Whether you follow a vegan diet or are just looking to cut back on dairy, it’s often a challenge to find tasty recipes that don’t include butter. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a dairy free butter substitute on hand if you enjoy cooking meals at home.
Fortunately, there are plenty of dairy free butter substitute options on the market today. Even better? You don’t need to visit a specialty health food store to buy them. In this post, we’ll share some of the best butter substitutes for dairy-free diets.
Extra virgin olive oil
Nutritionists often recommend substituting olive oil for butter if you’re looking to lose weight or keep a healthier diet. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats (often called “healthy fats”) and antioxidants, which are beneficial to your overall health.
Olive oil makes for a particularly good dairy free butter substitute when it comes to cooking. However, you can also swap butter for olive oil in baking (just make sure you’re precise with your measurements).
Like olive oil, coconut oil is a fantastic substitute for butter in all types of recipes. It’s a straightforward swap if you’re using coconut oil to replace butter for sautéing or while cooking.
If you’re baking with coconut oil in place of butter, the texture of your treats might be a bit different — but they should still be tasty. In particular, your flaky desserts won’t have quite the same texture if you use coconut oil as a dairy free butter substitute.
All-vegetable shortening (like Crisco) doesn’t contain dairy, so it’s another excellent dairy free butter substitute for vegan recipes. Shortening is made from 100% hydrogenated vegetable oil and doesn’t contain any water. Butter, on the other hand, is about 20% water.
Shortening is flavorless, so your baked goods won’t have that rich, buttery taste if you use it as a dairy free butter substitute. When you bake with shortening, your cookies and cakes will come out of the oven slightly rounder and fluffier than if you were to use butter.
Dairy-free buttery spread or buttery sticks
It seems like there’s a vegan substitute for just about everything these days — and butter is no exception. You will find dairy-free butter and margarine products at many grocery stores, where they are available in tubs or as sticks.
In general, buttery spreads are better for sandwiches and toast, whereas buttery sticks are preferable for baking. You can swap dairy-free butter products with traditional butter in a one-to-one ratio.
Believe it or not, even avocado works as a dairy free butter substitute in some recipes. Many people replace butter with puréed avocado as a way to consume fewer calories or avoid dairy.
You can stick with the 1:1 ratio when you cook or bake with avocado instead of butter. But keep in mind that avocado won’t stick to your other ingredients quite like butter, so you might want to add some extra moisture.
For more cooking and baking tips, check out the Tastessence blog.