Are you looking for a healthier alternative to butter? Concerned about the environmental and health impacts of dairy?
You’re in luck: there are plenty of non-dairy substitutes for butter that can give you the same creamy taste and texture – without any of the guilt.
Read on for our top five picks.
Butter has been part of dietary culture for centuries, with nearly every culture having its own version.
Most commonly known as the yellowish-white dairy product made from cows’ milk, butter can be more than just a spread.
It’s used for baking, cooking and even a topping.
By definition, it is an emulsion that usually contains between eighty to eighty-five percent butterfat.
When it comes to texture, butter has a smooth and creamy feel while tasting delightfully savory or slightly salty depending on the quality and amount added in food preparation.
From savory popcorn to delicious cookies or tasty pastries, butter adds flavor and richness when melted or mixed in foods.
For example, it may be used as a cooking oil or replacement for margarine in some dishes — especially cakes and other baked goods — allowing the food to maintain its moisture yet deliver a crumbly texture after cooking.
Adding butter creates breakable texture upon cooling, making it great for items like pie crusts that need that firmness for presentation perfection.
Butter can also be used as an aesthetic touch in certain cooked meals such as mashed potatoes – bringing out their flavor as well as adding much needed moisture back into them.
In conclusion, of all ingredients available to us today, butter will always stand out no matter what recipe you choose to create.
5 Best Non-dairy Butter Substitutes to Consider
Fortunately, there are several different non-dairy substitutes that can be used in place of butter.
Each substitute has its own unique taste and texture that could work better than butter in certain recipes.
Here are the five best non-dairy substitutes for butter:
1 – Olive Oil
Olive oil is a popular, healthy alternative to butter in baking and cooking.
It has a mild flavor and can easily be used as a one-for-one replacement for butter, meaning it can be applied in equal quantities to recipes that call for butter.
Olive oil also has many health benefits, such as its levels of healthy monounsaturated fat, vitamin E and antioxidants.
Some of the best choices include extra-virgin or light olive oils, as they have less intense flavors that won’t overpower the taste of other ingredients.
2 – Avocado
Avocado is one of the healthiest butter alternatives available.
Not only is it full of beneficial fats, but it can also be used as a spread just like butter, making it perfect for toast or crackers.
In addition, avocadoes together with other ingredients such as olive oil, garlic and lime juice can also be used to make a creamy non-dairy alternative to guacamole.
Like other non-dairy substitutes for butter, avocados are best when eaten raw since heating them will cause them to lose some of their nutritional benefits.
When using avocado as a substitute for butter in baking recipes, use half an avocado for every cup of butter called for in the recipe.
3 – Nut Butter
Nut butters, such as peanut butter, almond butter and cashew butter, can be a great option for those looking for a non-dairy alternative to butter.
Most nut butters are high in healthy fats and other nutrients, making them a balanced and nutritious option.
One downside is that most of them contain added sugar or salt, so if you’re looking to reduce your sugar intake try finding one without these ingredients.
Nut butters can easily be incorporated into your favorite recipes either by adding them with other ingredients or using them to top off the finished dish.
Try adding nut butter to oatmeal or porridge for an extra boost of protein and flavor.
They can also be used in baking to add richness and flavor.
4 – Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is arguably the most versatile out of all the non-dairy butter substitutes.
It is solid at room temperature, has a neutral taste and an impressive nutrient profile.
Coconut oil also adds a rich flavor to many dishes, so it can be used as a vegan substitute for butter in baking and other recipes.
Coconut oil can also be used as a spread on toast, in sauces or to sauté vegetables.
Many people even substitute it for butter when making curries.
One important thing to note is that coconut oil has a high smoke point, so it is not ideal for high temperature cooking methods like frying or deep-frying.
When replacing butter with coconut oil in recipes, generally use three quarters of the amount indicated on the recipe card, as it’s slightly heavier than regular butter.
5 – Applesauce
Applesauce is one of the best non-dairy substitutes for butter because it contains natural sugars, which helps recreate a buttery sweetness.
It’s also moisture-rich and provides a light, creamy consistency.
Applesauce can be easily swapped in a 1:1 ratio with butter in most recipes, however it will reduce the fat content since butter is high in fat and applesauce has no fat.
This substitute works best in cakes, muffins, cookies and quick breads.
Be aware that if too much applesauce is used, the texture of baked goods can be affected — you might end up with soggy or flat treats.
Prunes are another popular option for replacing butter in quick breads as they help make them more dense and moist.
In conclusion, there are many great non-dairy substitutes for butter that can give your baking a creamy and delicious boost without compromising flavor.
But, as with any food product, choosing the right one is just a matter of personal preference — try them out and see which you prefer.
If you want your cooking to be as healthy and nutritious as possible, it’s always advisable to look out for products with natural ingredients and avoid anything overly processed.
Your choice of non-dairy substitute may also depend on what other dietary restrictions you have; some are vegan while others are nut-free options.
Whichever route you choose, these five butter substitutes will ensure that your baking still tastes delicious.
Carrie is a food writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience. She has worked for some of the biggest names in the food industry, including Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living.
As the Editor in Chief of IntroChicago.com, Carrie oversees all of the content on the site. She also manages the team of contributing writers and editors, who help to create delicious recipes, helpful tips, and informative articles that you’ll find on the site.
A native of the Chicago area, Carrie is passionate about all things food. She loves trying new restaurants and experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen. She’s also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, so she knows a thing or two about food!