12 Healthy Butter Alternatives for Cooking & Baking

For multiple reasons, there are people looking for butter alternatives. Whether it is because of the lactose intolerance or milk allergies but butter is kind of dangerous for such people. This surely brings you the thought that what can be the healthy and better options to use instead of butter for baking and cooking? So, here is this section throwing a light on it.

Top 12 Healthy Butter Alternatives

Butter is the most common and definitely one of the tastiest spread and hence you won’t be able to come up with even one substitute of it. But as this section is all about healthy living, I have 12 such healthy butter alternative which will give you a better and more energetic lifestyle without the risk of cholesterol and other heart problems.

1. Greek Yogurt

Greek Yogurt

If you are someone who is allergic to dairy products and looking for butter alternatives then Greek Yogurt is not for you. This one is a dairy based product which is a complete package of nutrients which are just great for your body. Greek Yogurt makes an excellent substitute to butter in baking recipes rather than regular cooking recipes.

If you are looking for a protein rich and low fat option then Greek Yogurt is your way to go. Talking about the baking option, it works just like butter and gives you perfectly soft and moist outcome.

You can use this to prepare breads and cakes. You can replace 1 cup of butter with 1/2 cup of Greek Yogurt. If you are looking for a well-balanced baking product then you can also include 1/2 cup of butter with 1/2 cup of Greek Yogurt. This option is a mix of high calories, less fat and moderate amount of protein which is just perfect to replace butter.

2. Avocado

Avocado

You must be wondering that how avocado turn out to be a great replacement to butter? But in reality it is used as one of the healthies and best butter substitute. I would highly recommend you to use mashed avocado as the spread on bread instead of butter. This replaces the fat of butter and replaces it with the goodness of fiber.

A fiber rich diet is really important for those people who are looking for ways to lose weight. In fact, this is also beneficial for your digestion too. Other components in avocado are Vitamin K and Potassium.

However, avocado is full of fat but this is monounsaturated fat which is quite beneficial to reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. You can use 1 cup of avocado puree instead of 1 cup of butter in baking too. However, you would have to come up with your own ideas to balance out the flavors.

3. Olive Oil

Olive Oil

You must have seen the various ads and editorial on the goodness of olive oil. This one is highly used for salad dressing and stir fries. Well, that was about the regular cooking recipes, but you can use Olive Oil as one of the butter alternatives in baking too.

You can replace 1 cup of butter with 3/4 cup of olive oil. Although it is a bit heavier but the tendency of olive oil benefits you especially because of its heart benefits.

In fact, there are hundreds of Italian recipes which are cooked with olive oil instead of butter of regular vegetable oil. The oil contains healthy unsaturated fats which are great for heart and suppresses bad cholesterol too. The flavor of olive oil is really great for baking as well as cooking thousands of recipes and capable of replacing the regular vegetable oil too.

4. Ghee

Ghee

One of the most common and highly popular butter replacement for cooking is Ghee. In fact, it is a definite staple in Indian kitchen and the outcome totally reflects in their lean yet strong body. Ghee is known as a type of clarified butter which has a very aromatic fragrance. Not only cooking but you can use Ghee for baking various dishes including cakes, cookies and more.

The ratio of replacing butter with ghee goes 1 to 1 which means in order to replace 1 cup of butter you will be required 1 cup of ghee.

It is one of the best alternative to butter and suitable for items which are baked at very high temperature as it has such a high smoke point. It has been seen that ghee provides more moisture than butter itself so you can manage it by adding dry ingredients a bit more than usual.

5. Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is not just another option as butter alternatives but it is one of the healthies ingredients you can use for cooking and baking items. Butter is more sort of in solid form as compared to all these oils despite that the ration of mixing coconut oil in a recipe remains same as butter.

One of the biggest health benefit of using coconut oil over butter is that it does not cause any amount of cholesterol in your body and keeps your heart functioning well.

However, the taste of coconut oil in baking recipes is kind of different from that of butter especially that of unrefined coconut oil. So, if you are looking for cookies and cakes with the coconut oil flavor then only you should go for this alternative. Otherwise, use it freely for frying, sautéing and more.

6. Mashed Bananas

Mashed Bananas

One of the healthiest substitute for butter is to replace it with some mashed fruit and what else can be better than mashed bananas? In order to use mashed bananas you will be required fully ripe bananas which has just the right amount of sweetness and moisture in it.

You can use them in recipes like muffins, cakes, breads, cookies and more. There is no doubt that almost everyone likes the amazing flavor of banana and they would love to try out the recipes made out of it.

The strong flavor of banana does not get lost like that of butter and stays on your tongue for a longer time. To replace 1 cup of butter, you need 1/2 cup of mashed bananas. As the moisture is quite high, half of the amount will be enough for you.

7. Nut Butters

Nut Butters

If you are looking for some of the best butter alternatives for the purpose of baking then you cannot find anything better than nut butters. Just like mashed bananas, the flavor and aroma compliments well to your baked recipes and adds a different accent to it.

You can use almond butter, cashew butter or any of your choice as any of them goes well with your baking recipes. Well, of course this contains high amount of fat but you also get fiber and moisture content too.

You can also go for nut butter which is made up of 100% ground nut without any additives in it. Also, check out organic products over the processed ones to maintains the authenticity and right taste of your baked items. To replace 1 cup of butter, you will be required to use 1 cup of nut butter.

8. Buttermilk

Buttermilk

Although less heard as an answer of what can you use instead of butter but it is perfectly fine to use buttermilk in your cooking recipes instead of butter. Buttermilk has so many advantages and as this product is completely processed and left over of a long chain, it is recommended to use this for less amount of fat.

To replace 1 cup of butter, you can use 1/2 cup of buttermilk in it. It works in all sorts of baking recipes as it provides much needed moisture to your food.

However, it might not work well with some pie recipes as it requires a denser medium to maintain the moisture. You can easily prepare buttermilk at home within hours and this is why it is super healthy to consume as a substitute. Again, do not use it if you are allergic to dairy products.

9. Applesauce

Applesauce

Applesauce is such a widely used and one of the most common butter alternatives. The natural use of apple is to provide fiber to your body and to cut down the fat and the sample applies with applesauce too. It cuts down the calories and fat from your food which were earlier present because of butter.

If you want your baked item or other food to be less dense then you should better use half of the amount of butter mentioned along with half amount of applesauce in it.

The natural tendency of apple is sweet and this is why it is used for sweet dishes and desserts only. Make sure to use the unsweetened applesauce to maintain the original flavor in your cooking.

10. Vegetable Oil

Vegetable Oil

Although vegetable oil is not seen as a popular or healthy option of butter substitutes, still you can use it in case. It works just like butter and does not leave any flavor of its own in the recipe. In fact, by tasting the food, it will be hard to tell whether it is prepared with butter or vegetable oil.

To replace 1 cup of butter in a recipe, you need to use 3/4 cup of vegetable oil in it. However, you need to make sure that you use good quality of vegetable oil.

There are no health benefits from this replacement but it is good for people who have allergies towards dairy product. I still won’t recommend it that much but if you are left with no option then you can use vegetable oil in your recipes. It goes well with all kind of food like savory, desserts, cookies, baking cakes and many more.

11. Pumpkin Puree

Pumpkin Puree

You might not even know about it but Pumpkin puree is a very popular option to be used as the butter alternatives. To be true, it is quite like applesauce or mashed banana in terms of texture and use but on the level of density, this one goes a step higher than other ones.

Pumpkin puree is highly preferred for making moisture rich baked items. It keeps thing moist and dense for hours and hence you can enjoy them later on too.

For one cup of butter you can use 3/4 cup of pumpkin puree as the replacement. The kind of food it is used for is sweet savory like muffins, bread, bread alternatives, cookies and even spiced desserts too. Make sure to handle the baked products with care as too much pressure can break them easily. You can also keep some amount of butter in the recipe and replace only half of it with pumpkin puree to maintain right amount of moisture in food.

12. Tallow

Tallow

Tallow is by far the most different kind of option in the list of butter alternatives. This is a rendered fat from lambs and cows and known for its high smoking point. This is why it is preferred for high heat cooking like baking. The flavor is very rich and is going to linger in your mouth for a while. It is one of the strongest and most flavored option to go for in this list.

Tallow is prepared from grass-fed beef and hence it is a completely non-vegetarian product but has so many amazing health benefits.

It contains CLA which is a type of fatty acid that helps in decreasing the cancer risks in your body and keeps it fit. To replace one cup of butter you are required to use 3/4 of tallow. It is highly recommended for savory dishes because the high aroma won’t be suitable for baking at all.

Conclusion

There comes a certain age when you really need to focus on what you are eating because oily and buttery eating starts taking a toll on your health. This is why this section of butter alternatives is quite important for taking baby steps towards a better lifestyle. But apart from it, make sure to exercise well and always focus on eating home-made products as much as you can.