Butter is one of the easiest food products to substitute as a vegan. Many people can’t eat dairy, so lots of non-dairy margarines exist; however, not all of them are vegan, so you do have to check the labels-. You can also substitute butter used for the purpose of cooking and baking with various oils. Below are my two favorite butter substitutes.
Smart Balance Buttery Spread
I really like Smart Balance a lot. It tastes just like butter/margarine. Smart Balance is a good all-around butter substitute that you can use for all the same purposes you would use real butter for. Smart Balance makes a wide variety of spreads but the Organic Whipped Buttery Spread and Light Buttery Spread are the only ones I’ve seen that are 100% vegan and say so on the label.
Earth Balance is another brand of vegan margarine, a lot like Smart Balance. The main difference I’ve noticed between the two is that Earch Balance is much saltier, and in some ways more like butter than margarine (probably because of the extra salt).
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Coconut oil is a good butter substitute for baking. Although it’s an oil, it stays solid at room temperature. Coconut oil is much healthier than other oils because it contains mostly Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) rather than Long Chain Triglycerides (LCTs). MCTs are better than LCTs because they are immediately absorbed by the liver and quickly turned in to energy instead of being stored as fat.
Coconut oil comes in two varieties: refined and unrefined. Refined coconut oil is flavorless and odorless. Unrefined coconut oil tastes and smells like coconut. If you want the healthiest coconut oil, go with unrefined. When you’re baking with coconut oil, all you have to do is use the same amount of coconut oil as the recipe calls for in butter.