Yogurt: Your Secret Weapon for Eating Sweets on a Diet

Diets and sweets are two things that don't really go well together! I can usually do pretty well on my own, but when it's time to bring something to work or a get-together, I usually use it as an excuse to indulge. At least I know it won't be sitting around my house tempting me, and one little piece can't hurt, right?

Well, while I do think that's true, I'm not against saving a few calories where I can. So imagine my excitement when I found out that you can use yogurt to replace a lot of higher calorie ingredients when baking. Check out these awesome substitutions:

Low-fat or fat-free yogurt can be used to reduce or replace shortening, oil, butter or sour cream in baked goods. It cuts the fat and adds a creamy texture and tenderness to your recipes. Plus, it's packed with protein and calcium.

Here are some easy guidelines for using yogurt in baking:
- When a recipe calls for butter, replace half the butter with half as much yogurt. For instance, instead of 1 cup butter, use 1/2 cup butter and 1/4 cup yogurt.
- When a recipe calls for shortening or oil, replace half the oil with 3/4 the amount of yogurt. For example, instead of 1 cup oil, use 1/2 cup oil and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons yogurt.
- Substitute yogurt cup for cup for sour cream in recipes.
- Yogurt can even replace some of the water or milk in a recipe. Start by substituting 1/4 of the liquid with yogurt. The result will be creamier and more flavorful.

So, take my favorite office bring-in, Ooey Gooey Bars, for example. You could swap out half the butter (1/4 cup) for half as much yogurt (1/8 cup) - so, put in 1/4 cup butter and 1/8 cup yogurt total, for those following along at home - and save quite a few calories without sacrificing taste or texture.

Try it on some recipes of your own and let us know how it goes!

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lindsay said...

I have never heard of the yogurt substitution. I can't wait to try it!

Sandy said...

I mix yogurt with mayo in potato salad...gives it a lighter flavor and a bonus of less calories.

Vicki said...

Great tip - that way you can substitute yogurt for more than just baked goods! Thanks!

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