When it comes to cooking and baking, some of the ingredients that we use may not be available or we may be allergic to one or more of them. Don’t let this stop you from enjoying good food. In the case of butter, if you are lactose intolerant or are trying to avoid dairy, there are substitutes that you can use in place of butter. Here are some of them:

  • Applesauce – did you know that pureed apples can actually be used as a butter substitute in baking? If you are baking cookies, banana bread, or some other type of loaf that requires butter in it, use applesauce instead. This will add some fiber to what you are making and give your goodies a different fruity flavor. Just make sure that you use the unsweetened kind, if you are using processed applesauce and not fresh made. Also, make sure that you use only half of the required amount when you mix this in. If the recipe calls for 1 cup of butter, use only half a cup of applesauce to substitute.
  • Avocado – another fruit that can be used in place of butter is avocado. This is actually a better substitute since it can be used at a 1:1 ratio. It also has the same consistency as softened butter and is actually a healthier alternative since it has lots of fiber, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, and vitamin E.
  • Vegetable Oil – while not as healthy as avocado and does not have additional fiber in it for additional health benefits, solidified vegetable oil can be used in lieu of butter. The ratio for substitution is 1 cup of butter is equivalent to ¾ cup of vegetable oil. Vegetable oil however has a more neutral flavor.
  • Pumpkin Puree – also worth mentioning is another high-fiber substitute that can be used to replace butter. Pumpkin puree can be used to replace butter in certain recipes. There are a few kinds of pumpkin that can be used for this, and these include hubbard squash, butternut squash, and other types of squash that come with the same consistency when pureed.
  • Prune puree – prune puree has also been used as a substitute for butter, but you need to be careful when you use this. Since prunes are sweet, you might want to adjust the amount of sugar that you use in your recipe to balance the flavor out. Substitute one cup of butter with ¾ cup of this puree. Just be warned that when you do use this, the end product will have a darker hue so it might be best to use this on goodies that are also dark in color in the end, like brownies and chocolate cake.
  • Greek Yogurt – while not a good substitute if you are trying to avoid dairy and are lactose intolerant, Greek yogurt can be used in place of butter if you run out of butter while mixing your batter. Greek yogurt is great in cakes and even in mashed potatoes. It is also a good substitute if you are aiming to increase the protein content of the product you are baking or cooking. Just substitute half a cup of this for one cup butter in the recipe.
  • Coconut and olive oil – also great for substituting butter with when lactose intolerance is an issue are these two oils. The former is more flavor neutral and the latter has a stronger taste and aroma. This means the former can be used when making sweet stuff and the latter is better for savory items. For coconut oil, use a 1 is to 1 ratio and for olive oil use a 1 is to .75 ratio. You can chill coconut oil to get the consistency of solid butter.