muffins from drying out, reduce your oven temperature by roughly 25 degrees Fahrenheit to preserve moistness.
Don't Go Bananas
Although bananas can be used in a variety of recipes, they are pretty dense and shouldn't be used when you want a light or fluffy baked good, says registered dietitian Linda Michaelis. Additionally, the flavor typically doesn't pair well with berry flavors or citrus-based recipes. Choose a different low-calorie butter replacement, such as applesauce, for a better result in these instances.
- Secrets of Fat-Free Baking; Sandra L. Woodruff
- The Joy of Vegan Baking; Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
- Go Dairy Free: How to: Baking without Butter
- Linda RD: Healthier Baking with Butter, Egg and Sugar Substitutes