5 Heart-Friendly Baking Swaps

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Eating heart-healthy doesn't mean giving up favorite recipes. With a few tweaks here and there, you can enjoy family and holiday favorites without sacrificing taste and potentially avoid the weight gain that seems to follow you for years.

Try these heart-friendly substitutes:

  1. Replace whole eggs with 2 egg whites or cup cholesterol-free egg substitute. If the egg is a must for the recipe, try half of a medium banana (mashed). For leavening, use 1 tablespoons vegetable oil with 1 tablespoons water and 1 teaspoon baking powder (not baking soda) per egg.
  2. When butter is used, substitute half the amount called for with applesauce or mashed avocado. Even pureed prunes may be used.
  3. Most recipes can handle half the amount of sugar. You may also use an equal amount of applesauce (no sugar-added variety). Another tasty tip: use 2/3 cup of pureed dates for each cup of sugar.
  4. Lowering the salt content doesn't mean the recipe has to be bland. Herbs and spices are delicious substitutes. Salt may be replaced with half as much citrus juice.
  5. Swap whole milk for 1% or skim milk plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. In many recipes, soy, rice or almond milk may be used.

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