I had joked a few times about there being “low-fat fat”, so you can imagine how gob-smacked I was when I saw this product — Atora Light Shredded Vegetable Suet — appear on the store shelf. Who knew? I haven’t had an occasion to use it yet, but when I do I will report back. For what it’s worth, I have previously used the “regular” fat version of this vegetarian suet in pie crusts and steamed puddings and it was great.1 Old time cooks swear by shredded suet as the only way to fly for making lighter, fluffier baked goods.
The makers of this product say that it has 30% less fat than standard beef suet.2 The saving is not overly great, but I’ll take it. Pastries can be very hard to keep light when you are combining fat and carbs, so every lil bit will help in this.
There’s nothing chemically or artificial in this; the ingredients are vegetable oils (59%), wheat flour and pectin. I think the key to its still working and still producing fluffy baked goods is that it’s shredded into nodules that melt during cooking leaving pockets of air behind, just as traditional, full-fat suet does.
In Weight Watcher terms, there are 19 Weight Watchers PointsPlus® per 100 g, compared with 25 points for 100 g of regular beef suet, a savings of 6 points. This could potentially shave off a point per slice of a pie, etc.
Here’s a recipe from the back of the box.
You could easily lighten the recipe further by using a low-fat goat cheese, and Egg Beaters instead of the egg. (It’s unfortunate the recipe doesn’t give any “suggested width” to actually try to make these.)
* PointsPlus™ calculated by PracticallyEdible.com. Not endorsed by Weight Watchers® International, Inc, which is the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark.
Suet is traditionally shredded rather than chopped or ground for two reasons: (1) It will then incorporate better into mixtures; (2) When it melts in cooking the space where the little nodule was will remain, making for fluffier crusts, etc. ↩
The Atora regular beef suet has 800 calories and 81.5 g of fat; the regular vegetable suet has 718 calories and 65.7 g of fat; this light vegetable suet has 675 calories and 60.7 g of fat (all figures given for 100 g quantities.) ↩