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-calorie 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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