Give Baked Goods a Veggie Vantage
Veggies in dessert? It almost sounds wrong. Then we’re reminded of the sweet taste of spiced carrot cake smothered in cream cheese frosting, or a tender slice of chocolate chip zucchini bread with a morning cup of joe. And let’s not forget pumpkin pie!
In fact, vegetable purees are a smart way to add moisture and richness to cakes and quick breads without adding extra fat and calories. Check out these five secret-ingredient veggies that will give whoever you share them with a healthy dose of dessert.
They don’t call ’em sweet for nothing. When it comes to dessert, sweet potatoes make one heck of a pie. (You’ve gotta try our dreamy coconut meringue-topped version!) But that’s not all. Next time you’re making a spice cake, try substituting half the fat for cooked pureed sweet potatoes. This little trick not only cuts down on fat and calories, but also gives your cake a boost of potassium and vitamin A. Shhh…you don’t have to tell anyone.
RED VELVET GETS REAL
Shredded or pureed cooked beets work well in rich chocolate cakes or brownies. You won’t be able to detect the beets, but you will notice an added sweetness along with a deep purple-red hue—perfect for naturally coloring red velvet cakes. A good rule of thumb is to use about ¾ cup of beets in place of fat (butter or oil) for a healthy dose of antioxidants in every bite.
WHISK IN EGG…PLANT?
Yes, really! This trendy antioxidant-rich addition to baked goods is particularly popular in chocolate chip muffins. If you like the taste of zucchini bread, this is a must-try. Eggplant adds a slight savory taste to muffins, making them a hearty breakfast or brunch option and a good choice for those who don’t like their sweets too sweet. Start by adding 1 cup of shredded peeled eggplant to your favorite muffin recipe and bake ’em up beautifully in a Baker’s Secret® Signature™ 12- Cup Muffin Pan.
THEY KNOW WHAT’S UP, DOC
Uh-oh, the kids are onto you. It’s hard to disguise bright orange carrot specks in baked goods. If you need a replacement that’s just as sweet and healthy, try shredded or grated parsnips instead. They’re especially delicious with sweet coconut, toasted walnuts, cinnamon and nutmeg, and they disguise beautifully in cupcakes and quick breads. Plus, parsnips provide even more vitamin C and potassium than carrots.
IT’S LIKE BUTTAH
While technically avocados are a fruit, we simply couldn’t overlook baking with rich and creamy avocado puree. With a butter-like texture, it’s the ultimate substitute for, well, butter. Try replacing half of the butter in your favorite brownie batter with mashed avocado, and be ready to be wowed. Oh, and feel good about the extra vitamin E and fiber in these chocolaty treats, not to mention the healthy dose of monounsaturated fat (that’s the “good” kind!). Share the goods at your next get-together: The Baker’s Secret® Essentials Cook ‘N Carry 9 x 13 Cake Pan comes with a cover for easy transportation and storage.
- Make large batches of pureed vegetables and freeze in ½-cup portions for the next time you’re baking.
- When baking with avocado, remember one avocado yields about ¾ cup of puree.
- For year-round baking, try butternut or acorn squash puree instead of pumpkin in your favorite pumpkin recipe.
Don’t forget, veggies will also add essential nutrients and bump up the fiber content of your baked goods, which is especially helpful to remember when debating that second serving!