I`ve decided that Healthy Butter Substitutes will be the first post from the Tips and Tricks Category, given the fact that I myself encountered this problem recently, while preparing the Broccoli Muffins. I was telling you then that the recipe that served as inspiration, beautifully laid down in my trusty Moleskine for years, provided a significant quantity of butter. No less than 1 Cup, the equivalent of 1969 calories. So I wanted to find healthy butter substitutes because no matter how delicious it is, it just doesn`t fit in the picture.
Butter is adored by millions of people from around the world. And I am one of them. I admit, it is delicious. Any dish that has been touched by it, is to die for and butter is the star ingredient of your favorite recipes. But, unfortunately, butter we find in stores, but not only, is extremely dangerous for our bodies. The fats contained in butter are mostly saturated, the kind that block arteries and blow up cholesterol, increasing the risc of heart disease. Our love, as a nation (n.r. Romanians), for butter, is reflected in the fact that we rank the top of cardiovascular diseases in Europe, 60% of all yearly deaths being attributed to heart diseases. Doctors say that the incidence of cardiovascular diseases has grown in the last 15 years, but the most alarming fact is that we lack prevention campaigns of these diseases. And no, I`m not counting that spot with “For your health reduce the consumption of salt, sugar and fat” That was a joke, not a prevention program.
In this alarming context, I`m thinking that we might wanna start making some changes, nationwide. And until that happens, if ever, I wish that you, my readers- hopefully by now I have at least 5- will try out my advice and start cooking healthier. For starters, reduce the amounts of butter you consume. You will be able to prepare your favorite recipes, by using healthy butter substitutes. You will still enjoy creamy, puffy and delicious textures, without all the saturated fats, and on top of that you will improve the nutritional value of your dishes.
I strayed a bit from the subject, so let`s come back to the broccoli muffins. Considering the fact that the dish was an appetizer, a salty muffin, I decided to substitute the butter with olive oil. Although the calorie count remained pretty much the same (1400 k cal), their quality changed dramatically. Just as I was telling you in the Clean Eating Page, it`s very important to focus on nutrients, not just calories.
So, here are the healthy butter substitutes, for when cooking, but especially baking:
- Olive Oil.It seamed only fair to mention it first, since it was, recently my number one choice for substituting butter. Simply use 3/4 cup of Olive oil for every cup of butter the recipe calls for. I use this for salty muffins, but for years I used to bake Blueberry Muffins with olive oil, instead of butter just because it gives a certain moisture to the batter. You can also use olive oil for pasta sauce or mashed potatoes. The options are unlimited. I don`t think I have to mention that if you want to fry anything-although I do not encourage it- use a small amount of olive oil, precisely for its nutritional value. Even though it has a lot of calories, 885 kcal/100 grams, they are worth consuming, because olive oil has omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin E and K and is abundant in unsaturated fats. Among its benefits, it helps reduce cholesterol, helps digestion, protects the heart and reduce the chance of cardiovascular diseases. Yes, exactly the opposite of butter.
- Avocado. I bet you like butter on toast in the morning. I get it. Next time when you feel such a craving, try swapping butter with avocado. What do you think? Personally, I like it even better. And the main difference is… You got it! Avocado is a super food. It is a rich source of fatty acids, just one avocado contains 22 grams of fat, from which 2/3 are mono-saturated-aka the good kind! Also, it has lots of fibers, folic acid, Vitamins B, E and potassium, more that bananas. And no fructose. The consumption of avocado is correlated with increased good cholesterol and decreased bad one, but not only. It has antioxidant properties, it adjusts high blood pressure and maintains the health of your cardiovascular system. So… use it at baking too. For instance… Brownies. Substitute in equal parts. 1 Cup of butter can be replaced with 1 cup of mashed avocado.
- Greek Yogurt. I don`t know about you, but I for one loveeeeeee greek yogurt. I eat it 2 times a day for that matter. In the morning-overnight oats (soon on the blog) and in the evening, post work out snack, with frozen fruits. And for a while now, as a replacement for butter or even sour cream.The nutritional properties of greek yogurt are superior to those of regular yogurt. By comparison, greek yogurt contains twice as much protein, less carbs and salt. Because of the high levels of protein, it gives you satiation for a longer period of time. Replace 1 cup of butter with 1/2 cup of greek yogurt. Your bread, muffins or cookies will be moist and puffy, but especially extremely healthy.
- Applesauce. Although you may not be familiar with this, applesauce, besides being tasty and healthy, is a great alternative for a lot of ingredients that are bad for you. But today, we are interested in healthy butter substitutes. Easy, in equal parts. Add 1 cup of applesauce for every cup of butter the recipe calls for. It will make your batters moist, and with only 68 k cal/100 grams, it adds great nutritional value. It`s apples we are dealing with here!
I really hope I succeeded in at least trying to choose a healthy butter substitutes next time you cook. You`ll see that you won`t even feel the difference and the benefits are countless.
What would you want to read in the next post in this category? Leave a comment below with your suggestion!