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Feb 26, 2010 01:05 PM

Substitute for my favorite "BUTTER"

I just bought 5 pounds of Alaskan King Crab legs.....I am trying to keep my weight down and want a substitute to dip the meat into and not use butter...What would be my best choice ????

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  1. Brown a little butter and then thin it with a mild olive oil.

    5 Replies
    1. re: PurpleTeeth

      @PurpleTeeth: butter and olive oil are calorically equivalent...even though she might get a nuttier, more intense flavor from the browned butter, it'll still be pure fat.

      @Melly: it depends on the flavors you like, so i'll throw out a couple of options:
      Creamy Dijon Dipping Sauce
      ½ cup nonfat Greek yogurt
      ½ cup low-fat sour cream
      1 ½ Tbsp. dijon mustard
      2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
      1 tsp. grated lemon zest
      1 tsp. prepared horseradish
      ½ tsp. dry mustard
      white pepper to taste
      pinch of kosher salt

      Reduced Fat Avocado Dipping Sauce
      1 cup mashed avocado
      1/3 cup low-fat sour cream
      1/3 cup nonfat Greek yogut
      1 tbsp toasted ground cumin
      1 tsp. smoked paprika
      1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
      ½ teaspoon hot sauce (or more to taste)

      for both recipes, just combine ingredients and chill for several hours to let the flavors meld.

      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        Butter has 100 calories per tablespoon. Oil has 120 calories per tablespoon - 20% more. They are not calorically equivalent. Now, if you clarify butter to remove the water and solids and leave only the fat, then you are closer to equivalency.

        1. re: Karl S

          sorry - i was generalizing. it was a quick way of saying that it's pretty much all fat any way you look at it. but you're right, and i'm glad you pointed out that the oil, is, in fact, even more calorie-dense than the butter...not exactly desirable for someone who's looking to cut back.

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            Yes. If good health=lower calories, then butter is usually a better choice; if good health=lower saturated fat (and that's becoming more hotly debated as we learn more about saturated fats, and different aspects of those like butter), then oil will be considered a better choice.

            Unfortunately, waaaaay too many people operate under the subliminal but erroneous notion that oil is lower in calories than butter. Worse still, they think oil is lower in calories than heavy cream, for example; when, in fact, heavy cream has HALF the calories of oil per unit of volume. People unthinkingly choose an oily vinaigrette over the creamy dressing, imagining they are saving calories, when they typically are doing the reverse!

            As someone who keeps a food diary, and has for years, this kind of ignorance is a pet peeve of mine.

            1. re: Karl S

              "As someone who keeps a food diary, and has for years, this kind of ignorance is a pet peeve of mine."
              and as someone who has made my clients keep food diaries for years, i appreciate the evidence that you actually learn something from the habit! ;)

    2. If your issue is weight, not cholesterol, be aware that oil has 20% more calories per unit of volume than butter.

      1. if it were me, i'd just use a leeeeetle bit of butter ;-P really, because if you try to substitute for something that you really love, you're apt to be disappointed and feel deprived (and as a result actually eat more while enjoying less-- if you follow my logic).

        but, maybe you could try dipping the crab legs in a little warmed miso broth (mix miso dipping sauce in a stronger miso-to-water/stock ratio than for soup) . i really like this flavor combo for something different. even if you had mostly miso-dipped crab. . . and then switched to a little butter for your last three bites-- you'd still be doing very well.

        1. Me, I'd rather eat a small amount of butter, than a large amount of butter substitute. I'd change your portion size rather than what you're serving.