Butter is a popular spread and baking ingredient that acts as a main compound of many delicious recipes. Although it might be the best choice for some of our favorite recipes, it isn’t the best choice for our health. The fat found in butter is mostly the saturated variety – the kind that clogs arteries and raises LDL (bad) cholesterol, a key risk factor for developing heart disease. The good news is that there are various ingredients that can be used as butter alternatives. These allow you to still enjoy the flavor and creamy buttery texture, but with increased nutritional benefits and decreased fat. The following ingredients have properties that are comparable to butter, making them great substitutes.
1. Coconut Oil: Coconut oil can be a great substitute for butter as they have common properties; both are solid when cooled, but melts when gently heat. But coconut oil is healthier than butter because it has antimicrobial and antiviral properties, contains beneficial medium-chain triglyceride fats, and has been shown to raise the levels of the good cholesterol, high-density lipoproteins. Coconut oil can also replace butter in baking at a 1-to-1 ratio.
2. Olive Oil: It is common for olive oil to be used for salads and stir-frys, but it also can be used as a substitute for butter. In most recipes, olive oil can be substituted for butter at a 3-to-4 ratio. Olive oil is high in calories, but is actually good for your heart, as it’s full of beneficial unsaturated fat. Since olive oil is a liquid, it’s not a proper butter substitute in recipes that need the fat to remain solid or that require a lot of creaming, such as frosting and angel food cake. But it works well in recipes that have a fruity, nutty or savory quality, such as pumpkin bread or muffins.
3. Applesauce: It is a great choice you can go with if you want to ensure moist, tasty baked goods and reduce many calories as well. Applesauce works extremely well in sweet recipes. Use equal amounts applesauce for the butter called for in your recipe.
4. Pumpkin Puree: It is one of the most nutritious substitutes for butter. You can add it to coffee cakes and muffins to add nutrients like vitamin K, potassium, and fiber. Use 3/4 the amount of pumpkin puree when substituting for butter.
5. Avocados: Spreading avocado on your bread is just as delicious and provides a dose of fiber, vitamin K, and potassium. While high in fat, it’s monounsaturated fat – the heart-healthy kind – which helps to lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol. And you can bake with avocado too: Simply sub in equal parts pureed avocado for the amount of butter called for in your baked goods.