Butter has the ability to make anything you cook smell wonderful. It melts evenly, it’s easy to use, and almost every recipe calls for at least a small serving of it. Unfortunately, butter also has the means to raise your cholesterol level at an unsurpassed rate. Here are four healthier options that still favor your taste buds without throwing your health to the wayside.
Stock: Stock is made primarily with water, meat, and vegetables, so no need to calculate extra calories into your dish with this substitute. Add one to two tablespoons of stock to your pan right before adding the main ingredient (it vaporizes quickly, so the sooner you add your food the better). Since most stock is made by simmering chicken bones, opt for the vegetable stock if you choose to cook meatless.
Broth: By throwing a cube or one teaspoon of bouillon soup into your pan, you’ve already begun to season your dish. This is a better alternative to chicken or vegetable broth, because you don’t need to use as much of it to get the flavor. An even healthier alternative is Better Than Bouillon, which you can store in your fridge and use as you go. This will provide the most distinct flavor in your food and cook it to where butter or oil would have. It also has a low caloric value, but not so much on the sodium side, so use this condiment sparingly.
Vinegar: It’s not just an additive to your salad dressings anymore. Adding vinegar to your cooking will improve the quality of your meal no matter what you heat it up for. Adding it before cooking your eggs, for example, will keep the whites from losing form, especially when poaching. Vinegar also has the ability to tenderize your meat before you even begin the cooking process. Recommended vinegars for cooking are rice, white wine, red wine, distilled white, and apple cider.
Wine: Instead of drinking it with your meal, flavor your pan with a small amount of wine instead. Although wine has the highest amount of calories of the four on this list, it has the ability to bring out rich and robust flavors from meats, sauces, and even dessert. When cooking with wine never raise the temperature too high. Just allow it to simmer before adding your ingredients in. This will give you the most bang for your buck and make the wine go a longer way. Cooking with regular wines you would drink is also recommended, as your food will slightly take on the flavor of your wine. Think of wine cooking pairing and tasting pairing as one in the same: white goes with fish and poultry, while red goes with red meat.