Substitutes for Butter

Years ago using a substitutes for butter would never have entered my mind. Butter as well as other unhealthy fats like bacon grease were used to flavor many of my dishes. As health problems began to pop up with those close to me, I began to look for heart healthy recipes to flavor my foods.

Both olive oil and grape seed oil make great substitutes for butter. They both have earned reports on their contributions to better health. I like both of these oils; the grape seed oil is so light and mild and is great when you want the benefits of oil but not the taste.

Herbs and spices make good substitutes for butter; they add a lot of flavor without the addition of fat. Knowing how to use these ingredients and which ones blend with others allows you to give unique taste to your dishes. Most of the time you won’t even notice the absence of fat in the recipe.

Chicken, beef and vegetable broth also make good substitutes for butter. Quite often for a recipe instructing to sauté onion or celery in butter, I will use a little broth instead. I keep the instant granules on hand so it is very convenient to mix a little broth for this use. It works well in cutting fat from the diet.

Garlic makes a good substitutes for butter and is a great way to get a good flavor in your dishes. If you are looking for ways on how to cook vegetables such a green beans, try flavoring them with fresh garlic. First I spray a skillet or rub it down with a little olive oil.

After dumping in the canned green beans with fresh minced garlic, salt and pepper, cook until all the liquid is cooked out. The green beans or other vegetables take on the garlic flavor as well as that browning flavor as is much healthier than adding a lot of fats. Sometimes I will sprinkle in a little rosemary, basil or oregano.

We recently visited one of Disney World Restaurants, Portobello. As a butter substitute, we were served roasted cloves of garlic in a little extra virgin olive oil to spread on our toast. It was absolutely delicious! I prefer it over butter. I appreciate that they are sharing this easy recipe with all of us.


Pumpkin Bars made with Butter SubstitutesPumpkin Bars made with Butter Substitutes

Use substitutes for butter to make the following pumpkin cheesecake bars, started with Sister Donna. She gave the recipe to Sister Shirley years ago. Due to all the snow in Ohio no one could get out of their houses. Shirley dug this recipe out and decided it was a good time to bake these. They are delicious.

  • 1 Cup flour
  • 1/3 Cup packed brown sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons margarine
  • ½ Cup finely chopped pecans
  • 8 Ounces softened low fat cream cheese
  • ¾ Cup sugar
  • ½ Cup pumpkin
  • 2 Beaten eggs
  • 1 ½ Teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon allspice
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

In a bowl combine the flour and brown sugar. Cut in the margarine to make a crumb mixture. Stir in the nuts. Set aside ¾ cup of the mixture for the topping.

Press remaining mixture into an 8 inch square pan. Bake for 15 minutes; Cool slightly.

In a large mixer bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, pumpkin, eggs, cinnamon, allspice and vanilla. Blend until smooth and pour over baked crust. Sprinkle with reserved topping. Bake another 35 to 40 minutes or until slightly firm. Cool and cut into 1x2 inch bars. 


  • ¼ Cup butter or margarine
  • ¾ Cup sugar
  • ¾ Cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 Cup chunky peanut butter
  • 2 ½ Cup old fashioned oats
  • ½ Cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 Teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ Cup shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

In a large mixing bowl beat together the butter and sugars.

Blend in the eggs and vanilla.

Add the peanut butter and soda and blend well.

Add the oats, chocolate chips and coconut.

Stir until well blended or you may need to blend with clean hands.

Shape dough into balls (golf ball size) and arrange on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet for a minute or so before removing to a cooling rack.

ROASTING GARLIC makes a great substitutes for butter


  • 4 Whole garlic bulbs
  • 1/2 Cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Water as needed


Cut off the top part of the garlic bulb using a serrated knife. Mix garlic with oil coating the garlic completely. Place garlic cut side up in a four inch deep pan. Fill pan with enough water to cover the garlic halfway. Cover pan with lid. Place in oven at 325F degrees. Cook until garlic is soft and light brown, approximately 2 hours. Remove from pan and serve with your favorite fresh bread.

The Portobello Restaurant is one of Disney Restaurants that is cognizant of many customers requiring special diets. They offer gluten free dishes and are happy to assist with whatever you need.

As I said before, I am no health specialist but as cooks we have a lot of control as far as presenting our families with healthy good tasting food.


  • ½ Cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Clove minced garlic
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 Teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Pound fresh green beans

Combine first 6 ingredients in a bowl, cover and chill at least 1 hour.
Bring marinade to room temperature before using.
Wash beans, trim ends and remove any strings.
Cook beans in deep boiling water for 10 minutes or until tender crisp; drain well.
Pour marinade over drained beans; cover and let stand at room temperature 45 minutes.
Serve at room temperature; garnish with lemon wedges.


  • 3 Pounds carrots, scraped and cut into ¼ inch slices
  • 3 Tablespoons grape seed oil (or your choice)
  • 3 Tablespoons honey
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh grated lime rind
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • Garnish with lime slices

Arrange carrots in steamer basket over boiling water.
Cover and steam 10 minutes until tender crisp. (This can be done in microwave)
Combine oil and next 4 ingredients in saucepan over medium heat.
Cook until mixture begins to boil; add carrots and cook over low heat stirring for 2 minutes.
Garnish with lime slices and serve.