The goodness of the aromatic, savory dish or freshly baked goods lies in loads of butter.
However, a cup of butter is rich in calories (1628 kcal) and offers 117g saturated fat and 488mg of cholesterol. The excessive intake of such high-calorie foods may contribute to the development of diseases.
Therefore, it is advisable to replace butter with low-calorie, low-fat substitutes.
This article will explore some of the healthy butter substitutes in cooking, spreading, and baking.
9 Best Healthy Butter Substitutes
The best healthy substitutes for Butter are – Avocado, Applesauce, Pureed Prunes, Mashed/Pureed Beans, Mashed Bananas, Greek Yogurt, Pumpkin Puree, Olive Oil, and Nut Butter.
Avocado is a nutrient-dense fruit with fiber, antioxidants, potassium, folate, vitamin B6, C, and E that may help prevent and reduce the risk of diseases.
About 100g of avocados offer 160 kcal and healthy fats. However, it does not contain any cholesterol.
It may work as a healthy substitute for butter due to its oil composition and addition of healthy fats to the dishes.
Mashed avocados may be swapped for butter when baking desserts and as a spread on toast.
Avocado may be a nutritious replacement for butter by adding healthy monounsaturated fat to the baked goods.
Applesauce made from cooked apples is rich in antioxidants that help the body fight against diseases.
One cup of unsweetened applesauce offers 167 calories, 3g fiber, potassium, vitamin A, C, B6, calcium, and magnesium. However, it does not have any cholesterol.
Therefore, applesauce may be an acceptable calorie-less healthy butter substitute in baked goods. About half a cup of applesauce may be substituted for butter when baking, creating a sweet and soft texture.
It may also add natural sweetness to the dishes.
Applesauce may add health benefits and nutritional value to the baked goods if substituted for butter.
Prunes are dried plums that may help with constipation, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
About 100g of prune puree offers 257 calories, 3.3g of dietary fiber, and a negligible amount of saturated fatty acids. It does not contain cholesterol.
It may work as a healthy butter substitute during baking due to its high sorbitol and pectin content. It may add natural sweetness to the baked dishes and helps to retain moisture, making them chewy.
However, it may not work for light-colored cakes due to its dark color.
Pureed prunes make the perfect low-fat, low-calorie substitute for butter in baked recipes. It may mostly work in the recipes with chocolate.
Beans are a great source of fiber and proteins that helps with protecting against heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and digestive illness.
100g of black beans has about 85kcal with 3.8g of fiber, zero saturated, trans fat, and cholesterol.
Therefore, beans, including cannellini and black beans, maybe a healthy substitute for butter when baking due to its high starch and protein contents. The beans must be mashed or pureed to have a creamy texture when using a substitute in cakes, muffins, and quick bread.
Replacing the butter with mashed beans when baking may reduce the calories, fat, cholesterol, and saturated fat in the dishes.
Bananas are an excellent source of magnesium, fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and manganese that help with digestive and heart health. One medium-sized banana contains only about 105 calories with 3g of fiber. However, it does not have trans fat and cholesterol.
Therefore, bananas may be a healthy swap for butter due to its creamy texture when mashed and high starch content. An equal amount of mashed bananas may be substituted for butter in dense baked goods, including muffins, breads, and cookies.
Mashed bananas may add nutrients and decrease the calorie content if it is swapped for butter when baking.
Greek yogurt is rich in vitamins, minerals, and probiotics that may improve bone, digestive, and heart health.
About 100g of greek yogurt has 467kcal and 3.3g of protein. Although it has 16.67g of saturated fat, it doesn’t have any trans fat and cholesterol.
Therefore, it may be used to replace butter when baking due to its creamy texture. It may add a tangy flavor to baked goods, including quick breads, cakes, muffins, pancakes, with less overall fat and calories.
Greek yogurt may serve as a healthy, low-fat, and low-calorie replacement to butter when baking.
Pumpkin puree is packed with beta-carotene that helps with good eyesight, better immunity, younger-looking skin, and heart health.
100g of pumpkin puree offers 33kcal of energy and 2.5g of dietary fiber. It does not have any saturated, trans fat, and cholesterol.
It works as a great butter substitute for winter baking recipes as it adds a nice fall flavor and provides moisture in the recipes. It works particularly when baking cookies, cakes, and muffins due to the presence of sweetness.
Pumpkin puree may work as a healthy butter substitute when baking as it is lower in calories and fat.
Olive oil is a popular cooking oil used for reducing the risk of heart disease, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
About 100ml of extra-virgin olive oil offers 800kcal, 13.33g of saturated fat, and 73.33g of monounsaturated fats. However, it does not have harmful trans fat and cholesterol.
Although it is calorie-rich, it may be a nutritional substitute for butter due to its healthy fat content. About ¾ cup of olive oil may be swapped for 1 cup of melted butter in savory dishes and baking desserts.
Olive oil may be a healthy butter substitute when cooking and baking adding healthy fats to the dishes.
Nut butter contains protein, fiber, essential fatty acids, and phytochemicals that may offer various health benefits.
For example, about 100g of almond butter offers 614kcal of energy, 10.3g of fiber, and 4.15g of saturated fat. However, it does not have any cholesterol.
It may make great dairy butter substitutes due to its sweet and creamy consistencies.
Although it has high-fat content, it is mainly composed of healthy monounsaturated fats, unlike dairy butter. It may work well on baking desserts and as a spread.
Nut butter may be a healthy butter substitute when baking or spreading due to high amounts of unsaturated fats, proteins, and creamy consistencies.
Coconut oil made from coconut is high in calories and saturated fat, making it solid at room temperature. It may be a good substitute for butter as it has properties similar to butter. Since it is rich in saturated fats, there is still a controversy if it is a healthier butter substitute.
Saturated fat is one of the dietary fats that may cause the build-up of cholesterol in arteries raising the risk of heart diseases. It will also add calories and cause weight gain. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid foods with high saturated fat.
Butter is commonly linked with poor health due to its high levels of saturated fat and calories. Therefore, healthy butter substitutes that are low in calories and cholesterol are gaining popularity in recent years.
However, you may need to adjust the proportions and cooking time while working with these low-calorie butter substitutes as they may have different consistencies.