Cooking substitutes … butter



We’ve all experienced going to the cupboard or refrigerator only to find that you’ve run out of a vital ingredient. One of those vital ingredients is butter, and given how versatile it is in the kitchen, it is frustrating when you find you’ve run out. Never fear, if you find yourself butter-less and we’ve got some clever kitchen staples that’ll get you out of trouble.


1.     Vegetable Oil - Vegetable oil is a great primary fat alternative, especially in baking. It’s an easy substitute for butter, however, it doesn’t contain as much water as butter, resulting in baked goods that are denser and a little less fluffy. For every 1 cup of butter required in your recipe, you’ll only need ¾ cup of oil.


2.     Olive Oil – Olive oil acts in the same way as vegetable oil, creating a baked product that’s denser than your recipe would originally intend. With olive oil, it’s also important to pick an oil that is light in flavour, especially if you are planning on using it in a sweet recipe.


3.     Coconut Oil – Unlike other oils, coconut oil can be used in a 1:1 ratio in place of butter. It’s also high in fat just like butter. Unrefined coconut oil is best for sweet dishes that will marry well with its coconutty flavour while refined coconut oil should be virtually flavourless.


4.     Mashed Avocado – Avocado might seem like an odd choice as a butter substitute. It has a high-fat content just like butter and can be used as a replacement in a variety of ways (not just in baking). Spread it on toast when you don’t have any butter (it tastes amazing with tomatoes, Vegemite or just on its own). It can be used in a ratio of 1:1 when replacing butter. It can also be used in both sweet and savoury dishes when baking as it takes on the flavour profile of the dominant ingredient (chocolate is a great example of this).


5.     Plain Greek Yoghurt – Using plain Greek yoghurt can add a beautiful rich texture and tang to your baking. Full-fat yoghurt is best as it will help keep your baking moist.


6.     Ghee –The not butter, butter. Ghee is clarified butter and whilst it may not be an ingredient you always have on hand; we believe it’s still worth a mention due to its delicious nutty flavour and its low lactose content. Ghee is a great butter replacement if you find yourself lactose resistant (not allergic) as you may find the lower levels of lactose easier to tolerate. Not only is ghee a great substitute for butter in baking it’s also great melted and spread on toast or for sauteing vegetables and protein.



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