In this series ‘healthy substitutes’, we shall cover foods and beverages which taste good and look good, but aren’t really that good for you after all, and how with a bit of effort we can substitute something genuinely tasty and healthy instead!
In this blog we cover a lot of health orientated topics and some of them are pretty deep topics. However, some of the health topics which we cover are important yet seemingly simple. This is the case with our healthy food substitute series, were we attempt to provide healthy substitutes for popular foods. While some people, are okay or even enthusiastic about eating healthy food options, most people struggle with eating foods, which are healthy but not very tasty. This is certainly the case with butter. While, taking in small amounts is not bad for health, butter becomes bad for health, if taken excessively. If you come from a cultural background, like my background, whereby we eat a lot of the toast and sandwiches, and where butter is applied liberally, it can be bad for health.
Basically butter is very high in saturated fats, which can make you fat, because of the excess calories, and also it can create cardiovascular health issues, because saturated fats appear to have a connection with cardiovascular disease. So if you want to remain slim, or if you’re fat and you want to lose weight, plus you want to protect yourself from the possibilities of developing cardiovascular disease, then it makes sense to substitute something healthier for butter, but which is just as tasty.
Healthy Substitutes for Butter
There are quite a few butter substitutes out there, but which ones are healthy. You could use some low-fat butter replacement, but they tend to taste like paste and aren’t really all that good for you. Or you could go the other way and spread Nutella on your bread, but that’s crazy calories! Peanut butter, of course, is healthy, but it is also very high in calories. So if you want to spread something tasty on your bread, but you want it to be healthy and take in a low amount of calories, then two great options are hummus and avocado.
Humus tastes great. Also it’s really healthy:
- It’s a lot lower in fat than butter (around 15% to 20% versus 80% for butter)
- It contains chickpeas which lowers cholesterol
- Chickpeas reduce cancer risk
- Hummus is good for your digestive system
- Hummus is high in protein, which is the building block for muscle and bodily tissues.
- Chickpeas are high in calcium, as is tahini in the types of hummus, which contain tahini
How to make Tahini Free Hummus:
Ok maybe you can buy hummus, at your local health food store. But what about if you are living somewhere, where there is no readymade hummus available or you prefer to eat homemade hummus?
In this case tahini free homemade hummus is the easy way to go!
- 2 cans of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 medium sized lemon squeezed
- ¼ cup of water
- ¼ tsp. of paprika
- 1 tsp. of salt
- 3 tbsp. of olive oil
- ¼ tsp. cumin
- Add all the ingredients, except the paprika into a food blender.
- Blend until creamy and smooth. If you find it too thick then add water to dilute.
- Pour into a bowl and add paprika.
- Keep in the fridge and eat over a couple of days.
Like hummus, avocado is both tasty and healthy, including such benefits as:
- Low fat, compared with butter
- Avocadoes are high in vitamins B 5, B6, C, E and K
- Avocadoes are high in folate, potassium, manganese, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc
- Avocados are high in healthy monounsaturated fatty acids
- Avocados are high in fibre
- Avocados lowers cholesterol and triglycerides
- Avocados may prevent cancer
- Avocados reliefs arthritis
- Avocados boost progesterone and oestrogen, in menopausal women
Ok avocados are healthy and tasty, but how can we substitute avocado for butter?
We can do it by making an avocado spread!
How to make Avocado Butter:
- 2 avocados
- 1 medium sized lemon squeezed
- 1 clove of garlic
- 4 tbsp.’s of unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp. of coriander (cilantro)
- A inch of salt
- A pinch go ground black pepper
- Wash the avocados and then slice them into little bits
- Mix all the ingredients together
- Blend until rich and creamy
- Keep in a refrigerator
Final Thoughts on Healthy Butter Substitutes
So, it’s far easier than you might think to create healthy butter substitutes. Ok, it takes a little bit of effort and it’s probably more expensive than buying butter in the shop, but it does have the advantage of been lower in fats and calories in general, and also both hummus and avocado butter are packed with healthy ingredients!
Butter, while an innocent enough food, can be hazardous for our health, simply because we tend to eat too much, which is high calories and in particular unsaturated fats. If, like me, you really like to eat butter with your toast, then think again and substitute with either homemade hummus or avocado butter, and enjoy a healthy butter substitute.
Are you interested in healthy replacements for popular foods?
Then take a look at these other healthy food replacement articles: