Here’s how to replace oil with applesauce and still make a delicious snack

When you’re on the hunt for a sweet treat that isn’t too heavy and won’t make you feel like you need a nap, we’ve got a culinary secret to let you in on. Using applesauce instead of oil turns ordinary desserts into scrumptious treats — and it’s a healthy alternative that your body will absolutely love.

Vegetable oil is a really common oil used in baking, but according to a study published in the BMJ, there is a distinct link between consuming vegetable oil and a higher risk of heart disease. Another reason vegetable oil isn’t very healthy for you is because research has shown that people who don’t eat vegetable oil tend to live longer.

Enter our hero of the day — applesauce.

When you use applesauce in baked goods, you get a creamier, more moist texture. You also get a whole plethora of fiber and nutrients that you don’t get from vegetable oil. Plus, applesauce is a great substitute to use if you’re vegan and you need something to replace eggs with. All in all, it’s definitely worth giving applesauce a shot if you’re looking to make a healthy treat.

When can I substitute applesauce for oil?

The baked goods that take best to applesauce are cakes, breads, and muffins. Brownies can do well with applesauce as well, especially if you’re working with a brownie mix packet. However, cookies don’t do great with applesauce, because it makes them come out too fluffy, rather than crispy and chewy. Consider yourself warned.

What is the ratio I should use when substituting applesauce for oil?

In the world of brownies, particularly a brownie mix, toss in the same amount of applesauce as you would oil. This will give your brownies a delicious, unique flavor, but they may come out a little thinner yet just as pleasantly dense (we’re not complaining).

For cakes, breads, and muffins, it really depends on the recipe, so you may have to experiment a little bit. The general consensus is you shouldn’t use too much applesauce in baked goods, because that might cause them to come out with a really strange texture. Try 3/4 cup of applesauce for every cup of oil you’re meant to use for the recipe, and you can build from there.

Does applesauce affect how long the baked good stays in the oven?

This is important: When you’re playing with applesauce, it causes your treats to bake a little faster in the oven, so you’ll probably have to reduce the time you leave it in there. The actual time will differ across the board, so just keep an eye on your baked goods when they’re in the oven. The second you can stick a toothpick in the middle and it comes out clean, it’s ready to come out of the oven and be devoured.

If you need some applesauce inspiration, try your hand at these Carrot Apple Muffins that are made exclusively with natural ingredients, including applesauce. Or this One Bowl Vegan Chocolate Cake, which uses applesauce instead of oil. These recipes will be all the inspiration you need to branch off and experiment with applesauce in your own favorite recipes.

If you mess up and produce something that’s barely edible, consider it a learning experience and try again. You’ve got nothing to lose.

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