Health In Holidays With Canola Oil

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture
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Indulging with less guilt is easy this holiday season. Simply substitute canola oil for other oils or solid fat in recipes to replace "naughty" saturated fat with "nice" unsaturated fat. This especially applies to baking, which results in many holiday treats.

Use canola oil in recipes that call for oil or solid fat in baked goods like breads, loaves and muffins, says Shirley Corriher, author of the new BakeWise cookbook and winner of the James Beard Award for Excellence. Canola oil has the least amount of saturated fat of any common cooking oil and is free of trans fat and cholesterol.

When substituting canola oil for other oils or solid fat, you will reduce the saturated fat content of baked goods. You will also reduce the total amount of fat by up to 25 percent and eliminate trans fat and cholesterol when using canola oil instead of butter or lard.

Solid Fat to Canola Oil Solid Fat (melted) - Conversion Chart Canola Oil

1 cup - 3/4 cup
3/4 cup - 2/3 cup
1/2 cup - 1/3 cup
1/2 cup - 3 Tbsp

"Canola oil not only makes baked goods healthier, it makes them moister and more tender," Corriher says. "I use canola oil in almost all of my muffin and cake recipes."

"Oil makes cakes more tender by preventing gluten formation in the flour," she explains. "Oil does this better than solid fats. I prefer canola oil because of its healthy fats, light texture and mild flavor."

In addition to being the only common cooking oil that can claim it is low in saturated fat, canola oil is a good source of omega-3 fat and vitamin E. Its neutral taste allows it to be used in a wide variety of recipes without interfering with the flavor or texture of other ingredients.

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Below is a recipe for a seasonal cake that's easy to make, tastes great and contains healthy fats.

For more information about canola oil and holiday recipes, go to canolainfo.org . Each week from now until the end of 2008, the web site will feature a new holiday recipe made with canola oil.

So Light, So Easy Pumpkin Cake

18.25 oz box white cake mix
1 1/4 cups water
1/4 cup canola oil
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
1 cup can pureed pumpkin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger

Canola oil spray

Fat-free whipped topping

1. Preheat oven 325 degrees F.

2. Combine all ingredients, except oil spray and whipped topping in large bowl. Using electric mixer, mix per directions on cake package. Coat 13" X 9" non-stick cake pan with cooking spray and spoon batter evenly into pan. Bake 25-35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted comes out clean. Place pan on wire rack and cool completely.

3. When serving, spoon 1 Tbsp of whipped topping on each slice. May freeze leftover cake up to one month.

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