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Bulat Danilov
Bulat Danilov

Buy Vegan Butter

Plant-Based Any Day is a column by our favorite expert-on-all-things-produce: Gena Hamshaw. A writer, cookbook author, vegan recipe developer, and registered dietitian, Gena will be reporting from the frontlines of the plant-based world, sharing with us all the new and wonderful ways we can work with vegetables.

buy vegan butter

Milkadamia, maker of macadamia nut milk and creamer, has released macadamia-and-coconut-oil buttery spreads. They come in salted and unsalted versions (worth noting, as unsalted vegan butter is tricky to find). In my tastings, I found that vegan butters with blended bases needed a little warming up to become easily spreadable, but that they do melt easily. The Milkadamia spreads have a mild, buttery, not-at-all-nutty flavor because the macadamia is present only in oil form (not as nut solids, like in other vegan butters). True to form, I preferred the salted to unsalted.

When I first went vegan in late 2015, pickings were slim in the realm of plant-based butter. I believe only Earth Balance and Melt were on the scene at the time (at least at my local grocery stores), and I was never fully satisfied; I found the former to taste somewhat like vegetable oil in my finished baked goods, and the latter was difficult to find in stick form.

For baking: As mentioned, since the texture is so good, it works well in baking. This has actually become one of our favorite butters to use since it has great overall taste, texture, and availability.

I also suspect the formula has been tweaked, as I used to find this product separated and got extremely soft when left out. On more than one occasion I found it had melted all over my counter if I set it out to soften too early. This time around, however, it softened just like regular butter, with no separation whatsoever.

Flavor: This product has a strong sunflower oil flavor when used as a spread, which may or may not be your preference. Like her original cashew-based butter, it is a cultured product, which contributes a nice tang and perhaps some mild probiotic benefits.

For baking: Leave this product out too long at room temp, and it will separate completely. It does not mimic the texture of real softened butter, nor would it be an appealing option to leave out on a party spread for too long.

Flavor: Unfortunately I think the tigernut paste lends an odd flavor to this butter which I found unappealing. This is definitely a matter of personal preference, though. This is available in two formulas: avocado and olive oil. Both contain predominantly coconut oil.

Below is a side-by-side comparison of each butter used in a tiny batch of test cookies. All other ingredients and measurements were kept constant, with only the brand of butter varying between batches. I used 1 tablespoon of softened butter per each test batch.

This was one of the most beautiful and comprehensive comparisons I have seen, not only in the vegan world, but the internet as a whole! Your index was so wonderful, I wish everyone would do it. Thank you for making sense out of an overwhelming category!!

Why would you want to make your own vegan butter, you might ask? Well, I get comments quite regularly from people who live in countries or towns where buying plant based butter is near impossible, or very expensive.

I wanted to create a recipe that was super simple, quick and that works anywhere you would normally use butter. It took me several rounds of testing to come up with the perfect recipe! This dairy free butter is gloriously creamy, rich, buttery and spreadable.

The butter is harder from the refrigerator than store bought plant based butters, so if you need slightly softened butter, such as for cookies or frostings, let it sit out at room temperature for about 30 minutes before using. You could also microwave it for 15-20 seconds, but this is not ideal since some may melt, which can be especially problematic when making frosting.

This is hands down the BEST vegan butter that I have ever tasted. It was easy (and fun!) to make and spreads beautifully! I live in a place where it is very difficult to find vegan butter (everything else vegan you can get!) but to be honest, I would never buy it again I LOVE this! Thank you so much Nora! will try the tuna very soon too!

You can buy dairy-free butter in in sticks or tubs. Some tubbed brands are whipped for easy spreading. Ingredients vary by brand and may include soy, olive oil, coconut oil, or even oat milk. You can also buy varieties flavored with garlic and herbs.

Butter alternatives have come a long way since the 1970s. Back then, most contained low grade partially hydrogenated oils that were even worse for your heart than butter. On top of that, most of these products contained artificial flavors and colors, plus some dairy-based whey for good measure.

I wanted to make sure that this vegan butter is good for various uses, so I tried it for frying and fried up some mushrooms with some spring onions and it was perfect (and delicious!).

How long does it keep in the fridge? This is of course a fresh homemade product, so while the oils in the vegan butter are long lasting (the base of this is refined coconut oil), other ingredients such as the non-dairy milk, are not.

I am tired of buying vegan butter since it has all kind of additives. I love this recipe, before I start making it, is there a reason to use apple cider vinegar? I only have the regular white vinegar (that looks like clear liquid/water). Can I use that or it should be apple cider vinegar?

Baking with only plant-based ingredients, however, can be a bit of a challenge. A tender, high-rising, fine-grained yellow cake with rich swirls of buttercream icing is hard to make without butter and eggs. And cheesecake without cream cheese? Nearly oxymoronic.

Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks have been the gold standard for vegan baking for many years. Based on a blend of vegetable oils (palm, canola, soybean, flax, and olive), Earth Balance sticks are available in many retail outlets and are offered at an entry-level price for vegan butters: $5.59/pound at my local supermarket.

Using Land O Lakes salted butter as the control, I decide to test both of these vegan butters against the real thing in several butter-heavy recipes: pie crust, biscuits, cookies, cake, and buttercream frosting. My fellow blogger, Rossi, offers to test the three in puff pastry, as well.

And the result? Structurally, the two vegan butters perform very well in all applications, similarly to one another and to butter. The differences among the three mainly show up in flavor and appearance.

The best way to compare butters in a cookie recipe? Choose a plain cookie without distracting add-ins, where butter is the only fat and brown sugar the main flavor. These cookies rely on a massive (but still controlled) spread for their snapping-crisp texture; will vegan butter fill the bill?

Preparation: This recipe uses an egg in addition to butter; to keep the cookies vegan, I replace the egg with 1/4 cup (50g) aquafaba. Compared to dairy butter, both batters made with vegan butter curdle when the aquafaba is added; but both smooth right out with the addition of flour.

In order to really put vegan butters to the test, I choose a cake recipe that calls for creaming butter with sugar, adding eggs, then mixing in flour and milk to create a thick, light, airy batter. This is probably one of the most challenging types of cake to make vegan, since three of its key ingredients are non-vegan.

While classic buttercream frosting relies on egg whites for much of its structure and stability, simpler American-style buttercream omits the egg whites. Will vegan butter, which is softer than dairy butter, make frosting stable enough to hold up under warmer storage temperatures?

I would love to see a normal cookie recipe. I have issues with my cookies holding the structure and the texture with vegan butter, even when using eggs as I first thought that subbing those was the issue.

Hi Kara, I think PJ chose that particular cookie recipe because it relies so heavily on butter, which would be the most extreme test for a vegan butter substitute. She does say that all the vegan butters spread a little more than ideal in this cookie recipe. I will pass along your request for further vegan butter/cookie recipe testing on the blogs.

Hi Deborah, we appreciate your concerns. Of the vegan butter substititutes featured in this post, Earth Balance contains palm oil, but not coconut oil. Here's what Earth Balance says about the palm oil they use, "Palm oil is a non-GMO, non-hydrogenated oil we use to minimize separation in some of our products. Any palm oil used in Earth Balance products comes from Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) member organizations, committed to environmentally and socially responsible palm oil production." The Miyoko's vegan butter uses coconut oil, but not palm oil, and this is what they say: "The coconut oil we use is Fair Trade, organic and sustainably sourced from a supplier that sources in Sri Lanka and Philippines. Miyoko's is diligent about choosing the most ethical and environmentally friendly option every step of the way. "Fair Trade" means that the workers are paid a living wage. The supplier also helps to create infrastructure for the community, such as building schools and roads. There are no animals used in the harvesting of the coconuts."

Along with the original flavor, Earth Balance also comes in soy-free, organic whipped, olive oil, omega-3, and organic coconut spread. Earth Balance is my go-to butter, and I use it for everything from sautéing veggies to baking chocolate chip cookies.

The second best vegan butter on this list is actually one of the newer to hit stores. Although some vegans may prefer to shop from exclusively vegan companies, having an established national brand release a vegan product only makes it easier for more people to have access. This means you can find the I Can't Believe It's Not Butter vegan spread in the dairy aisle next to their regular margarine. 041b061a72


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