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Use Applesauce Instead of Sugar When You Bake—This Is Genius!

Applesauce is naturally sweet and can replace sugar in baking. (Image: Stacy Spensley/flickr)
Applesauce is naturally sweet and can replace sugar in baking. (Image: Stacy Spensley/flickr)

You enjoy cake, but cake has now made it onto your “no-no” list, as it’s too full of empty calories, and is considered a “high energy” food—this is not a compliment, by the way.

Muffins made with applesauce are a low-sugar snack (Audreys6/flickr).

Muffins made with applesauce are a low-sugar snack.
(Image: Audreys6/flickr).

Cake, enjoyed every now and then, doesn’t need to be a guilty pleasure. I’ll show you how to have your cake and eat it too.

The secret to lower-carb cakes—applesauce!

You can drastically reduce your cake’s sugar content by substituting one cup of sugar, which has approx. 700 calories, with one cup of apple sauce, containing around 100 calories.

What to do when apples are in season and? make applesauce to freeze! (image:Alan Levine/flickr).

What to do when apples are in season? Make applesauce to freeze! (Image: Alan Levine/flickr).

The result is a dense, moist cake that is less sweet than what you’re used to, but one that has complexity, tartness and deeper fruit flavor.

Use fruit as your sweetner and forego icing, for healthier cakes (image: diekatrin/flickr)

Use fruit as your sweetner and forego icing for healthier cakes. (Image: diekatrin/flickr)

Your sense of taste will already be changing, if you have embarked on a low-refined-sugar diet, and you no longer need that intense sugary hit. In fact, your new palette prefers more subtle ‘real’ flavors, such as fruit, spice and quality fats and oils.

If the cake does not taste sweet enough, maybe you went a little overboard with the bitter cacao powder, or used a pinch too much bi-carb, you can add a half cup of brown sugar or honey to correct it. Or try spreading a little butter on your cake, the richness can satisfy your need for sweet.

Remember: the applesauce is already ‘wet’, as apposed to ‘dry’ sugar, so less moisture needs to be added into the final mixture. Add the moist ingredients slowly at the end for right consistency.

No apples? Try banana! 

You can use bananas in the same way, simply mash by hand with a fork, then measure in your cup. The riper the sweeter.

No apples? Try mashed banana- the riper the better (whologwhy/Flickr)

No apples? Try mashed banana—the riper the better.
(Image: whologwhy/Flickr)

Easy applesauce

  • Skin and chop 4 large apples, place them into a saucepan.
  • Add 2 tbsp of lemon juice if you like it tart, omit if you prefer a sweet aftertaste.
  • Add 2 tbsp of water, cover, and gently simmer for 15 minutes, checking and stirring regularly.
  • Once soft, allow to cool, and blitz in a food processor or press by hand until smooth.
  • This recipe will make approx. 1 1/2 cups.
Cooking applesauce and keeping skins on to increase nutritional value (image:blumenbiene/Flickr)

Cooking applesauce and keeping skins on to increase nutritional value.. (Image: blumenbiene/Flickr)

Moving from sugar to fruit puree will be a small adjustment to your baking methods, but isn’t cooking supposed to be a culinary adventure?

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