Making the switch to a whole foods, plant-based diet doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy delicious and wholesome homemade baked goods. You can take just about any recipe, vegan or not, and make it better and healthier by replacing the oil or butter. And, I’m going to show you how to do it!
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Unsweetened Apple Sauce
Applesauce is great in cakes, muffins, and soft-baked cookies. The ratio is typically 1:1. So, if the recipe calls for 1/2 cup of oil, use 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce.
Use applesauce for recipes that are moist and dense. It’s perfect for banana bread, carrot cake, chocolate cake, and fruity muffins.
DON’T use applesauce that is sweetened or flavored. Blah! And, applesauce is not good for cookies you want to bake up thin and crisp. But, we will be talking about it. Also, baked goods made with applesauce are best when you let them cool at least 10-15 minutes before cutting to prevent crumbling.
Nut butters like SUNFLOWER, Homemade Almond Butter, and CASHEW BUTTER are great for cookies. Especially thin or crisp cookies. Use nut butters that are ALL natural with no added oil. Use an equal amount of nut butter to replace the butter or oil in a recipe. Almond butter is great. Remember, nut butter is no bueno for those with nut allergies and it’s high in fat.
Silken tofu is good for recipes that are a little more dense as well. Use in baked goods with strong flavors like chocolate. Use 1/3 cup of silken tofu to replace every 1/2 cup of oil. You can blend silken tofu to make a puree and use it as an oil substitute in cookies, muffins, cakes and brownies.
What is aquafaba? This is just a fancy word for chickpea juice. Yes, the juice in the chickpea can. The flavor is actually pretty neutral and the consistency is very similar to vegetable oil. I recently baked a cake with it and it’s one of my favorite oil replacement thus far. It’s also great for cookies and muffins or just about anything else really! Use an equal amount of aqua faba to replace the oil in any recipe.
Mashed Banana, Pumpkin or Sweet Potato
You can use mashed bananas, pumpkin or sweet potato for scones, muffins and bread. Use 1/3 cup of any of the three to replace every 1/2 cup of oil. Keep it mind that this is really only an option if you want the final product to have a slight banana, pumpkin or sweet potato flavor! But, that ain’t a bad thing.
There you have it. Replacements for healthy oil-free plant-based baking. Pretty simple, right?
For more information on the science behind the problems with oil in your diet, check out the following resources:
- Why Olive Oil Is Not Healthy For Your Heart by Rosane Oliveira, DVM, PhD
- Is Coconut Oil Healthy or Hazardous? by Alona Pulde, MD & Matthew Lederman, MD
- Olive Oil & Artery Function by Dr. Michael Greger, MD FACLM
- Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease (book) by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, JR., MD
- Wicked Healthy: How To Saute & Roast Without Oil by Chad & Derek Sarno