What is the Best Substitute for Unsalted Butter?

by Charlie
Best Substitute for Unsalted Butter

Unsalted butter naturally refers to butter without a trace of salt. It is a famous fixture in cooking for many people, especially in making pastries and other related meals. 

Along with its interesting taste, unsalted butter can also be used for its many health benefits. It contains several essential vitamins and minerals that help improve the health of your bones, hair, and body. Still, you might want to get a substitute for it from time to time. 

So, is there a substitute for unsalted butter? Yes, there is. Of the different substitutes, the most ideal is margarine. The latter was actually made to be a substitute for butter, and it has several similarities with it. People worried about their health will also be happy to know that margarine is healthier than unsalted butter.

An Overview of Unsalted Butter

Many see unsalted butter as butter in its purest form. As its name suggests, it is butter without a trace of salt in it. 

Butter is created using the thickest and fattest part of milk. When milk is extracted, it is fixed into a container to settle, then the watery part on the top is skimmed off while the thick cream beneath is then beaten and churned to make butter. Ideally, salt is added to butter to give its distinct taste and preserve it. However, unsalted butter is devoid of this. 

As you probably already know, butter is an integral part of many fantastic meals and snacks. It is often used to bake several snacks and pastries – including cakes, biscuits, bread, and more. 

Why Replace Unsalted Butter?

Everyone loves having options. We want new things from time to time – a necessity that has led to different recipes and inventions.

Nevertheless, here are some reasons why someone would opt for substitutes for unsalted butter. Let’s take a look:

  • Taste and the absence of salt: As its name implies, unsalted butter is essentially butter that’s entirely devoid of salt. While a lot of people like sugar, salted butter is often essential in most baked products. It is an excellent preservative, and manufacturers have come to rely significantly on it.  
  • Their perishable nature: Apart from adding taste to the butter, salt also helps to preserve it for long. Salted butter can last up to 10 times longer than its unsalted half-sibling. People mostly just want to have butter in the house and avoid having to look for unsalted options whenever they want to make butter. 
  • Scarcity: Everyone knows that you can quickly get salted butter or margarine whenever you want by driving down to a nearby grocery store. However, you might not find it so easy to get unsalted butter.  

Options for Unsalted Butter Alternatives

Best Substitute for Unsalted Butter: Margarine

Margarine has a pretty interesting history. French chemist Hippolyte Mège-Mouriès invented it after Emperor Napoleon III offered a prize to anyone who could make a satisfactory butter alternative that was suitable for use by the military and the poor. Hence, margarine was created as a butter substitute from beef tallow (sheep fats).

While they might be different, margarine and unsalted butter are very similar in nature and application. Unsalted butter is produced from the solid component of milk, while margarine is produced from vegetable oil. The latter is a processed form of oil gotten from a combination of different vegetable oils. These include palm oil, soybean, palm kernel, and fats from vegetable and animal sources. 

Margarine is healthier than unsalted butter in that it contains low cholesterol. However, it doesn’t quite possess the rich and creamy flavor that unsalted butter has. Margarine is a suitable replacement for unsalted butter nevertheless. It works slightly differently when you use it for cooking, but it gets the job done nonetheless.  

Best Substitute for Unsalted Butter in Pastries: Lard

Lard is produced from pork fats, which is made from pigs. The lard is taken from the pig’s fattiest part, and such fats pass through a process termed rendering. The fat is eventually solidified after several rounds of processing. 

You can use lard as a replacement for unsalted butter in food items like biscuits and doughnuts. Due to its high smoke point, lard is also a better option for frying than unsalted butter.

Best Substitute for Unsalted Butter in Muffins: Apple Sauce

Apple sauce is a perfect replacement for unsalted butter. It is usually sold as a finished product in grocery stores, and it adds a lovely flavor to muffins, cakes, and some other baking finishes. Apple sauce contains zero quantity of fat and possesses rich fiber.

Best Wide-Ranging Substitute for Unsalted Butter: Nut Butter

Any butter made from nuts can easily serve as a great alternative to unsalted butter. The best kinds are usually rich in nutrients, less in fat, and certainly not over-processed. 

As an alternative, nut butter is easy to make. You could just buy the nut from the store, blend it, and add different spices. You can also dictate how salty or sugary it should taste. This butter can perform similar functions to unsalted butter too.

Although, there are several other replacements for unsalted butter, these are the best alternatives we’ve been able to put together so far. Unsalted butter doesn’t have to be mandatory anymore; you now have viable options whenever you’re not in the mood or state to use unsalted butter.

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