Oil of any type plays an important role in baking. It helps in proper binding of the ingredients and is especially helpful in baked foods, since it helps keep them moist. It also prevents sticking of the items and gives the recipe a good texture. But, oil is popularly known as a source of high calories or cholesterol in the diet. Most of you might think of replacing it and hence wonder if there can be a substitute in baking. So, here's the solution.
You can substitute one cup vegetable oil by a cup of homemade applesauce. Skim milk can also be added to the applesauce. Applesauce is known to be the best substitute for oil as it will retain the same taste.
You can also use an equal amount of butter. This would not change the taste and act as a perfect substitute. Using margarine in equal amount as that of vegetable oil is also a good idea. You can also use butter buds that are usually used to form a liquid, cooking spray, or corn syrup.
Another substitute is fruit puree. You can opt for 1 cup fruit puree instead of using a cup of vegetable oil. Make sure you don't use strong flavored fruits. Using mashed bananas or prunes can be a good substitute as well. Bananas work best in breads and muffins. You can even try using zucchini in brownies.
If you are using vegetable oil to bake brownies, you could use olive oil instead. It will retain the taste and the food will be healthier than that made using the vegetable oil. You can also opt for canola oil instead of vegetable oil, as this will lower the amount of saturated fat in your diet.
Cornstarch is another great option for cooking oil. You can mix it with water and then heat it to get the desired amount of thickness. Let it cool down before you use it.
Yogurt is not only an awesome dairy food, but also serves as a perfect substitute for high-fat ingredients in baking. You can substitute oil with plain yogurt. Instead of 1 cup oil you can opt for ½ cup oil or ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons plain yogurt in the recipe.
You can also use mayonnaise instead of oil. You can use mayonnaise in equal amount as that of oil you were going to use. Using mayonnaise while making a chocolate cake gives a great taste and texture.
Some of the winter squash variants can be a good substitutes for oil. You can use pumpkin, which will act as the best one. Mashed sweet potatoes are also a good option instead of using oil.
While there are many ingredients that can act as a substitute for oil while baking, it is always good to stick to the basic recipe. Remember that completely eliminating oil from the recipe might not give it the desired taste. You can always try other ways to reduce the cholesterol levels. You can choose low fat oils that will be good for your health instead of completely eliminating them. Don't forget that using oil for dressing makes healthy salads more nutritious!