Best Healthy Alternatives for Butter to cook and eat

Butter plays a very integral role in some of our very favourite dishes from quick loaves of bread to cakes and for making pasta. It is mainly a type of dairy product which people make by churning milk or cream. The milk gets separated from the liquid through the process of churning cream or milk and the fat that is left at the end of this process becomes butter. Butter is an amazing ingredient that is used for greasing, cooking, baking, frying foods and grilling. This ingredient can make the texture of any dish creamy and soft. You can use butter as a base for cooking purposes or can also use it as a spread because it is a very important part of any dish. We all know that adding too much of a good thing can create a problem because the fat present in butter is very unhealthy for our heart health and raises our cholesterol levels. Some people who are conscious about their health avoids butter and some foods that are made with butter in their meal for their health-related problems. However, without adding butter in your food you can also enjoy them in some other ways.

Butter’s role in banking: Butter is basically used for baking purposes as a leaving agent which means that air gets introduced inside those baking goods and makes them look more fluffy and light. Moreover, it also makes the texture of those baked goods moist and flaky and gives them a tasty and rich flavour. Baked goods would have been flavourless, flat and dry if these properties were not present in them. Though you will get enough delicious alternatives of butter which will also serve the same purposes of baking.

Here are some best butter substitutes or alternatives for healthy living and body…

16 Best Butter substitutes

Fats and oils used for replacing butter while baking

The fats and oils given below are having properties which are almost same as butter which makes them great butter alternatives or substitutes.

Ghee

Ghee is a form of clarified butter which is having a nutty and aromatic taste. There is no lactose or casein virtually present in ghee so it is a much better option for people who are having lactose intolerance or milk allergy. For baking goods a strong buttery flavour is required, where it can act as an alternative of butter at 1:1 ratio. Using ghee as an alternative of butter is most suitable for items which are mostly baked at high temperature and served when hot, like cookies and bread. Since ghee contains more moisture than butter, so you need to change the amount of flour and liquid while preparing your food.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is also used in place of butter for baking purposes at a 1:1 ratio. Though it might show some little change in its flavour. While the taste of the food sometimes gets affected by some types of coconut oil. Coconut oil that is unrefined mostly tastes like coconut then its refined varieties. It is amazing for preparing recipes where rich chocolate or tropical flavours are required. If you do not prefer to use the flavour of coconut oil then you can switch to any other refined coconut oil brand or any other alternative.

Olive oil

Olive oil can be used as an alternative of butter in various recipes in 3:4 ratio by volume. For instance, for making any recipe if you need butter you can use 180 ml of olive oil instead of using 225 grams of butter. Olive oil cannot be used as an appropriate replacement of butter in recipes where the food requires fat for remaining solid or creamy such as angel food cake and frosting. The strong flavour of olive oil is suitable for recipes which are having a savoury, fruity or nutty quality such as muffins or pumpkin bread.

Greek yoghurt

Greek yoghurt is a type of dairy-based product which is also a nutritional powerhouse and a great alternative of butter as well. There are almost 20 grams of protein and 9 grams of fat in 8 ounces of Greek yoghurt. There are many non-fat alternatives so that you can get enough protein. The whole milk version will only make your foods soft because a little amount of fat is added there. Cakes and quick bread are also made with proper structure and moisture.

Nut butter

Though nuts look quite small, they are highly packed with fats and proteins. There are almost 5 grams of protein, 96 Calories and 8 grams of fat present in 16 grams of nuts. You can avoid the hydrogenated version which is highly loaded with sugar and before buying you should look at the level for buying simple peanuts which are having salt as it’s an ingredient. It is more appropriate for dense products like bars and cookies. Nut butter is having almost 50% fat in comparison to normal butter at 80% fat so, it requires some additional fat. Nuts like cashew, peanut, almond and macadamia are having its particular flavours in muffins, cookies, brownies, cakes, bars and quick bread.

Black Beans

Though, no one ever imagined that legume can be used for baking purposes but it’s very true. For adding bean puree in order to reduce the fat present in baked good which also provides vitamins, fibre, protein and other minerals. You can use any bean-like cannellini beans for baking a yellow cake and for baking brownies and chocolate cakes. Black Beans are amazing but Cannellini beans are appropriate for baking light coloured cakes like yellow cakes. First, you need to blend the beans for creating a smooth puree. You can also add 1 tablespoon of water at a time for making it easier for baking. You can also add oil from 1 to 4 tablespoons like vegetable oil or coconut oil and a can of beans and then make the paste creamier.

Avocado

Avocado oil or avocados works amazing as a butter substitute but actual avocados are much more preferable. Avocados are very much creamy and smooth and are having enough vitamins and minerals. There are healthy monosaturated fats present in avocado that helps in fighting heart problems and it also reduces your cholesterol levels. There are almost 14.6 grams of fats present in 3.5 ounces of avocado which is equal to 80 grams of fat present in butter. For baking purposes, you can use mashed avocado as an alternative to butter. You can also use avocado for spreading in your bread to replace butter.

Applesauce

Apple sauce not only acts as a great alternative of butter but it is also used for baking purposes and gives natural sweetness in your foods if you want to reduce your intake of refined sugar. Pureed and cooked apples help in adding moisture and gives a proper structure to baked goods and the extra fibre helps in binding water which is kept in the baked foods. Apple sauce is having low-calorie content and is rich in nutritional values. If you want to cut down your calorie intake you can opt for the unsweetened version. You can use Applesauce for spreading in your bread and you can also add some nut butter for giving it a healthy and delicious taste.

Pumpkin puree

Pumpkin puree is an amazing option for adding in your coffee, plain yoghurt, bread, muffins and cakes. You can get various kinds of nutrients like potassium, vitamin K, fibres and some extra calories. Instead of using butter you can use 3/4th cup of pumpkin puree for preparing any recipe.

Shea Butter

You can use shea butter instead of using cocoa butter which is a great alternative and along with that it also makes your skin very healthy and glowing. It is also edible and is rich in antioxidants, Vitamin E and essential fatty acids. In some of the dark chocolate ingredients list, shea butter is also present there. So you can freely use shea butter instead of using regular butter for preparing any dish in a small amount. While purchasing shea butter you must make sure to purchase only its unrefined and pure version. You must avoid to purchase it in large amount because it becomes rancid very quickly.

Cocoa Butter

Another great alternative of normal butter is cocoa butter which is also considered as a healthy fat. It is mostly used for making chocolates and is rich in antioxidants and provides great Polyphenols. In accordance with a study, it was found that polyphenols are so amazing that the risk of cardiovascular diseases gets reduced. Some other advantages of cocoa butter are, it helps in lowering inflammation inside your body and also improves immunity. While buying shea butter you should make sure that it is 100% pure and is free of any additives. You should try to use it for baking purposes instead of using it as regular butter.

Hummus

Hummus not only acts as an ingredient for flavouring anything but it is also a part of a Mediterranean diet which is very healthy. It is mainly made from garlic, chickpeas, lemon juice and tahini are its primary ingredients which offer plenty of Vitamin B6, fibres, protein and many other nutritional benefits. You can also make it from Black Beans, vegetables and lentils. You can also use it as a great topping on eggs, snacks with any raw vegetables, mixed greens or any sautéed vegetables. Hummus is mostly eaten with pita triangles, but if you wish you can also avoid bread and choose celery if you are taking wheat and gluten in limited portions.

Nutritional Yeast

If you want to add cheesy flavour in any of your food, nutritional yeast is a great option for seasoning anything. You will get nutritional benefits like proteins and immune boosters like B12 and B6 which is most appropriate for a vegan diet. You can also consider it as a superfood and nutritional yeast is an inactive yeast which is mainly prepared from beet molasses and sugarcane. You can mostly found in health food stores in their self or in its bulk section mostly as a powder of flakes.

Mashed Bananas

Almost like pumpkin puree, there are many nutritional benefits associated with consuming bananas. It also helps in increasing the food density and makes the texture of your food soft and creamy without adding any extra fat. There is also a different type of flavour added to your foods for the sweetness of the banana.

Cottage cheese

You can use cottage cheese as an alternative of butter for spreading on your bread because it is a milk curd and it is a great choice for kids because of its soft consistency and a mild taste. You can use it as a spread on crackers, toast or crispbread. You can try out the low-fat version of cottage cheese which is having only 2% fat.

Ricotta

It is an Italian whey cheese which is “twice-cooked” and it is very much similar to cottage cheese and salt is not added over here but it is having a very smooth texture. This can be a by-product of cheese where it is prepared from the leftover of whey of any other cheese or you can also make it from cow’s milk whey. Ricotta is not only used as a spread but you can also use it for making pasta dishes for example lasagne, baking purposes and for preparing sweet or savoury dishes. You can use ricotta as a spread on scones or for preparing toast by topping it with honey or jam.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is not only convenient but it’s a great choice for kids and it is having almost 50% of fat which makes it an amazing alternative for butter. It is also a great choice for a person who is vegetarian because it is a  rich source of protein. While buying peanut butter in the market you must make sure that it is a 100% peanut variety which is the purest choice and it is also very good for health. In light peanut butter, there is almost 30% less fat and is also having saturated fat and is mostly having added sugar. It is much more preferable to use regular peanut butter and you can spread it thinly on bread other than having peanuts with extra sugar on your toast.

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