If you’re a fan of baking, you may have heard about the wonders of applesauce. This versatile ingredient is not only delicious and healthy but also can enhance the texture, flavor, and nutritional profile of your baked goods.
But what exactly does applesauce do in baking, and how can you use it to your advantage? In this article, we will answer these questions and more, and provide you with helpful tips and recipes to try at home.
What Does Applesauce Do in Baking?
Applesauce can serve multiple functions in baking, depending on how you use it. Here are some of the most common benefits of using applesauce in your recipes:
- Replacing eggs: Applesauce can be a vegan substitute for eggs in recipes that call for them, such as cakes, muffins, and cookies. Since applesauce contains pectin, a natural thickener, it can help bind the ingredients together and create a fluffy and moist texture. To replace one egg, use 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce, and reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup.
- Reducing oil: Applesauce can also replace some or all of the oil or butter in a recipe, making it lower in fat and calories. This is particularly useful in recipes that call for a lot of oil, such as brownies, quick bread, and pancakes. To replace one cup of oil, use 1/2 cup of applesauce and 1/2 cup of oil, or 1 cup of applesauce if you want to go oil-free. Keep in mind that the texture and taste may differ from the original recipe, so you may need to experiment and adjust the other ingredients accordingly.
- Adding moisture: Applesauce can add moisture to your baked goods, which is especially helpful if you’re using whole grain flours or gluten-free flours that tend to be drier than all-purpose flour. The natural sweetness of applesauce can also enhance the flavor of your treats, and complement other ingredients such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger. To add moisture, use 1/2 cup to 1 cup of applesauce per cup of flour, depending on the recipe and desired texture.
- Boosting nutrition: Applesauce is a healthy ingredient that can add fiber, vitamins, and minerals to your baked goods. It is also low in sodium, cholesterol, and saturated fat, making it a good choice for people with dietary restrictions or health concerns. By using applesauce instead of eggs and oil, you can reduce the amount of cholesterol and saturated fat in your recipes, and increase the amount of fiber and antioxidants. For example, using applesauce in your oatmeal cookies can turn them into a wholesome snack that you can enjoy anytime.
How to Use Applesauce in Baking: Tips and Tricks
Now that you know what applesauce can do in baking, let’s explore some tips and tricks for using it effectively:
- Use unsweetened applesauce: To avoid adding extra sugar to your recipes, use unsweetened applesauce, which is readily available in grocery stores or can be made at home by blending peeled and cored apples in a food processor or blender. Sweetened applesauce may alter the taste and texture of your baked goods, and also contain added preservatives or flavors that you may not want.