Palm Shortening: The Best Compromise in Baking Between Taste and Health (Plus Substitutes)

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Are you looking for healthier ways to bake, without compromising taste and texture?

Let’s just cut to the chase….

Have you tried palm shortening yet?!

Palm shortening is a type of fat that has been traditionally used in baking. It is made from the palm oil tree fruit, and contains ZERO trans fats and ZERO cholesterol. This fat can be used to create flaky crusts, tender cakes, and light cookies with a nice texture. It can easily replace standard vegetable shortening!

Yet there are many instances where you may not or can’t use palm shortening, so there are some alternatives we can use! For example if you are a strict vegan, can’t find any palm shortening, or allergic to tree nuts (palm trees are in the same family as other nut trees). In these cases, it’s best to find an alternative that will provide your recipe with the desired consistency while still meeting your dietary needs!

In this post we’ll discuss what palm shortening is, when it should be used along with the top 5 palm shortening substitutes.

what is palm shortening?

You may or may not be familiar with palm shortening. It’s very popular worldwide, but depending on where you are in America, you may not find it as easily.

Palm shortening is a healthier alternative to traditional vegetable oil or Crisco for cooking and baking.

  • It has a stable melting point of 97 degrees F
  • Stable shelf life from the removal of some unsaturated fats
  • richness in your baked goods that will make you want more!

palm oil fruit for palm shortening substitutes

Palm shortening is made from palm oil, an edible vegetable fat that comes from a tropical tree. Palm oil trees can’t be found on the American mainland. It’s only grown commercially in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

It takes about four years for the tree to produce the fruit, and will continue so for the next 30 years!

how is palm shortening made?

Palm shortening is a semi solid fat and substitute for animal fat, which in turn is used as a substitute for butter or oil. Palm shortening has similar characteristics to that of the other fats such as having a high melting point and long shelf life.

Palm shortening is made from palm oil, which is a more sustainable source for fat than animal products. The palm oil is taken from the fruit of the palm oil tree. The fruit is cut and then squeezed which will produce an oily substance. This oily substance is the palm oil. Palm shortening is the unsaturated fats that have been removed from the palm oil.

The production of palm oil has increased over the years due to an increased demand for this product. In 2019, global demand for palm oil was 74.6 million metric tons according to Grand View Research.

Why do you need a substitute for palm shortening?

It might come to a point that you’re on the search for an alternative, whether it’s because of health reasons or environmental concerns.

Palm oil has become popular in recent times – and not just as shortening. This is partly due to its versatility: palm oil can be used at all temperatures with minimal negative impact on flavor.

But sometimes you might not be able to find palm shortening. Or you might be looking for a different type of shortening to use. If you are a strict vegan, palm shortening might not be acceptable to eat.

That’s where palm oil substitutes come in.

baking with palm shortening and substitutes

What is shortening for baking?

First, let’s discuss what shortening is so there is no confusion. When it comes to baking, shortening is a common ingredient, and it is not exactly the same thing as butter. Shortening has no flavor or aroma to it but can add tenderness and stability to baked goods while also adding flakiness to pie crusts.

Essentially, shortening is a fat which is partially to fully solid at room temperature.

There’s really nothing complicated about shortening; they just need to perform their job well in order for there to be less fussing on our end when we bake!

If we are just talking about shortening, I am referring too any vegetable or solid fat substance, with or without the harmful trans fat which are made from hydrogenated vegetable oils.

Palm shortening is the best shortening to use for your health without compromising taste or texture of the baked good!

Sometimes, it might not be easy to get at your local grocery store so I have compiled a list with the best palm shortening substitutes so you can still bake all your favorite treats and goodies!

why use palm shortening

  1.  It has a firmer texture than butter. Palm shortening is made from palm oil and contains 80% saturated fat with 20% unsaturated fats.
  2. A small amount can help give baked goods more moisture without changing their flavor much, which means you won’t have to add as many liquids like eggs or milk. This also helps them hold together better because they’re less likely to dry out in storage for long periods of time such as over winter break when there’s no one around to eat them! They will be fresh again after being refrigerated overnight 🙂  The composition of this product makes it shelf stable and safe.

Palm Shortening Substitutes

Here are a couple of palm shortening substitutes!

coconut oil is a great palm shortening substitute

1. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has many health benefits that make it an excellent substitute to palm shortening in the kitchen!

The characteristics of solid coconut oil is that it is a natural product, and it is free of trans-fats. Coconut oil has antifungal and antibacterial properties. It is also beneficial for digestive health, skin health, hair health, body builders and athletes. This oil can help in weight management because of its high level of good fat and low carbohydrate content.

Coconut oil can be great for baking!

  • It has a high burning point
  • very stable on the shelf
  • The melting point is about 75 degrees F.

It can be substituted at a 1:1 ratio with other fats.

The best way to mix with other ingredients is to allow milk, eggs, etc to heat up to room temperature before mixing with the solid form of coconut oil.

In terms of flavor, it depends on whether you get refined or unrefined.

Refined, or processed coconut oil, has less health benefits, but loses the distinct coconut flavor.

Unrefined does retain its natural coconut flavor and aroma.

butter is a great palm oil substitute

2. Butter

Butter is a great substitute for palm shortening in baking for a few reasons. It has the same consistency as palm shortening, so it won’t change your recipes too much and you can still use butter’s natural flavor to enhance them. In terms of health, butter is made of unsaturated fats alongside saturated. Always get pure 100% butter! The less “other ingredients” the better!

Unlike palm shortening, butter is 85%fat mixed with water, which can change the texture of the baked good. They will end up softer than if you had used palm shortener.

Pie crusts won’t be as flakey, but they will have a deliciously creamy buttery taste!

Cakes and breads will also be much softer and probably less noticeable as they are already soft. AND they have an unbeatable buttery flavor that can’t be found in other palm shortening substitutes!

Unlike palm shortening, butter is 85%fat mixed with water, which can change the texture of the baked good. They will end up softer than if you had used palm shortener.

Pie crusts won’t be as flakey, but they will have a deliciously creamy buttery taste!

Cakes and breads will also be much softer and probably less noticeable as they are already soft. AND they have an unbeatable buttery flavor that can’t be found in other palm shortening substitutes!

Butter also has the added benefit of being able to withstand heat up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit without breaking down like some other fats do.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is Palm Shortening the same as crisco?

Palm shortening is not the same as Crisco. Crisco is a 100% hydrogenated vegetable oil product, while palm shortening can be made with minimal processing from the palm oil fruit. Palm shortening has the same consistency as Crisco, many more health benefits, and does not compromise taste!

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1 thought on “Palm Shortening: The Best Compromise in Baking Between Taste and Health (Plus Substitutes)”

  1. We use a lot of vegetable oil here in the south for cooking. Even more so on the butter. Cholesterol and artery problems have been common in my family. I know diet is a big factor in that. I’ve heard about palm shortening before, but I never knew what it was until reading your article. I am very intrigued. I’m definitely going to try it out and also recommend my family try it. Thank you for sharing.

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