How to Get More Flavor in Every Meal

There’s nothing like buttery flavor in or on…well, just about any food you can think of—baked potato, popcorn, pancakes, lemon pound cake and sautéed veggies. However, the addition of stick butter can also add a substantial amount of calories and saturated fat to meals and recipes.

Fortunately, there’s a better way to get the same delicious taste: Cook and bake with buttery spreads that are made with plant-based oils and contain no partially hydrogenated fats with 0 grams of trans fat per serving. Plus, some, like I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! are made from non-GMO-sourced* ingredients and contain the essential fatty acid omega-3 ALA, making them a simple way to incorporate good fats into a healthy, balanced diet. Plus, they’re 60 calories per tablespoon—a savings of 40 calories when compared to traditional stick butter.

Here are a few easy ways to incorporate buttery spreads into tasty meals and snacks.

• On the grill. Use buttery spreads to make a glaze that’s bursting with citrus flavor for grilled shrimp. Pair with fresh summer ingredients like cilantro, garlic, lemon, lime and a kick of spice from red pepper flakes. See below for the full recipe of my Grilled Cilantro Dijon Shrimp with Buttery Glaze for your next BBQ or picnic.

Grilled Cilantro Dijon Shrimp with Buttery Glaze

Makes 6 servings

6 bamboo skewers (each 12 inches long)

1½ pounds large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

½ cup cilantro stems included, roughly chopped (plus additional cilantro for garnish, if desired)

1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped1/16 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon lime zest (1 lime)

1½ tablespoons lime juice (1 lime)

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (½ lemon)

2½ teaspoons lemon juice, fresh

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

¾ teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!

1 tablespoon honey
Soak skewers in water for at least 30 minutes so they don’t burn once they’re on the grill.

In a blender or food processor, combine marinade ingredients and puree until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Pour ¼ cup of the marinade over the shrimp, stir to coat evenly, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Reserve remaining marinade.

In a small pot, combine the glaze ingredients and cook over low heat for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until the buttery spread melts. Add 2 tablespoons of the reserved marinade and stir to combine.

Spray the grates of the grill or grill pan with non-stick cooking spray and preheat. Skewer the shrimp (3 to 4 per skewer). Once the grill is hot, cook the shrimp for 1 to 2 minutes, flip, spoon over some of the glaze (or brush with a heat-proof kitchen brush), and cook for 1 to 2 minutes on the other side. Place the shrimp on a platter and baste with additional glaze to your liking.  Sprinkle with extra chopped cilantro, if desired.

Marinade makes: about ½ cup total; use 6 tablespoons

Glaze makes: about ¼ cup total; use 3 tablespoons

Optional: Serve over steamed kale or with Mexican rice.

Nutrition Information
Per sering 
(1 skewer)
130 calories
6 g total fat
1 g sat fat
145 mg cholesterol
5 g carbs
0 g fiber
3 g sugar
16 g protein
690 mg sodium

• As a sweet topping. Create a buttery spread compound by adding a little bit of fruit to help sweeten up some of your favorite dishes. Fruit is a natural flavor-enhancer that can help transform a boring, old dish to an exciting new favorite. You can think big picture, like enhancing an entire entrée by adding mandarin oranges or strawberries to a green salad topped with grilled chicken. Or try it on a smaller scale by adding diced strawberries to some buttery spread. It makes a tasty topping for whole-grain toast or buckwheat pancakes. Or try mixing applesauce, vanilla extract and a touch of honey into buttery spread—it’s perfect on some warm, homemade muffins. Yum!

As a savory topping. Try adding finely chopped basil and garlic to a buttery spread as a flavor enhancer for chicken and fish dishes or baked potatoes. Scallions, parsley, chives, thyme— try one herb on its own or be creative and experiment with your favorite spice combinations.

• When you need an oil change. Usually sauté veggies and brown your chicken in oil? Infuse some flavored goodness by using the same amount of buttery spread.

• In sauces. Need a flavorful and creamy sauce to pour over steamed veggies or pasta? I love making a béchamel sauce. Simply melt a little buttery spread and add flour to make a roux. Then add low-fat milk and seasonings and/or reduced-fat cheese. The result: A rich and creamy sauce that’s perfect for topping veggies or mixing into whole grain pasta. Want a little more spice to your sauce? Try melting some buttery spread and mixing with hot sauce. You can pour over roasted cauliflower to make “Buffalo cauliflower,” or use as a dip for baked chicken nuggets or a dressing for a “Buffalo chicken wrap.”

For more recipes using buttery spreads and more information about using good-for-you fats in the kitchen, visit

*Unilever sources ingredients that are not genetically modified. However, in the field-to-tub journey of making buttery spread there is some contact with genetically modified vegetable oils, resulting in a small amount in this product.

Compensation for this post was provided by Unilever. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Unilever.