Many people prefer to avoid butter for various reasons:
- Butter is high in saturated fat and calories
- Intolerance to lactose or casein can cause discomfort
- Dietary choices such as veganism may mean avoiding dairy products
While using butter in baking helps make baked goods rich and fluffy, a good butter substitute can help you tweak recipes with another fat or fruit.
Pure fats or oils can be wonderful butter alternatives in baking. They make up for their lack of flavor with moisture. If you want to simply cut down on the amount of butter in a recipe, you can use a 50:50 mixture of butter and oil to achieve the flavor of butter and the moisture of oil.
25 substitutes for butter in baking
- Olive oil
- Canola or vegetable oil
- Coconut oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Dairy-free margarine
- Aquafaba mayonnaise
- Vegetable shortening
- Pumpkin puree
- Mashed bananas
- Greek yogurt
- Coconut cream
- Apple sauce
- Cocoa butter
- Nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew)
- Vegan butter
- Shea butter
- Cottage cheese
- Ricotta cheese
- Cream cheese
- Mashed beans
- Pureed beans
What are the benefits of using butter substitutes?
Butter is high in saturated fat, making it a poor choice for heart health. One tablespoon of butter contains more than 7 grams of saturated fat, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
Furthermore, studies have shown that switching to a more plant-based diet and using a butter spread made from unsaturated, plant-based fats can help improve cholesterol levels
Advantages of switching to butter substitutes may include:
- Fewer calories: Because butter is high in fat, using butter substitutes may save you calories and aid in weight loss.
- Free of lactose and dairy: If you are allergic to the protein in cow's milk or are lactose intolerant, you may need to avoid butter.
- Contains extra nutrients: When you use ingredients such as nut butter and avocado, you get the added nutrients from those foods as well. Protein, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals are all additional gains when using some butter substitutes.
When looking for butter substitutes, you should always avoid highly processed foods. Margarine and vegetable oil should be avoided. Neither adds much flavor or texture to your recipes, and they often contain dangerous trans fats.
Why is butter used in baking?
Butter made from churned cream or milk introduces air into baked goods, resulting in a flaky texture. Because butter emits moisture during the baking process, it is often critical to the overall structure of the recipe.
Butter also has a distinct flavor that enhances the richness of foods. Various types of butter include:
- Traditional butter: The concentrated fat from cow's milk is used to make traditional butter, with 80% made up of is milk fat, with the remaining 20% made up of water and nonfat milk solids. Before butter is packaged, it is sometimes seasoned with salt.
- Whipped butter: To add volume, regular butter may be whipped with nitrogen gas. Whipped butter is ideal for spreading and should not be used in cooking. Because the density varies, recipes will not turn out the same with whipped butter.
- Reduced-fat butter: This type of butter contains approximately 40% less milk fat. Water and gelatin are used to replace the fat found in cow's milk. Because this type of butter contains more water, it should not be used to replace regular butter in baked goods or for pan fried foods.
- Clarified butter: At home, you can clarify butter by separating melted butter from milk solids and water. When melting butter in a pan, skim off the frothy white part that forms on top. Then, drain the clear butter. Discard the milk solids left at the bottom.
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Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Marshall C. Substitute for Butter. The Kitchen Community. https://thekitchencommunity.org/substitute-for-butter/
Davis B. Can you substitute butter in baking? MVOrganizing. https://www.mvorganizing.org/can-you-substitute-butter-in-baking/
Webexhibits. Baking with butter. http://www.webexhibits.org/butter/baking.html
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