pie on cutting board

Holiday cookies and baked goods will be more abundant soon, and I am all about enjoying full-fat cookies with traditional ingredients. While savoring the treats you really look forward to is important, sometimes we may want to have some lightened up varieties, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that! 

Here are some examples of baking and ingredient swaps that will lighten the energy density but won’t make a dent in the flavor or enjoyment. My tip is to use one of these swaps per recipe. If you try to do a mix of all of these, you may be sacrificing some flavor and end up changing the consistency too much.  

I’ll kick the list off with some of my personal favorites, unsweetened applesauce, and bananas. 

Stronger U Swap List


To reduce fat from butter or oil, swap with one of these: 

  • Unsweetened Applesauce.  
    • Alone, it may not be a crowd favorite, but as a baking weapon, it’s amazing. It cuts down the fat content of your recipe in a big way. Example Recipe: Applesauce Muffins 
  • Bananas 
    • Mash up a banana for another alternative to reduce the amount of fats used. Example Recipe: Banana Breakfast Cookies 
  • Beans 
    • Black beans can be swapped for oil, butter, or even flour.  Example Recipe: Black Bean Brownies 

Lighten up a nut butter: 

  • Powdered Peanut Butter 
    • Powdered Peanut Butter gives the essence of peanut butter for any PB lover but with way less fat macros. It works as a swap or addition for more peanut butter flavor. Example Recipe: Chocolate Mint Protein Ice Cream Sundae  

For the sweet tooth: 

Whether you feel you have a big sweet tooth or are a fan of more savory dishes, we all like a little sweet sometimes. These are great swaps for sugar or can be used as add-ins to use less sugar, but still sweeten your recipe! 

  • Pitted Medjool Dates
    • You can use these chopped up or pureed. Example Recipe: Snickers Bar 
  • Chocolate Chips sweetened with Stevia or other zero-calories sweeteners.  
  • Frozen or Fresh Berry “Syrup”
    • This is one of my favorite ways to have syrup to add moisture and flavor on pancakes or oatmeal when I don’t want the real thing.
    • Make your own berry syrup in three simple steps:  
      1. Heat frozen berries or fresh berries of choice in the microwave or on the stove 
      2. Mash the heated berries into liquid 
      3. Pour over the dish. 

I hope you enjoyed some of these ideas, and we’d love to hear your favorites! Happy baking! 

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