Butter can make anything taste better. From sandwiches and pizzas to cakes, brownies and even chapatis and parathas, butter can liven up the taste of any food. A lot of people use this creamy dairy product as their favoured grease for cooking, grilling, basting or frying various foods. Butter is also used in making sauces and cake frosting, as well as pan-frying and roasting food and snacks. It seems to be all-pervasive in cooking and baking and is one of the most important and widely available milk products out there. Whether you like to spread it on breads and sandwiches, or like to use it instead of oil for cooking, butter is an essential ingredient that all functional kitchens have a stock of.
But there are plenty of reasons that one may want to move away from the use of butter in cooking and baking. A lot of people are allergic to dairy and dairy products and may not be able to use butter in cooking and baking. Too much butter in food is a cause for concern for a lot of people suffering from or are susceptible to cardiovascular diseases or high blood pressure. Butter is extremely high in saturated fat, which may clog up arteries and lead to plaque build-up when consumed daily and in excess. Moreover, a lot of commercially available butter brands contain too much salt and artificial flavour.
Butter is one of the most essential ingredients in cooking and baking
Here are three alternatives or healthier substitutes to butter that you may use while cooking and baking:
is a type of clarified butter that is heated to 120 degrees C after the water is evaporated, turning the milk solids brown. This process enhances the rich flavour of ghee and is also said to increase the level of antioxidants in it. Ghee can be used exactly like butter for grilling and roasting, but may have more moisture than butter when used in baking, so you may need to alter the ratio of liquid to flour in cookies and cakes. However, even ghee is rich in saturated fats and must be used judiciously while cooking on a daily basis.
2. Coconut Oil
Recently hailed as a superfood, coconut oil has been used for cooking in Asian cuisines for centuries now. is said to have a number of health benefits, including suppression of appetite and an improvement in level of High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol. Coconut oil is also said to improve immunity by killing harmful micro-organisms like bacteria and viruses, due to the presence of lauric acid in it. The only downside to coconut oil is the strong 'coconutty' flavour and taste that it comes with and that takes time to get used to. However, due to the high viscosity of coconut oil, it can used in a 1:1 ratio in the place of butter.
Coconut oil has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties
3. Olive Oil
For the longest time, has been considered as one of the healthiest cooking oils out there and it can be used to replace butter as grease as well. It contains high amounts of antioxidants, due to which it has anti-inflammatory properties. Olive oil is a rich source of healthy fats, which is also said to offer protective benefits for the heart. For every cup of butter that you may use in a recipe, you may replace it with three-fourth cup of olive oil. Since olive oil is liquid, your baking recipes may require some adjustments in order to accommodate olive oil in the place of butter. But wherever you need to use butter as grease to cook foods, olive oil may function exactly like butter.
If you need to replace butter as a spread for sandwiches and toasts, then there are plenty of options, including nut butters, avocado mash, Greek yogurt and even applesauce. Know of any more healthy alternatives or substitutes to butter that may be used in cooking and baking? Let us know in the comments section below!