Butter is a popular food item used as a spread on bread toast and also as an ingredient in baking food items.
But some avoid consuming it for various reasons. In such cases, what are the alternatives for butter?
Butter, uses, reasons for non-consumption
Butter is a dairy product that is produced when milk is churned vigorously. It is the solid fats of the milk that separate from the liquid and form a layer on top of the churned milk.
The liquid that remains behind is called buttermilk. Butter adds taste and flavor to food. It is a leavening agent. It introduces air into the baking product and makes it soft and fluffy.
Whether it is good or bad for the body is a debatable subject. But some people avoid it for various reasons.
If a child has a cow’s milk allergy, butter could also be allergenic for him or her. Cow’s milk allergy is due to the protein casein present in milk.
Though butter has very less casein, it is still enough to trigger an allergy in the susceptible person. Hence a person with cow’s milk allergy cannot take butter and avoids it.
In those with lactose, intolerance butter can be tolerated due to less lactose content in it. However, some individuals are more sensitive and can have intolerance even to the less amount of lactose in butter as well.
These individuals avoid butter. Then some health-conscious people are concerned about the saturated fats of butter and hence avoid eating it.
Whatever the reason to avoid butter, fortunately, there are other alternatives to butter. Which are they?
Alternatives for butter: oils and fats
Some food substances have similar properties as butter and hence are great replacements for it. Coconut oil can substitute for butter in a 1:1 ratio.
But the baked food gets the flavor of coconut oil and might taste differently. The refined version of coconut oil does not have the typical taste of unfiltered coconut oil and is therefore better.
Olive oil is also a great option in place of butter. 3 parts of olive oil are equivalent to 4 parts of butter. Olive oil being a liquid is not good in recipes that call for fats to remain in solid form or where the cream is required.
Other butter substitutes
These substitutes can be used in a 1:1 ratio. But some give moistness to the finished product. In those cases, reduce the water or add more flour. Applesauce reduces the calories and fats of the finished baked item.
But since it is sweet, decrease the amount of added sugar in the recipe. Avocados can also replace butter. But it imparts the product a green color.
Mashed bananas can also serve as a replacement for butter. But add it gradually to the desired consistency. Greek yogurt goes well with dishes that are not sweet but tangy. It adds protein to the food and makes it healthy.
Nut butter can be used in place of butter. They impart a nutty flavor to the baked item. Pumpkin puree can also substitute butter. Use 3 parts in place of 4 parts of butter.
Read more: Greek yogurt: the misnomer, recipe, nutrients, and health benefits!
If you desire a substitute for butter as a spread, you can use olive oil with basil and pepper, peanut butter, almond butter, cottage cheese, ricotta or cream cheese, ripe avocado, or hummus.
Hummus is made from chickpeas and is healthy. But avoid margarine as a spread because it is rich in fats that are unhealthy.