Lighten Up Your Sweet Treats This Year

By on January 16, 2013

By Meredith Kimelblatt –

Just because Christmas cookie season is over doesn’t mean everyone immediately loses his or her sweet tooth—that would make keeping your New Year’s resolutions way too easy! To hit the perfect balance between satisfying your sweet tooth and keeping yourself in shape this year, there are a few ways to lighten up your baked goods so you can indulge guilt-free! Try the following tips the next time you’re craving something sugary to keep your body running well all year round:

Substitute applesauce

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If you’re making cookies, try substituting applesauce for butter. The ratio for substitution is usually 1:1, and the taste and texture will only be altered very slightly. Using applesauce over butter in your cookie baking will save you lots of calories and fat, so try out this trick if you’re on a diet or looking for a healthier dessert option.

Try out oats

Oats are high in fiber and help to decrease cholesterol, and best of all they are the perfect addition to tons of different baked goodies! From oatmeal chocolate chip cookies to oatmeal dessert bars, there are dozens of different ways to get this ingredient into your regular diet.

Use egg substitute

Shell eggs are high in cholesterol and high cholesterol leads to all kinds of diseases and health problems. Instead, use egg substitute in place of eggs for a lower-fat way to enjoy cakes, cookies and brownies. You’ll still get the sweet taste you crave, but with a lot fewer health risks!

Sneak in fruits and vegetables

Zucchini bread, banana nut muffins and carrot cake all have a couple of things in common. First of all, they’re all delicious baked goods. Second of all, they all contain good-for-you produce that helps keep your body healthy. Adding fruit and veggies to your baked goodies provides you with extra fiber and nutritional content so you can feel good about your desserts.

These power crunch bars from Orville Redenbacher’s® are the perfect sweet treat to keep in your kitchen for a quick snack or dessert. They’re sweet and filling, but lightened up with nutritious oats and cranberries. Enjoy!

Orville Redenbacher’s® Power Crunch Bars

  • 1 1.2 oz bag (about 4 cups popped) Smart Pop! ® Kettle Korn Microwave Popcorn
  • PAM® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
  • 1 ½ cups quick-cooking rolled oats
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup (1 stick) Fleischmann’s® Original-stick, softened
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¾ cup sweetened dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray 15×10-inch jelly roll pan with cooking spray. Combine oats, flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in medium bowl; set aside.

Prepare popcorn according to package directions. Remove all unpopped kernels; set aside.

Using an electric mixer on high speed, combine brown sugar and Fleischmann’s in large bowl. Add water and vanilla; beat until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour mixture, blend well. Turn mixer on low speed; add cranberries.

Cover hands with plastic gloves or sandwich size plastic bags; spray with cooking spray. Mix popcorn into cookie dough. Spread mixture into prepared pan. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Let cool before cutting into 24 bars. Store bars in airtight container.

This is a guest post by Meredith K. on behalf of Orville Redenbacher’s®. For more healthy popcorn recipes to help you snack smart this year, visit

About Meredith Kimelblatt

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Lighten Up Your Sweet Treats This Year