You may be able to indulge with a tad less guilt this holiday season. Use canola oil in recipes that call for oil or solid fat in baked goods such as 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 melted 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. Use the chart to convert your recipes.

“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.”

For a variety of holiday and anytime-of-year recipes, go to Each week in November and December, a new holiday recipe will be featured on this web site. To kick off the season, here’s a delicious holiday dessert that’s easy to make and likely to impress your guests. – Courtesy of NAPS.

So Light, So Easy Pumpkin Cake

18.25-oz. box white cake mix

11/4 cups water

1/4 cup canola oil

1 large egg

2 large egg whites

1 cup canned pureed pumpkin

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Canola oil cooking spray

Fat-free whipped topping

1. Preheat oven to 325 F.

2. Combine all ingredients, except oil spray and whipped topping, in large bowl. Using electric mixer, mix per directions on cake package. Coat 13×9-inch nonstick 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 tablespoon of whipped topping on each slice. May freeze leftover cake up to one month.

Yield: 20 servings.

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