Moms’ Burning Questions: Substitutes for Butter

What’s a good substitute for butter?

For starters, I’m not opposed to butter.  It’s a product that comes from nature, and it’s ok to use in moderation.  The important thing to keep in mind is that butter has a high saturated fat content,

Earth Balance spread is a great alternative to butter (

so try to use small amounts and alternate it with oils that are lower in saturated fat, like vegetable oils.

Margarine was originally marketed as a “healthier” alternative to butter because it’s made with vegetable oil rather than cream.  Margarine is in fact lower in saturated fat, but it is often partially-hydrogenated, meaning it contains trans fats.  (Trans fats increase the risk of heart disease and have a negative effect on cholesterol levels.)  However, margarines or spreads without trans fats do exist and taste great—my favorite is Earth Balance Buttery Spread because it tastes great on whole-wheat toast and has a similar texture to butter.

  • For cooking, use vegetable oils, including organic canola, sunflower or coconut oils are high heat and olive oil at medium heat.
  • For baking, try pureed dried plums, Greek yogurt, applesauce, mashed black or white beans.  The flavor may change a bit (although in some cases you would never know!), but the same type of moistness can be achieved with less fat and added nutrients.
  • As a spread, try mashed or sliced avocado, hummus or almond butter for a solid boost of good nutrition and flavor.

Black bean brownies?! You’d never know the difference! (

How do you cut down on butter in your diet?  Share your great tips with us in the comment section.

– Stacey Antine, M.S. R.D., author, Appetite for Life and founderHealthBarn USA

What puzzles you about keeping your family healthy?  Tell us what’s on your mind by emailing [email protected].  Stacey will answer those questions here weekly.

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2017-05-06T17:06:59+00:00December 6th, 2012|Moms' Burning Questions|