Ways to Make Baking Healthier: Avocados for Butter

Continuing on with this week’s theme of ways to make baking healthier, I have found and tested another interesting substitute for baking.
Healthier Baking tip trial # 2: Avocado for butter or Crisco
Not a Joke!

When compared with butter, avocado wins in every category:
Calories– 2 Tbsp. Avocado 50 / 2 Tbsp. Butter 200
Total fat (g)– 2 Tbsp. Avocado 4.5 / 2 Tbsp. Butter 23
Saturated fat (g)- 2 Tbsp. Avocado .5 / 2 Tbsp. Butter 15
Cholesterol (mg)– 2 Tbsp. Avocado 0 / 2 Tbsp. Butter 60
Sodium (mg)– 2 Tbsp. Avocado 0 / 2 Tbsp. Butter (salted) 200
Not only does avocado beat out butter by containing less fat, calories, cholesterol and sodium, they are also considered by many to be a super food containing over 20 essential nutrients including healthy fats and compounds that have been found to lower bad cholesterol and increase the good, improving heart health. Amazing!

When I first stumbled upon this substitution tip I was pretty skeptical. I am not a huge fan of Avocado, though I do appreciate the many health benefits they offer and after reading that using avocado in your baking would not taint the flavor of your treats, I decided it would be well worth the try.

For my trial I used a simple chocolate chip cookie recipe I found at Marthastewart.com. The substitution process was very simple. Follow the recipe instructions like normal, only swap out the butter for avocado meat pureed until creamy in a blender or food processer in a ratio of 1:1. For example, if 1 cup butter is asked for, use 1 cup avocado puree instead.

If you are reading this and are interested, but have never used avocado before and not sure how to go from a piece of green bumpy fruit to a puree, click here for a quick YouTube tutorial on how to process an avocado.
After baking, these were my results:

avocado cookies 2


Very green, yet delicious chewy chocolate chip cookies! After numerous taste tests the results came back that the swap was overall a success! Plus, I met new people on my floor when they were willing to take a chance in trying out my mysterious green cookies. What more could I ask for?

A few things to note when baking with avocado:
Baking time/temp– When baking with avocado in place of butter, the cooking time may take a few minutes longer than suggested. Also, the cookies may start to brown quicker than normal. In this case reduce heat, and increase further the baking time

Consistency – With the recipe I used for this trial I added slightly (about ¼ cup) more flour than the recipe called for in order to get the dough a thicker consistency. Using the avocado the dough will be slightly gooier than normal. After baking the consistency of your cookie should be firm, like any cookie. If the cookie is bending when you try to take it off the sheet, it isn’t done baking!

Texture- If you are like my mom, and not a huge fan of chewy baked goods, I would swap out less butter to retain some of the crunch. For example, instead of swapping the avocado 1 to 1 try swapping ¾ or ½ the butter. As you read above, swapping even only part of the butter out with avocado, can still help to make your treats substantially healthier.

Color– your baked goods will most likely turn out a lovely green color when implementing this substitution. This could be great if you are baking for kids, who might think it’s silly and fun, or around St. Patty’s Day when the color is appropriate.

For more ideas on how to use avocados in your baking visit this baking with avocados page. To check out my other healthy baking trial posts click here for black beans for oil, and here for applesauce for sugar.

Thanks for reading! Come back again soon as I explore more ideas to make cooking healthier.