Can you make scrambled eggs without butter? (3 substitutes)
In this article, we will answer the question “Can you make scrambled eggs without butter?” and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of making scrambled eggs with butter and what are possible substitutes for butter when making scrambled eggs.
Can you make scrambled eggs without butter?
Yes, you can make scrambled eggs without butter. Scrambling is a very popular method to cook eggs and can be done with oil, margarine or butter (3).
For instance, the replacement of butter with another fat source, such as olive oil or canola oil, was shown to significantly reduce the risks of mortality as a consequence of metabolic diseases, such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease (1).
Although butter is an ingredient that improves the texture, flavour and aroma of food, being difficult to substitute, especially in baking (2), it is possible to use another fat source to make scrambled eggs.
What are the benefits and drawbacks of making eggs with butter?
The benefit of making eggs with butter is the unique flavour offered by the butter. Butter contains many fatty acids, including caproic, caprylic, myristic and lauric, which contribute to the aroma and flavour of butter (3).
Butter improves the mouthfeel, texture, aroma and flavour of the food. Replacing butter with other fats or with fat replacers results in a reduced acceptance of the food, due to low sensory properties.
In general, when another fat source is used in place of butter, it is very difficult to achieve the same sensory properties and acceptance by consumers (2,3).
However, using oil or margarine in place of butter can be positive. The use of margarine or oil to replacement of butter to prepare scrambled eggs has been shown to reduce the levels of dietary advanced glycation end products, the so-called dAGEs.
These compounds are formed by traditional cooking procedures and may cause oxidative stress in the body and inflammatory diseases in the long term. They are formed during Maillard reactions between amino acids and sugars and are favoured by increased heat.
Making scrambled eggs with margarine could reduce the levels of these compounds by 50 % while making scrambled eggs reduced the levels of dAGEs by over 70 % when compared to scrambled eggs made with butter (4).
Another reason to use oil, especially canola or olive oil, to make scrambled eggs is that the reduction of saturated fats in the diet can lead to lower risks of developing metabolic diseases, including obesity, diabetes, heart diseases and Parkinson´s disease (1).
A study showed that using olive oil and canola oil in the place of butter or margarine resulted in lower risks of mortality due to such metabolic diseases. Vegetable oils contain a higher amount of unsaturated fatty acids and a lower amount of saturated fats when compared to butter.
What are possible substitutes for butter to make eggs?
If you do not want to use oil or butter for frying scrambled eggs, you can opt for a non-stick frying pan. You do not need to use even a drop of oil for frying in these oils. This is a good choice if you are calorie-conscious.
Canola oil contains a high amount of unsaturated fatty acids, including polyunsaturated fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid. The level of monounsaturated fatty acids in canola oil, also known as rapeseed oil, is similar to olive oil (5).
The consumption of olive oil is largely associated with the improvement of health, due to its extensive use in the Mediterranean diet. Olive oil contains monounsaturated fatty acids which help reduce the risks of heart disease and some types of cancer, in addition to preventing neurodegenerative diseases (5).
Olive oil contains phenolic compounds, which are antioxidants, and reduce oxidation when the oil is cooked at low temperatures (below 180 °C). In this way, it is a very healthy oil to be used to make scrambled eggs.
Other FAQs about Eggs that you may be interested in.
In this article, we answered the question “Can you make scrambled eggs without butter?” and discussed the benefits and drawbacks of making scrambled eggs with butter and the possible substitutes for butter when making scrambled eggs.
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Zhang Y, Zhuang P, Wu F, He W, Mao L, Jia W, Zhang Y, Chen X, Jiao J. Cooking oil/fat consumption and deaths from cardiometabolic diseases and other causes: prospective analysis of 521,120 individuals. BMC medicine. 2021 Dec;19:1-4.
Arifin N, Izyan SN, Huda-Faujan N. Physical properties and consumer acceptability of basic muffin made from pumpkin puree as butter replacer. Food Res.. 2019.
Ansorena D, Cartagena L, Astiasaran I. A Cake Made with No Animal Origin Ingredients: Physical Properties and Nutritional and Sensory Quality. Foods [Internet] 2022;12(1):54.
Uribarri J, Woodruff S, Goodman S, Cai W, Chen XU, Pyzik R, Yong A, Striker GE, Vlassara H. Advanced glycation end products in foods and a practical guide to their reduction in the diet. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 2010 Jun 1;110(6):911-6.
Hoffman R, Gerber M. Can rapeseed oil replace olive oil as part of a Mediterranean-style diet?. British journal of nutrition. 2014 Dec;112(11):1882-95.