6 Recipes Showing You How to Make Healthier Baked Goods Using Purées

As bad as fat may be bad for your waistline, it does nothing but good things to your baked goods. Often in the form of oil and butter, fat provides color, texture, tenderness, and moisture to your favorite dessert and breakfast foods. Fortunately, there is a way for you to enjoy these foods while following a diet. You can eliminate fat from your baked goods without sacrificing flavor by using fruit and vegetable purées, which work well in everything from muffins and breads to cookies and cake. Keep reading to discover six recipes that use purées to make healthier baked goods. Your tastebuds won’t be able to tell the difference, but your waistline sure will!

Source: iStock

1. Pear and Ginger Quick Bread

Very little fat is needed to make King Arthur Flour’s Pear and Ginger Quick Bread. No oil is used, and the recipe, which yields 16 slices, only calls for ¼ cup butter. The ginger in this dish pairs well with a number of fruits, so feel free to use peaches, nectarines, plums, or bananas in place of the pear. There’s no need to peel your fruit before making this purée; just place in a blender or food processor, and mix until it’s nice and smooth.

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup butter or margarine
  • 1 egg
  • 1 heaping cup pear purée, about 1½ pears
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup crystallized ginger
  • 1 cup finely chopped nuts

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the sugar and butter, then add the egg, beating until smooth. Add the pear purée, flour, ground ginger, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in the candied ginger and nuts. Spoon the batter into an 8½-by-4½-inch loaf pan. Bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven, and cool the loaf in the pan for 15 minutes. Gently remove the loaf from the pan and cool it completely on a wire rack.

Source: iStock

2. Blueberry Muffins with Spinach and Blueberry Purée

A blueberry spinach purée and unsweetened applesauce provide your muffins with ample flavor and a nice, moist texture. At just 97.6 calories per serving, Spark Recipes’ antioxidant-packed muffins are a great breakfast go-to. The recipe yields 12 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • ½ cup all-purpose unbleached flour
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ cup blueberry and spinach purée
  • ⅔ cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Blueberry and Spinach Purée:

  • 1½ cup fresh baby spinach
  • ¾ cup fresh or frozen unsweetened blueberries
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water (optional)

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Purée 1½ cups of spinch and ¾ cups of blueberries. Add 1 teaspoon lemon juice. If needed, add 1 tablespoon water to smooth out purée. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add sugar, milk, vanilla, purée, and applesauce. Mix well. Add 1 cup whole blueberries. Mix until incorporated. Grease or spray your muffin pan with non-stick spray. Spoon batter into muffin cups until about ⅔ full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Source: iStock

3. Nut-Free, Flourless Beet Brownie Cake

An abundance of sweet seasonings and healthy ingredients can be found in Organic Authority’s dessert dish. Cake lovers, beet fans, and chocolate enthusiasts will find this moist and spongy Nut-Free, Flourless Beet Brownie Cake irresistible.

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium or 2 large beets, scrubbed
  • ¾ cup honey
  • 3 organic eggs
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest, optional
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prep a round cake pan. Cut beets into quarters. Place in a small shallow saucepan of water; bring to a boil over high heat. Steam, covered, until beets are soft, about 20 minutes. Drain water. Combine beets and honey in a food processor; purée until smooth. Add remaining ingredients to beet mixture.

Purée until completely smooth. Pour batter into prepared cake pan. Place in oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 35 to 45 to minutes. Let cake cool in pan 10 minutes; remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack. Serve with powdered sugar and dusted cinnamon, if desired.

Source: iStock

4. Prune Chocolate Chip Cookies

Using prune purée in place of some of the butter creates a cookie that’s low in fat. With one serving containing 61.5 calories and 2 grams of fat, Food.com’s Prune Chocolate Chip Cookies are a light dessert option that won’t damage your diet. To make your prune purée, blend 12 prunes with 3 tablespoons of hot water until it’s smooth.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup prune purée
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1½ cups chocolate chips

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl beat purée , butter, both sugars, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. In a small bowl combine flour and baking soda. Stir dry ingredients into wet and mix completely. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop teaspoons of dough onto baking sheets and flatten slightly with a fork and milk. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until light brown around the edges. Transfer to wire rack to cook. Store in air tight container or freezer.

Source: iStock

5. Guilt-Free Brownies

Prune purée drastically reduces the fat in these moist Guilt-Free Brownies. If you’d rather not prepare your own purée, Martha Stewart suggests looking for a store-bought version in your grocery store’s baby-food aisle or baking section. The recipe yields 16 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg white
  • ¼ cup prune purée 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour,spooned and leveled
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch-square baking pan with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang. Set aside. In a small saucepan, bring an inch of water to a simmer over low heat. Place chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl; set bowl over pan. Stir occasionally until melted. Remove from heat.

Immediately whisk in sugar, egg, egg white, prune purée, vanilla, and salt until smooth. In a medium bowl, sift together flour and cocoa. Stir into chocolate mixture just until incorporated. Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake until top is firm, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely in pan. Using foil, lift brownies from pan. Peel off foil. Using a serrated knife, cut into 16 squares.

Source: iStock

6. Ginger Pear Bundt Cake

A healthy option for both breakfast and dessert, Farm To Table Cook’s bundt cake puts your nutrient-rich pears to good use. PopSugar notes that pears are a good source of vitamins B, C, and K and contain six grams of fiber per medium-size fruit.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger or 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • ¾ cup pear purée
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup raw sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a 12-cup bundt pan with cooking spray. Purée pears and set aside. Sift together dry ingredients. Beat ginger, oil,  sugar, eggs, and pear purée. Add dry ingredients and beat until just combined. Stir in walnuts. Pour batter into prepared bundt pan. Bake for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

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