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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 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


Reduced fat or fat-free versions, low-fat or fat-free plain yogurt

Mayonnaise on a sandwich

Reduced fat or fat-free versions, low-fat or fat-free plain yogurt

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 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


Ground skinless turkey breast


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