Spread the Word
Think outside the tub when it comes to your butter options
- By Colleen Ringer
YOU'VE EAT BUTTERED TOAST for breakfast ever
since you were wearing pigtails and carrying a Minnie Mouse
lunchbox. But your body's needs have evolved over the years. It
craves different things today than it did back then and, frankly,
so do your taste buds. Let's face it, butter isn't offering many
nutrients, says Bethany Thayer, a registered dietitian and
spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Instead, traditional butter harbors the bad guys of the health
world: cholesterol and saturated fat. So why not rethink your toast
topping? Here are four very spreadable options that will please
your taste buds.
Better Butter No. 1:
SUNFLOWER SEED BUTTER
Try It Because: Not only is it safe for those
allergic to peanuts and tree nuts, but it's also lower in saturated
fat than some other nut butters, including peanut butter. Sunflower
seed butter provides your body much-needed protein as well as
vitamin E and magnesium. "That protein in combination
with the toast is a nice balance of carbs, protein and fat in terms
of keeping you full," Thayer says.
Beyond the Bread: Use it in any recipe that
calls for peanut butter. Thai peanut sauce suddenly becomes spicy
sunflower sauce, and a peanut butter banana smoothie morphs into a
sunflower seed surprise.
Better Butter No. 2:
Try It Because: First, let's be clear: If you
had every spread imaginable in front of you, this wouldn't be the
healthiest thing you could pull off the shelf. But it wouldn't be
the worst, either. Because it's made from apples and contains a
small amount of fiber, it's slightly better than jelly. And it can
be lower in calories, too-35 compared with 50 for your standard
grape jelly. If spreadability is a concern, you'll be happy to know
that apple butter has a smoother consistency than most jams and
Beyond the Bread: Use it when roasting
vegetables in place of regular butter or as a base for a meat
Better Butter No. 3:
Try It Because: Thanks to its chickpea base,
hummus is a good source of fiber and protein, says Janel Funk, a
Boston-based registered dietitian and blogger. The folic acid it
provides is a nice plus, too. Bonus: You won't soon get bored with
hummus thanks to the many varieties available. From roasted garlic
to red pepper to sun-dried tomato, you're bound to find a type or
two that will please your palate.
Beyond the Bread: Make a pita pizza. Spread
hummus on pita bread, top with cheese and veggies, and bake. Or,
hold the mayo on your next sandwich or turkey burger in favor of
this spunky spread.
Better Butter No. 4:
Try It Because: More common in other parts of
the world, avocado toast is gaining steam in the U.S.-and for good
reason. This wonder fruit not only offers heart-healthy fats,
fiber, vitamin C and potassium, but it also boasts an inherent
creamy goodness that's an adventurous substitute for cream cheese.
Depending on your comfort level, try it sliced over toast or make a
spread by mashing it up (as if you're making guacamole) and adding
a dash of salt, pepper and lime.
Beyond the Bread: Blend it into your favorite
vinaigrette dressing, dice it and add to chunky homemade salsa for
an unexpected twist, or mix it into a smoothie.