In a post last week, I praised Greek yogurt. One of the reasons it is so great, I argued, is because it is an excellent substitute for sour cream.
Greek yogurt “has one-third the calories, one-tenth the saturated fat and three times the protein” of sour cream, I wrote.
Yet here I was, just a few days later, using sour cream in two different recipes, for chocolate cupcakes and chocolate frosting. What’s up with that?
I think it’s because I treat baked goods differently than other foods. In my mind, baked goods should always get the full-fat treatment. It’s one thing to substitute yogurt for sour cream in a sauce. It’s quite another to make the same substitution in a cake. I consider cakes and other baked goods sacred, and not treating them with the full-fat respect they deserve would be blasphemous.
I am of the general opinion that it is better to eat rich desserts sparingly than to eat low-fat desserts more frequently. I love tackling food challenges, so you would think I would embrace the challenge of making a delicious healthy dessert. Instead, that sounds like an oxymoron I don’t even want to contemplate. Even though I did a two-part post about making healthy scones for breakfast, I don’t think healthy scones are really the answer, because they’ll never taste as good as traditional full-fat scones. Why bother with a poor facsimile?
I’m all for healthy baking. I strive to incorporate more fiber and whole grains into the breads I make. There’s just something different about cutting calories in a cake or croissant. When the unhealthiness is inherent in the food item, it seems pointless to fight it.
Of course, I could be wrong. I think I would be willing to cut 50 percent of a dessert’s fat if I could preserve 90 percent of its flavor. Is that possible?
Maybe I’m being too stubborn and principled. What say you, readers? Is it good to look for calorie and fat savings in everything I bake, or should some dishes be off limits? Are low-fat desserts a great alternative or an offense to the palate?