So I’m quite fond of baking and then devouring testing the results. However, making baked goods like cookies, cupcakes, muffins, and breads all the time isn’t exactly ideal for achieving a toned physique. To avoid the onset of lots of pounds, I like to swap some of the bad in recipes for better alternatives. Butter is a the main ingredient I usually swap out (or reduce).
I mostly use Greek yogurt and applesauce for butter substitutes, but I’ve used others in the past and hope to continue experimenting so I can make all the things and feel less guilty. For today’s post, I’ve compiled a list of five awesome ingredients that can be subbed for all, or at least part, of the butter in recipes. Since baking is a bit more tricky than other forms of cooking (chemistry comes into play to make things rise or get to the right texture), not all substitutes work perfectly to replace butter in recipes. That’s why it’s important to follow the right measurements to ensure the lack of crappiness in your baked goods results.
When you sub ingredients like Greek yogurt, applesauce, avocado, banana, and canola oil for butter, you may not always get the best results by doing a 1:1 ratio. However, you’ll notice below that most substitutes can produce great results by keeping half the butter that the recipe calls for and then using half of whatever substitute you choose. It’s a great way to cut the unhealthy nutrition facts of butter (hellooooo, saturated fat).
This is by far my favorite butter substitute – probably because it’s the one ingredient on this whole list that I always have on hand. For every 1 cup of butter that your recipe calls for, use 1/4 cup of plain Greek yogurt and 1/2 cup of butter. Beware: you don’t want to put too much Greek yogurt in a baked good because it’s so full of moisture (typically, you won’t want to exceed more than 1 cup total in a recipe). If you put too much, your baked good can get soggy – believe me…I learned this the hard way as I experimented with Greek yogurt pancakes.
And this is my second favorite butter substitute for baking. For every 1 cup of butter in a recipe, use 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce and 1/2 cup of butter. You can typically replace all of the butter for a 1:1 ration, but your results will be much denser, which is why I recommend just doing half and half. Using applesauce could potentially make your food more moist, but I haven’t noticed this too much.
Recipes to try: almond oatmeal cookies
I’m super pumped to try this substitute out. The reason I haven’t tried this yet is because avocados are a bit more pricey than the other items on this list, but I love the idea because I’m obsessed with avocado; therefore, it will happen soon. For every 1 cup of butter, substitute 1/2 cup mashed avocado and 1/2 cup of butter. Using avocado instead of butter should produce softer and chewier goods. If you do a 1:1 ratio, you’ll probably end up with flatter results. Just know that avocado may tint your food a bit green. Also, if you’re doing this sub for a cake recipe, you may need to decrease the oven temperature and increase the time – keep watch so you don’t overcook it!
Works well for: cookies and cakes
I’ve tried this out a few times for cookie recipes, and it wasn’t too shabby. For every 1 cup of butter, use 1/2 cup of ripe mashed banana plus 1/2 cup of butter. Using banana instead of butter typically makes your baked goods pretty dense – don’t use this sub if you want fluffy results (aka cake). You may need to reduce the cooking time if you use banana, since it is so dense. Also, only use banana if you’re okay with banana flavor being all up in your food.
I know what you’re thinking: replace butter with oil? How is that healthier? I was skeptical at first too, people. Although canola oil has more calories, it has less of the bad stuff – saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. To replace butter with canola oil, use 1/2 cup of canola oil plus 1/2 cup of butter for every 1 cup of butter. Oil doesn’t always translate perfectly as a butter substitute, which is why this also uses half the butter that is called for in the recipe. Using canola oil works especially well for replacing melted butter.
Do you have any go-to healthier substitutes for baking or cooking in general?
Have you tried any of these substitutes on the list?