Bye Bye Butter: Substitutions for All of Your Favorite Dishes
Heart disease is the number one health problem in the U.S. today and the single leading cause of death according to the American Heart Association. But there’s good news: Improving your diet can lower your risk. And one thing to cut down on is animal-based, high-saturated-fat foods like butter. Sure it tastes delicious spread on a slice of toast, but butter is high in calories and saturated fat, which can lead to clogged arteries and, you guessed it, heart disease.
But it’s not easy to say goodbye to butter, especially this time of year when you’re indulging in your favorite foods and baked goods. What many people don’t realize is that there are many ingredient swaps for butter. Incorporating these heart-healthy substitutes into your cooking and baking can help ensure you’re taking care of your health as you indulge in treats this holiday season.
- Canola oil – Canola oil has fat but it’s mostly monounsaturated. Plus it comes with omega-3 fatty acids and is cholesterol free. Use it instead of butter when sautéing vegetables.
- Olive oil – Cut down on saturated fats when cooking eggs by switching to olive oil. When you do so, you’ll also get a healthy dose of essential omega-3 fatty acids, as opposed to saturated fat. Extra virgin olive oil also tastes delicious drizzled on your favorite bread.
- Unsweetened applesauce – This replacement for butter works well in banana bread, muffins and even with pre-boxed mixes.
- Avocado puree – Since butter and avocado have the same consistency at room temperature, the creaminess and subtle flavor taste great as a replacement in fudge brownies.
- Mashed bananas – One cup of mashed bananas works well in place of one cup of butter or oil in most recipes. The consistency is ideal, and the bananas also add nutrients.
- Prunes – Prunes can be easily substituted for butter in baked goods. To do so, combine ¾ cup prunes with ¼ cup boiling water and puree to combine. Substitute in equal amounts in most chocolate baked goods recipes.
- Chia seeds – Combine one tablespoon chia seeds with nine tablespoons water and let sit for 15 minutes to create a gel. It is the perfect consistency to substitute for butter in most baked good recipes.
- Greek yogurt – Replace half the amount of butter in cookie recipes with half the amount of full-fat plain Greek yogurt. For instance, if a cookie recipe calls for one cup of butter, use ½ cup of butter and ¼ cup of Greek yogurt as a replacement for less calories and saturated fat.
What substitutions have you tried for butter or other fats?
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Photo credit: Casey Bisson