How can you make low-fat quick breads?

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Answered by: Ashley, An Expert in the Quick Breads Category
Quick breads are a fast, easy addition to any meal. Whether it’s to sop up a hearty dinner stew or to act as a comforting dessert, a slice of quick bread is a perfect way to whip up something awesome for your tastebuds. However, often your favorite recipe is not-so-awesome for your health. Oil, eggs, and whole milk all contain fat that can quickly add up in a loaf of bread.

Thankfully, it’s very easy to adapt quick bread recipes to a low-fat diet, and low-fat quick breads can be just as tender, moist, and flavorful as their richer cousins. Simple substitutions are all you need to turn your favorite recipe into something both satisfying and healthy.

One easy trick to lower the fat in your favorite quick bread is to replace the oil. A popular substitution is unsweetened applesauce, which imparts moisture and sweetness to the bread and has a mild flavor that goes well with most recipes. Watch the bread carefully while it bakes, for breads made with applesauce will bake faster and dry out more quickly. ¾ cup of applesauce replaces 1 cup of oil. If the batter still seems dry, add another ¼ cup of applesauce.

Unsweetened pumpkin is also a boon to low-fat quick breads. Pumpkin puree has a dense yet creamy texture and adds a gentle flavor that works equally well with sweet or savory recipes. In addition to being low-fat, it’s also high in fiber, potassium, and Vitamins A, C, and E. 1 cup of pumpkin puree is equal to 1 cup of oil.

Want to sneak a serving of vegetables into your bread? Try replacing the oil with grated zucchini. Zucchini is easy to hide among stronger flavors like chocolate or cayenne and adds moisture and tenderness to your quick bread. Make sure to squeeze as much water as possible from the grated zucchini before adding it to the batter to avoid adding too much liquid. 1 cup of grated zucchini (squeezed dry) is equal to 1 cup of oil.

Another way to lower the fat in your favorite quick bread recipe is to swap out the egg or eggs with egg substitute. Liquid and dry egg substitutes are made without egg yolks, which means they are very low in fat and cholesterol. Even so, your favorite quick bread will remain tender, moist, and delicious—just healthier! ¼ cup egg substitute is equal to 1 whole large egg.

A final baking tip is to substitute any whole milk in a recipe with buttermilk. Buttermilk is naturally low in fat and adds a nice tang that enhances both sweet and savory recipes. It will give your bread plenty of tenderness that tastes just as rich as any full-fat version. Be sure to add baking soda if you substitute buttermilk for milk in a recipe. ½ teaspoon of baking soda should be used with 1 cup of buttermilk, and take away 2 teaspoons of baking powder from the recipe’s original amount.

A low-fat quick bread can be just as moist, tender, and delicious as its full-fat counterpart. With a little bit of substitution magic, your favorite recipe can become healthier without losing any flavor or texture. So the next time you make a quick bread, try making it low-fat and then eat it guilt-free!

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