Full of omega-3s and vitamin E, avocados taste perfect when thinly sliced on a salad, thrown in a fruity smoothie, or paired with salty sunflower seeds. Yet another way you can incorporate the ever-versatile avocado into your culinary life: as a substitute for butter.
When baking, substitute half the amount of butter in your recipe for mashed avocado. If you substitute the whole amount, you'll end up with flatter results. To help you figure out how much you'll need, it helps to know that one avocado yields about three-quarters of a cup. Substituting butter with avocado not only lowers the calorie content — half a cup of butter is 813 calories, and the same amount of mashed avocado is 184 — but it also yields a softer, moister baked good. While this fruit is high in fat, avocados contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, which can actually lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and maintain HDL (good) cholesterol and help decrease belly fat.
Related: How to Replace Butter When Baking
Per quarter-cup serving, avocados have over 300 fewer calories than butter but also offer less saturated fat and cholesterol. This green fruit also offers more protein and added fiber, and it's rich in B vitamins, as well as folate, potassium, vitamin E, and vitamin K. You can't say that about butter.
Here are some recipes you can try with this butter substitute:
- Pumpkin muffins: you won't believe how soft and moist these muffins are; no one will know there's not a pat of butter.
- Banana oatmeal crumb muffins: this can be made into one loaf of banana bread instead of 12 muffins.
- Vegan chocolate cupcakes with "buttercream" frosting: For this recipe, the butter that's traditionally used to make frosting is replaced with ripe avocados, yielding the smoothest, most delicious frosting.