Applesauce is well known among bakers as a nonfat substitute for oil and melted butter. We wouldn’t use it indiscriminately (fat-free brownies or chocolate-chip cookies just don’t have the same appeal as the real, rich thing), but for lighter quick breads, muffins and other breakfast treats that don’t depend on large quantities of fat for flavor, applesauce is just the thing. To adapt a favorite recipe, substitute an equal amount of unsweetened applesauce for liquid fat (applesauce won’t work as well when swapped for solid butter or shortening).
Image: Lauren Chattman
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup wheat bran
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups nonfat yogurt
- Low-fat milk, if necessary
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon butter, cut into pieces
- Whisk together the flour, wheat bran, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together the yogurt, applesauce and vegetable oil in a medium bowl. Add the yogurt mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just moistened. If necessary, add some low-fat milk to thin the batter (it should be thicker than regular pancake batter, but thin enough to spread in the pan).
- Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Melt a teaspoon of butter and swirl to coat bottom of pan. Spoon about ¼ cup of batter for each pancake onto hot pan and cook, turning once, until pancakes are risen and golden, 5 to 7 minutes total. Transfer to a platter and repeat with remaining pancakes, serving them hot as they come out of the pan.
- For the flavor and look of whole wheat without whole-wheat flour’s heaviness, use all-purpose flour plus a little bit of wheat bran.
- Use a smidgen of fat in your recipe, instead of going completely nonfat. Just a tablespoon of vegetable oil moistens these applesauce pancakes, and cook the pancakes in a nonstick skillet with a smidgen of butter for flavor without a lot of fat.