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Smart Stand-Ins

Use the following tips to trim fat in your favorite recipes. Experiment to determine the type and amount of substitutions that can be made without compromising flavor.

If the recipe says: try this instead
Whole Milk Skim or 1% milk
Light cream Equal portions of 1% milk and evaporated skim milk
Heavy cream Equal portions of half-and-half and evaporated skim milk
1 ounce baking chocolate 3 tablespoons cocoa (if you need to replace fat in chocolate, add 1 tablespoon or less of vegetable oil)
Fudge sauce Chocolate syrup
Nuts, coconut Reduce amount called for in recipes; toast to enhance flavor
Whipped cream Whip chilled evaporated milk or use reduced-fat, whipped toppings
Sour cream Low-fat or non-fat sour cream, low-fat yogurt, or blend 1 cup low fat cottage cheese with 1 tablespoon skim milk and two tablespoons lemon juice
Mayonnaise Reduced-fat or fat-free versions, low-fat or fat-free plain yogurt
Mayonnaise on a sandwich Reduced-fat or fat-free versions, mustard, fruit and vegetable chutney, salsa
Butter, lard, margarine, shortening To cut total fat, reduce amount called for in recipes by 1/3. In baking, replace some fat with fruit purees.
Oil (in baking) Equal amount of applesauce
1 whole egg 2 egg whites
Cream cheese Reduced-fat (often called "Neufchatel cheese") or fat-free versions
Ricotta cheese 1% cottage cheese, skim or non-fat ricotta
Whole-milk cheese Skim-milk mozzarella or low-fat or fat-free versions
Higher-fat cuts of meat labeled "choice" or "prime" grades Leaner meat cuts labeled as "select" grade, such as round, sirloin, top loin, lean and extra-lean ground beef
Luncheon meats Low-fat versions of higher-fat luncheon meats, skinless turkey or chicken breast, lean ham or roast beef
Sausage Ground skinless turkey breast
Bacon Canadian bacon, turkey bacon, lean ham
Avocado, olives, coconut, etc. as salad garnishes Decorative fruit and vegetable garnishes that are lower in fat, such as cucumber slices, orange segments or twists, carrot curls and tomato roses
Higher-fat frosting Sifted confectioner's sugar, sifted cocoa or flavored marshmallow cream