Fitness Nutrition Forums

7 Butter Alternatives for Cooking and Baking

Avoiding butter when cooking and baking might be easier than you think!

If you’re looking for something besides butter for use during cooking and baking, you’re in luck! A variety of butter alternatives are right at your fingertips.

1. Plant Oils

Plant-based oils (such as olive, canola and coconut oil) make the perfect substitution for butter when you want to boost your intake of healthy fat to lower disease risks. Try subbing 3/4 cup of vegetable oil for 1 cup of butter in baking recipes. Vegetable oil also works well in some of your favorite dinner recipes (such as pasta sauces and mashed potatoes) as a healthy butter substitute.

2. Ghee

A type of clarified butter called ghee is an excellent butter alternative with a strong nutty taste and buttery flavor. While ghee is derived from butter, its smoke point is higher — meaning it doesn’t burn when used in sautéing and may produce fewer free radicals. Ghee is also known to keep longer than butter, says Berkeley Wellness. You can substitute ghee for butter at a 1-to-1 ratio.

3. Avocado

It’s never a bad idea to add heart-healthy fat to cooking and baking recipes, which is why replacing butter with avocado works well when aiming to keep cholesterol levels in check and disease risks low. Avocados provide additional vitamins and minerals, which is another reason choose this heart-healthy butter alternative in recipes. Mash up an avocado and use it in place of butter (in a 1-to-1 ratio).

4. Nut Butters

When you want to add an extra dose of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and protein to your recipe, consider replacing butter with nut butter (peanut butter, almond butter or cashew butter). You may have to experiment with nut butter when using it as a butter substitute when cooking and baking, but trying a 1-to-1 ratio is a good rule of thumb. Nut butter also makes an excellent butter replacement as a spread on toast, bagels, muffins, fruits, and veggies.

5. Full-Fat Greek Yogurt

When you want a nutrient-rich replacement for butter while maintaining a creamy texture, opt for protein-rich Greek yogurt (the full-fat variety). For every 1 cup of butter called for in your recipe, try substituting 1/2 cup of plain full-fat Greek yogurt instead. This substitution works well when baking cakes (for a velvety texture) or making mashed potatoes.

6. Fruit Puree

Using fruit puree (pumpkin puree, for example) in place of butter is another excellent way to cut saturated fat and calories when cooking and baking. Try replacing 1 cup of butter with 3/4 of pumpkin puree, prune puree, mashed bananas, applesauce, or butternut squash puree in some of your favorite recipes.

7. Buttermilk

Buttermilk works great as a substitute for butter, and you’ll need just 1/2 cup of buttermilk for every 1 cup of butter used in cooking and baking. You can also mix 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice with 1 cup of regular milk to create your own homemade buttermilk! Another idea that helps balance out the flavor of buttermilk is using 1/4 cup of buttermilk plus 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce in place of 1 cup of butter.

[Image via Shutterstock]

{{ oArticle.title }}

{{ oArticle.subtitle }}