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Thread: Substitute for shortening?

  1. #1
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    Substitute for shortening?

    Does anyone know of a substitute for shortening? I don't use it to cook with and find myself passing up recipes that sound wonderful because of it. I feel like oil would work but don't know what proportion to use.... Would butter be too rich in place of shortening? Thanks for your help!

    Linda

  2. #2
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    bump. I don't know either.
    Leisa

  3. #3
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    In baking, I often use margarine (as opposed to butter) in place of shortening. This works especially well in biscuits, as it gives them a wonderfully buttery flavor.
    Blogging about Barb horses at The Barb Wire and about the simple pleasures of less urban living at Nightlife. Saddle up and come along for the ride!

  4. #4
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    tamawrite - You use the margarine in the same proportions as the shortening?

  5. #5
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    I always substitute butter for shortening--always, always, always. I just can't get past the can of Crisco. I actually prefer the taste of butter in most baked things over the shortening. You lose some of the tenderness (as my Southern grandmother would say), but I can live with that. My only exception is a weakness for store-bought birthday cake icing . . .

  6. #6
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    Gracy, do you use the same amount of shortening as Crisco?
    Leisa

  7. #7
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    I do a one to one substitution. Exactly the same amount of butter as is listed for the shortening.

  8. #8
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    OK, so I'm sure I'll gross most people out, but if it's the trans fats you are trying to avoid, you could use REAL lard, which is what shortening had been for decades before the food industry wanted a cheaper way to make it.
    You can find true lard in some ethnic butcher/meat depts. DO NOT buy the little green box that says LARD on it...it is part lard and mostly hydrogenated fat ...aka:crisco
    Thoreau said, 'A man is rich in proportion to the things he can leave alone.'

  9. #9
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    From Cook's Thesarus:

    shortening = vegetable shortening Notes: Crisco is a popular brand. Substitutes: butter (1 cup shortening = 1 cup + 2 tablespoons butter; butter is better tasting than shortening but more expensive and has cholesterol and a higher level of saturated fat; makes cookies less crunchy, bread crusts more crispy) OR margarine (1 cup shortening = 1 cup + 2 tablespoons margarine; margarine is better tasting than shortening, but more expensive; makes cookies less crunchy, bread crusts tougher) OR lard (1 C shortening = 1 C - 2 tablespoons lard; lard has cholesterol and a higher level of saturated fat) See also: fat (for low-fat or no-fat substitutions)
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  10. #10
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    Found this tip also:

    You can substitute mayonnaise for part of the shortening in your baking recipes. It adds moistness and makes for a tender texture. Be careful though. Try using half mayo and half shortening at first.
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  11. #11
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    Has anyone used this?

    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  12. #12
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    I am supposed to add an extra two TB of butter? Yikes--all this time I have been unknowingly cutting calories! Maybe this is why I can't make homemade biscuits to save my life.

  13. #13
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    Originally posted by sneezles
    Has anyone used this?

    I have, and I thought it was fine. However, you can only buy it in a really big container, and I don't use enough shortening to make it worthwhile (it went bad after I had only used about 1/4 of the container) so I am back to subbing butter for shortening. If you have a lot of recipes that really need shortening, though, it might be worth it.

    Claire

  14. #14
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    Wow. Thanks, guys. So it would seem that butter is an acceptable substitute and then once that change has been made, maybe examine the recipe to find a way to reduce the overall fat since you're actually adding more butter. Now, why can't this be easy?

  15. #15
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    I'm with wallycat on the lard (in fact I am making a blueberry pie tomorrow with a butter/lard crust) but the Spectrum product intrigues me. I wonder how they get the texture right without hydrogenating?

    Laura

  16. #16
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    It's made with organic coconut oil. Vegans I know report it is da bomb; I haven't tried it though.

  17. #17
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    Coconut oil is naturally hard at room temperature
    Thoreau said, 'A man is rich in proportion to the things he can leave alone.'

  18. #18
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    So I wonder what they do to approximate shortening, cause I have a jar of coconut oil and actually the texture is very similar to Crisco.

    Laura

  19. #19
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    From the Spectrum site:

    We start with organic palm oil, extracted via manual pressing without the use of harmful chemicals. The oil is refined via cold filtration, conjoining oil and a small amount of water at cold temperatureóa process similar to the making of ice cream. The palm oil is then whipped using nitrogen, resulting in creamy consistency similar to conventional shortening.
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  20. #20
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    Originally posted by clairea


    I have, and I thought it was fine. However, you can only buy it in a really big container, and I don't use enough shortening to make it worthwhile (it went bad after I had only used about 1/4 of the container) so I am back to subbing butter for shortening. If you have a lot of recipes that really need shortening, though, it might be worth it.

    Claire
    Claire,
    Found this container at this page
    and it's only 17oz. Thinking of ordering some!
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  21. #21
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    palm oil is not the same as coconut oil, but I've heard unrefined palm oil is not as bad as shortening (crisco-type)...hard to find anything unrefined now-a-days
    Thoreau said, 'A man is rich in proportion to the things he can leave alone.'

  22. #22
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    Why, oh why, did I feel compelled to read the word "lard" on an empty stomach first thing in the morning?! Sheeze!

    Now that my tummy is calmer, Newman's Own cookie products tout organic palm oil. From the Cinammon Graham alphabet cookie bag (which will not be today's breakfast); here's more info: "Some info about organic palm oil--Is not hydrogenated; contains no trans-fatty acids; is lower in saturated fat than butter & has no cholesterol; is widely used in Europe as an alternative to partially hydrogenated oils; is extracted from the palm's fruit NOT the palm's kernel; can be grown organically in tropical regions; of the 3 tropical oils, palm oil is 50% saturated, while palm kernel oil is 86%, and coconut oil is 92% saturated."

    Anybody seen this Spectrum (deep breath) "Lard" at a Whole Foods, maybe? Wonder if it can be refrigerated so it won't go bad?

    joanie

  23. #23
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    Originally posted by joanieb
    Anybody seen this Spectrum (deep breath) "Lard" at a Whole Foods, maybe? Wonder if it can be refrigerated so it won't go bad?

    joanie
    Joanie,
    On the Spectrum website it says that the shelf life is about 2 years. It says it doesn't need to be refrigerated but I can't imagine it would hurt it. You might have to set it out for a bit.
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  24. #24
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    Thanks for the info from the website, Sneezles--since Claire had some that went "bad," just wondering if there was a way to keep that from happening. We'll give her the benefit of the doubt that she didn't have hers 2 years...

    Off to Whole Foods this AM for more wheat berries (will post WF Wheat berry salad w/honey-lime dressing after we try it!) and the very elusive Key Lime Preserves (to try to make Alton's Sorbet--no luck!), and I asked the WF folks about the Spectrum Shortening when I didn't find it on the shelves. They're thinking about carrying it, said they'd been getting a lot of requests, so perhaps some other Whole Foods stores are carrying it already...

    joanie

  25. #25
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    Maybe it didn't go bad. But after it had been sitting there for about a year, it just seemed to look greasier (ewwww) so I tossed it. Guess I could have held onto it.

    Oh, and I got mine at Whole Foods, so at least the ones here carry it.

    Claire

  26. #26
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    Originally posted by clairea


    I have, and I thought it was fine. However, you can only buy it in a really big container, and I don't use enough shortening to make it worthwhile (it went bad after I had only used about 1/4 of the container) so I am back to subbing butter for shortening. If you have a lot of recipes that really need shortening, though, it might be worth it.

    Claire
    Yep, that's what I use. I buy it in the smaller container at Whole Foods and like it just fine.
    "It covers your bread like a stinkyfishy tarp
    I know it isn't butter
    But I can't believe it's carp!"

    Kenny Blankenship and Vic Romano, Most Extreme Elimination Challenge

  27. #27
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    JH--good to know this is available within the area code, at least (I assume you shop at the Raleigh (or Cary? not sure where Whole Foods is in Wake Co.) or Durham WF--thanks for the info! Like Linda, all I have to do is see the word shortening, even if it's half a cup, and I'm outta there however tempting the recipe might be.

    Joanie

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