Can I Substitute Fruit Puree for Ingredients I Can't Use in My Favorite Recipes?

If you're looking for a substitute for oil when baking or want to try making a cake without using eggs, heavy cream, or even vanilla extract, there's an easy answer to your ingredient replacement quest: fruit purees.

Yes. While it may sound surprising, fruit puree is a versatile ingredient that can be used as a substitute for many common cooking ingredients. Whether you want to reduce your fat intake, have an intolerance, want to eat vegan, or simply have run out of a pantry staple and need a quick solution, a fruit puree can provide a very satisfying solution. Here are five examples of using purees as delicious ingredient substitutes.

1. Use fruit puree as a substitute for vegetable oil in muffins or brownies

Fruit puree is a great substitute for vegetable oil in muffins or brownies. While vegetable oil is commonly used in making baked goods, it doesn't have the best fat profile, and if you are conscious about your fat intake, fruit puree provides an easy solution — while packing in lots of extra flavor! 

Because fruit puree has a similar thick consistency to vegetable oil, it can be used to make your muffins or brownies nice and moist. You can use virtually any flavor of fruit puree to go into your muffin o brownie mix, although berry flavors especially complement the chocolate. For muffins, we recommend adding mango fruit puree or guava fruit puree.

2. Use fruit puree as a substitute for vanilla extract

Good-quality vanilla can be hard to come by nowadays, or maybe you just have found yourself in a pinch and need to use something else. While vanilla is a specific flavor, if you don't mind substituting it with something equally characterful (if not the same), we recommend trying passion fruit puree.

Passion fruit has a strongly aromatic profile, imparting a tropical character to cake mixes, the same way vanilla does. Just be prepared that the overall effect will be a bit fresher and zestier and less traditional.

3. Use fruit puree as a vegan egg substitute

Need a vegan egg substitute that's still delicious? Fruit puree can be the answer. You just need to look for a fruit puree made from fruit with high pectin content. Pectin is a natural binding agent and works in a very similar way to an egg. Blackberries are naturally high in pectin, so use a blackberry fruit puree in your cake or muffin mix.

4. Fruit puree as a substitute for applesauce

Maybe you don't have any applesauce handy, or maybe you've just used it too many times as a honey/brown sugar substitute and want to try something different. Why not try using strawberry fruit puree? It has a similar consistency and tangy-fruity flavor profile and can be successfully used in chocolate cake in brownies. 

5. Use fruit puree as a substitute for banana in smoothies

Some people are allergic to bananas, while others may want to give their smoothie routine a bit of an update. The good news is that any fruit puree works well as a substitute for banana, with guava and mango being our top choices.

There's so much more to fruit purees than meets the eye - they're as useful in your pantry as staple baking ingredients like oil, butter, and even egg. 

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