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I don't mean to start a war here, but I am 77 and I have eaten butter all my life. I don't do the half measure and I don't add water. If a recipe calls for butter I use it because it is dairy. Who knows what is really in margerine. I remember during WWII when butter was not available and we had to use margarine. Even as a little kid I hated it. I have lived for a long time on butter, in my mashed potatoes and in my pastas while they are cooking. At my house if the instructions say butter I use butter. We scramble our eggs with it. And DH and I are healthy as a pair of horses.
A few years ago, a dieting buddy of mine, told me one of her cooking secrets. When preparing a recipe that calls for margarine or butter, try this. Instead of using one of those products, she used an equal amount of water rather than just omitting the butter altogether.
She said the product would turn out the same as it would have with the margarine/butter, but with less fat and so much better for you. No one would miss the extra sheen or fat the margarine or butter would have provided. She was right! So you can make your own fat free products at home.
Butter is a type of shortening that helps create good volume, texture and forms emulsion in cakes. When you start baking and you run out of butter you can still substitute it with oil. Oil is also a type of shortening but the difference is that oil is liquid and butter is solid, but they have the same effect.
Substitute every cup of your butter with lesser amount of oil (about 3/4 cup). The measurement of butter as a solid ingredient is different, because when you melt a cup of butter, it will turn into liquid with less volume.
Butter is also a lot more expensive than oil. The flavor will change just a bit simply because butter and oil has different taste and aroma.
I've had great success baking with no-fat, plain yogurt instead of butter. Baking powder biscuits, spice cake, bread, muffins; everything's turned out great thus far. Butter isn't necessarily bad for us. I remember my grandfather slathering it on his toast and he lived to be a ripe old age. On the other hand, he was a farmer and worked very hard physically. Few of us put out that kind of effort on a daily basis.
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I'm cooking fudge and the recipe calls for butter. I only have margarine. How much margarine equals 1 stick butter?
They are equivalent in cooking - one stick of margarine equals one stick of butter. The results may be different so be careful if the recipe says 'butter only', or 'margarine only'. My mother-in-law is the baker in our family, and she says that margarine has some water content to it, and makes some things 'runny' as she calls it. I guess it would only make a difference if it were cut out cookies.
Best of luck to you!
If you have the soft margarine in a tub, don't use it, it will definitely turn out wrong. It has even more water in it than regular margarine.