Luckily for, um, all of us, sweet treats aren't completely off limits for the health-minded. And no, we're not talking fruit salad.
Brownies, cookies, cakes, puddings -- these can all be made a little bit lighter with some sneaky baking swaps. Check out some of the most surprising below, then let us know in the comments if you've ever tried any of these!
You can drastically cut back on calories and fat by swapping in applesauce for oil or butter in cakes and muffins. You can typically do so in a 1:1 ratio, meaning if your recipe calls for a half-cup of butter, a half-cup of applesauce will do just fine. Because the texture will change significantly, it may be best to only replace about 75 percent of the oil or butter, Kitchen Daily reported.
The sweetness in applesauce can also be a smart replacement for added sugar, like in this tasty cookie recipe.
This is a swap anyone eating a gluten-free diet will love -- but the protein boost of swapping in black beans for flour is something anyone can benefit from. Rinse, drain and purée a cup of beans and add in place of a cup of flour. You'll shave off about 200 calories, according to All You. Try it in chocolate cake or brownies.
While you might think of them as unappealing, prunes make for a tasty and fiber-filled swap for butter in your baked goods. One half-cup of butter replaced with a half-cup of puréed prunes will save you 700 calories and 92 grams of fat, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Try 'em in brownies or chocolate cakes, since they'll definitely lend a dark color to your mix.