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Do you eat your foul with butter? Or maybe you like to fry your onions in butter or spread butter on your steamed veggies. Many people think that changing to a plant-based diet means eating an entirely new, strange, and boring group of foods. Just the opposite! The key to really changing your diet is to find tricks to continue eating your favorites in more healthy ways while you slowly discover all the new delicious plant-based foods waiting for you.
So, how do you continue having your tasty, foul without using butter? Well, butter really is just fat, right? So, you could always substitute a plant-based fat: oil. Not all oils are equal, of course, so be careful. Olive is known to have the least of the saturated fats – which may contribute to weight gain, and other health problems, so use olive oil to substitute for butter as much as you can.
Oil in baking?
Baking is a bit different, but oil works most of the time in place of butter, especially if the recipe calls for melted butter. I usually substitute about 7/8 of a cup when the recipe calls for 1 cup. Canola oil is especially useful as a substitute for butter when baking. It is available in Egypt and we will be posting about it soon.
Do away with fat entirely?
If you’re really trying to decrease the amount of fat (and calories) in your diet, you can try this trick:
- When frying onions or garlic for a recipe, instead of using oil, use water.
This trick really works and you honestly will not know the difference! (You will, however, need to keep your eye on the pot to avoid burning!)
What about ‘samna nabeti’ or ghee made from vegetable oils?
Yes, many people use this as a substitute for oil. However, it is made up of a collection of oils that have been chemically altered and contain trans fatty acids which can be dangerous for your heart health. There are some special occasions and some foods that are very hard to cook without such an ingredient. (My pie crusts always come out better when I use ‘samna nebety’.) So, let’s agree to use this as little as possible in our cooking – only for a special holiday, for example. Doing so will help your heart stay healthy!