Scones get their delicious taste and flaky texture from the inclusion of butter in the baking process. There are, however, a number of butter alternatives that can be used to get the same texture and still pack in a lot of flavor. By reducing the amount of butter used, or eliminating it from the recipe entirely, you can prepare a healthier breakfast snack.
Applesauce is a common and readily available substitute for butter in baked foods like cakes, muffins and cookies. It serves as a direct substitute, meaning that you can replace it in equal amounts in recipes, which typically measure it by the tablespoon. Use regular, sweetened applesauce if your recipe includes a low amount of sugar. Otherwise, opt for unsweetened applesauce, which doesn't include processed sugars. Both will add a slight apple flavor to your scones while keeping them moist and fluffy.
Almond butter is a good source of dietary fiber and vitamin E. It has a texture similar to that of peanut butter and melts down easily in recipes. It can be purchased at most specialty food markets or made at home. The taste of almond butter works well in scones as it pairs well with syrup, spices and fruit flavors commonly found in most recipes. Almond butter can be directly substituted for butter in recipes.
Vegetable, canola, coconut, olive, soybean, sunflower and flaxseed oils can be used as alternatives to butter in scone recipes. Canola, coconut and olive oils will add an extra flavor to your scones, while vegetable, soybean, sunflower and flaxseed oils are generally bland and won't be as noticeable. All of these oils contain omega fatty acids, which are considered healthy fats, especially when compared to butter. when substituting oil for butter, use approximately one-half of the butter amount listed in the recipe.
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Mashed bananas can be used in place of butter in scone recipes. This serves as a readily available, inexpensive and flavorful alternative to butter. Bananas are rich in potassium, free of cholesterol and naturally sweet, making them good for introducing slow-releasing and long-lasting energy into the body. They can be easily incorporated into the recipe's mixture and help to thicken and hold the scone batter together. Mashed bananas can be directly substituted for butter in your recipe.
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- University of Nebraska--Lincoln: Cooking Ingredient Substitutions
- Cook's Thesaurus: Fats and Oils
- The Fitness Food Cookbook; Fiona Biggs
Edward Lincoln has been a writer, illustrator and social-media designer since 2008. His work has appeared on Natasha's Art Candy and in "WhateverLife" magazine. He has been awarded by the state of Michigan for artistic achievement and has been featured at the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit.