Alternatives to Butter

Look, sometimes you run out of butter. Or sometimes you just don’t want to use butter. Sometimes you want a different taste than what butter usually gives you. Whatever the case, butter isn’t always the right choice – even when you’re baking cookies. We spoke about oil as a substitute previously, but with so many different types, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. These are our favorite oil substitutes and how they can give your cookies an extra taste.

Canola Oil

Canola oil is one of the preferred oils to use in place of butter. It’s derived from a type of rapeseed, and has a low amount of erucic acid (which is linked to fatty deposits in heart muscles). It also has the most neutral taste, is a light texture, and can withstand high temperatures of heat, making it ideal for baking. Use a ¾ cup of canola oil in replacement of one cup of butter.

Avocado Oil

Avocado is great for you heart and filled with oleic acid, an unsaturated fat which can help by lowering cholesterol and reduce inflammation within the body. Refined avocado oil’s flavor tastes mildly like avocado (of course), and unrefined avocado oil can have a bit more of its grassy taste. When cooked, however, it generally is more tasteless than olive oil. Use the same amount of avocado oil as you would butter.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil contains healthy fatty acids, though it’s higher in saturated fats – sort of like butter. However, there are many benefits to coconut oil. First, the science: coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), a type of shorter fatty acid train. These go to your liver and turn into either a boost in energy or ketones; ketones can help with overall brain health. MCTs may also increase how many calories your body burns, reduce hunger, and be heart-healthy. Its taste is neutral, so you won’t know it’s in your food, and you can substitute at a 1:1 ratio.

Olive Oil

The main downside to olive oil is its taste – no matter how much you cook it, it’ll alter the flavor. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing depending on what you’re baking, but definitely keep it in mind and try to find a “mild” olive oil to avoid the taste. If you’re baking something with citrus-y flavors, or vegetables like zucchini, lemon cookies and zucchini bread can taste good with this oil. Substitute three parts olive oil for four parts butter.

Sunflower Oil

Sunflower oil is high in vitamin E – as in, one tablespoon has 28% of a person’s daily recommended intake. However, it’s also filled with omega-6 fatty acids (which can be pro-inflammatory within the body), so if you use it, balance it out with omega-3s to keep it heart-healthy. If you can’t balance it out, just use it in moderation. Replace one cup of butter with ¾ of a cup of sunflower oil.

Peanut Oil

Make sure no one has a peanut allergy before serving with peanut oil. If you’re in the clear, this is a delicious substitute if you’re looking for a slightly nutty taste; it’s versatile, so it doesn’t need to be used solely with peanut-based goodies. It’s filled with vitamin E and omega-9s, but it’s also high in omega-6s, so use it in moderation. It has a high smoking point, so heat is no problem for this. Substitute three parts peanut oil for four parts butter.

What oils do you use in replacement of butter? Are you going to try any of the above? Share your thoughts with us!

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