Butter is a necessary ingredient in most of our favorite recipes, from cakes and pasta to sandwiches and risotto. However, if you are looking for healthy butter substitutes – either because butter isn’t a heart-friendly option, or in order to take better care of your health overall – you can find some great ideas in the list below. The results are equally delicious, and the meals you create will have been made with ingredients that can help to keep your calorie intake, fat intake, and cholesterol levels in check.
Avocado is a good alternative to butter: you can use puréed avocado to either fully replace it in a recipe, or to partially replace it with a 50-50 split between both ingredients. You can adjust that depending on the desired texture for the final product – in fact, if you try a 50-50 split in your baking once, and you’re pleased with the softer and more velvety result, then you might like to fully substitute the butter with avocado in future. Avocado contains both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These good fats are heart-friendly, helping to reduce bad cholesterol levels.
If you use low fat yoghurt to replace butter, you’ll get the benefit of a meal with fewer calories and less saturated fat, and you’ll still get that extra dose of protein. As well as being a healthy and much-loved butter alternative, yoghurt adds an amazingly smooth texture to any baking. To try it, use half a cup of yoghurt for each cup of butter.
Butter may be a common ingredient in most baking recipes, but don’t forget that extra virgin olive oil can serve the same purpose – plus, it’s healthier. Olive oil is a rich source of unsaturated fat, which can help to reduce raised cholesterol levels and maintain heart health. You don’t have to just drizzle olive oil onto your salad – you can use it as often as possible in your baking as well.
Rapeseed oil is also a good alternative to butter, and is a particularly popular substitute in recipes where melted butter or olive oil is required. While rapeseed oil is higher in calories than butter, it has less saturated fat and salt, which is good news for your cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
Puréed banana is another marvelous substitute for butter, low in calories and rich in flavor. That said, it’s best to experiment a little bit with the amount of banana you use each time you try a recipe. Start off by mixing about half as much banana as you would butter with the other ingredients. Then you can add extra banana to make the mixture a little more solid if needed. In any case, there will be less banana than butter in the final dish.
Coconut oil can be used in many recipes in various different ways, as it shares a lot of similarities with butter. The difference is that many people consider it to be healthier, citing antimicrobial and antiviral attributes. However, if you’re trying to reduce the amount of saturated fat in your diet, this isn’t the best option.
Puréed pumpkin offers a sweet flavour in baking, and is a great butter alternative in muffins and coffee cakes. It has less calories than butter, while at the same time adding extra nutrients to your recipes, including potassium, fibre, and vitamin K. As well as butter, puréed pumpkin can also replace olive oil in many recipes.
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