fat = solid fat
Equivalents: 1 lb. = 2 cups
For frying or sauteing
clarified butter (This is less perishable and it's better for frying since it can be heated to a higher temperature without burning.) OR
olive oil (For frying only) OR
vegetable oil (Less flavorful but more nutritious.) OR
cooking spray (For low-fat frying) OR
beer (for sauteing) (Use three tablespoon of flat beer for every tablespoon of butter called for in recipe.)
wine (for sauteing) (Use three tablespoon of wine for every tablespoon of butter called for in recipe.)
General notes: Reducing fat will give baked goods a denser texture; to correct for this, try increasing the sugar in the recipe and/or beating the egg whites and folding them into the batter. Also try using a softer flour, like pastry or cake flour.
applesauce (Applesauce can replace up to ¾ of the shortening in many recipes. Add with the liquid ingredients and reduce sugar in recipe if the applesauce is sweetened.) OR
pureed prunes (Pureed prunes can replace up to ¾ of the shortening in many recipes; it works especially well with chocolate. Add with the liquid ingredients.) OR
apple butter (Apple butter can replace up to ¾ of the shortening in many recipes, also reduce sugar in recipe if the apple butter is sweetened. Add with the liquid ingredients.) OR
fruit-based fat substitutes (Especially good when baking with chocolate; add with the liquid ingredients. For best results, substitute only 3/4 of the fat with this.)OR
ricotta cheese (This works well in many yeast breads that call for solid fat. Substitute measure for measure. For best results, substitute no more than 3/4 of the fat with this.) OR
bananas (mashed) (Substitute measure for measure.) OR
omit or reduce (In many recipes for quick breads, muffins, and cookies, you can reduce the amount of fat in the recipe by about a third without seriously compromising the quality.
oil (Avoid substituting oils for solid fats when baking cookies, cakes, and pastries; it will make the dish greasy and dense. If you must do so, substitute 3 parts oil for every 4 parts solid fat and consider increasing the amount of sugar and eggs in the recipe. Pie crusts made with oil aren't as flaky as those made with solid fat.)
For spreading on bread and muffins
diet speads (Great substitute when used as a spread, but doesn't work very well as a substitute in baking. Substituting diet spreads for butter tends to make cookies flat and thin.)
cream cheese (This is a good substitute spread for toast or muffins.)
As a flavoring
nutritional yeast This is a nutritious and surprisingly tasty topping for popcorn.
annatto lard To make your own: Briefly heat equal parts annatto seeds and lard until the seeds give the fat a reddish-orange color (remove from heat just as the color begins to fade), then strain out seeds.
barding strips See lard leaves.
butter Notes: This is a delicious solid fat churned from milk. It's used in baking, frying, and as a spread on toast and muffins. Recipes that call for butter in most better cookbooks are referring to unsalted butter = sweet cream butter = sweet butter. Salted butter doesn't spoil as readily (the salt serves as a preservative). See also the entries for whipped butter and European-style butter. Equivalents: 1 pound = 2 cups = 4 sticks. 1 stick = 8 tablespoons. 1 stick salted butter = 1 stick unsalted butter + 3/8 teaspoon salt. (The salt content of salted butter can vary between brands.) To make your own: In a blender or food processor, mix one cup chilled whipping cream for a few minutes until butter forms. Pour off excess liquid (buttermilk) and wash butter repeatedly with cold water until rinse water is clear. Substitutions: margarine (This has an inferior flavor, makes bread crusts tougher and cookies softer, and may make cookies more difficult to shape. Avoid using it in flaky pastries.) OR shortening (This has an inferior flavor, and compared to butter it makes cookies crunchier and breads crusts softer. OR lard (This has an inferior flavor, but it makes flakier pastries than butter. Some cooks mix lard with butter to strike a balance between flavor and flakiness. Substitute four parts lard for every five parts butter called for in recipe.) See also: fat (for low-fat or no-fat substitutions)
caul fat Pronunciation: KAHL Notes: Look for this in the meat sections of Asian, French, and Italian markets. Caul fat from pork is considered superior to caul fat from lamb. Substitutes: thin strips of bacon (for wrapping meats before roasting)
clarified butter = drawn butter = AMF = anhydrous milkfat = butter oil = ghee Notes: This is butter without the milk solids, so it doesn't go rancid or smoke when heated to a high temperature. Look for jars of it in Indian markets. To make your own: Melt butter using very low heat until a white deposit forms on the bottom of the pan, then strain and discard milky residue. It's best to refrigerate this in case some of the milk solids remain. Substitutes: canola oil (more healthful) OR other vegetable oil (Not as flavorful, but the fat is unsaturated.) OR butter (downside: foods fried in unclarified butter are more likely to overbrown) OR cooking spray (for greasing pans)
copha Shopping hints: This is a shortening based on coconut oil that's commonly used in Australia. It's very hard to find in the U.S. Substitutes: vegetable shortening See also: fat (for low-fat or no-fat substitutions)
Crisco See shortening.
diet margarine See margarine.
duck fat Substitutes: goose fat OR lard
European-style butter Notes: Plugra is a domestic brand. Since European-style butter has a lower moisture content, using it results in better pastries, icings, and sauces. Substitutes: butter
goat's butter = staka Substitutes: butter
goose fat Substitutes: duck fat OR lard
lard = pork lard Notes: Lard is rendered pork fat. It's high in saturated fat, and quite bad for you. Still, it's the fat of choice for making flaky pie crusts, though it's not as flavorful as butter. Some pastry chefs combine butter with lard to achieve a balance of flavor and flakiness. Lard is also used for frying since it can reach high temperatures without smoking. See also the entries for lard leaves and lardo. To make your own: Bring 1 pound cut-up pork fat plus 3/4 cup water to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes. Strain. Substitutes: butter (In baked goods, 5 tablespoons butter = 4 tablespoons lard. Pastry made with butter instead of lard may be less tender and flaky.) OR margarine (In baked goods, 5 tablespoons margarine = 4 tablespoons lard. Pastry made with margarine instead of lard may be less tender and flaky.) OR bacon fat (For frying.) OR shortening OR vegetable oil (Vegetable oil is good for frying, and more healthful than lard.) See also: fat (for low-fat or no-fat substitutions)
lard leaves = barding strips = lardons = leaf lard Substitutes: sliced fatback
lardo Notes: This is unrendered pork fat that fearless Italians slice and serve on bread.
lardons See lard leaves.
leaf lard See lard leaves.
lite margarine See margarine.
margarine = oleomargarine Varieties: In addition to regular margarine, supermarkets usually carry diet margarine = lite margarine (with about half the fat and more water and air), soft margarine, whipped margarine (containing up to 50% air). These diet margarines make wonderful spreads, but they shouldn't be substituted for regular margarine in baked goods. For more information, visit the Illinois Cooperative Extension Service's Lite Margarine--Substitution for Baking page. Substitutes: butter (butter has a better flavor but has cholesterol, makes crisper cookies, crisper bread crusts) OR shortening + pinch of salt (makes crunchier cookies, softer bread crusts, has inferior taste) OR lard (especially for making pastry or for frying) See also: fat (for low-fat or no-fat substitutions)
oleomargarine See margarine.
Plugra See European-style butter
pork lard See lard.
salted butter See butter.
shortening = vegetable shortening Notes: Crisco is a popular brand. Substitutes: butter (1 cup shortening = 1 cup + 2 tablespoons butter; butter is better tasting than shortening but more expensive and has cholesterol and a higher level of saturated fat; makes cookies less crunchy, bread crusts more crispy) OR margarine (1 cup shortening = 1 cup + 2 tablespoons margarine; margarine is better tasting than shortening, but more expensive; makes cookies less crunchy, bread crusts tougher) OR lard (1 C shortening = 1 C - 2 tablespoons lard; lard has cholesterol and a higher level of saturated fat) See also: fat (for low-fat or no-fat substitutions)
soft margarine See margarine.
solid fat See fat.
staka See goat's butter.
suet = beef suet Pronunciation: SOO-it Shopping hints: Your butcher will probably give some of this to you for free. Substitutes: vegetarian suet OR shortening OR beef drippings OR chicken fat OR pork fat OR butter
sweet butter See butter.
sweet cream butter See butter.
unsalted butter See butter.
vegetable shortening See shortening.
whipped butter To make your own: Beat softened stick of butter in a food processor for several minutes until fluffy OR (low fat version) Beat softened stick of butter in a food processor, while slowly adding 1/3 cup of milk. Substitutes: butter (less spreadable)
whipped margarine See margarine.
Equivalents and Health notes
1 pound solid fat = 2 C
Nutritionists recommend that we cut down on saturated fats and cholesterol. Fats ranked in order of saturated fat content: coconut oil, butter, palm oil, animal fat, cottonseed oil, vegetable shortening, margarine, soybean oil, olive oil, peanut oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, canola oil. Fats with cholesterol: butter, animal fat.
For tips on how to reduce fat in recipes, visit Preparing Healthy Food: How to Modify a Recipe.
Copyright © 1996-2005 Lori Alden