What is vegan butter and how is it different from margarine? Today, we’ve set out to answer your butter questions and provide you with three vegan butter recipes for you to try and love. These recipes vary in the time required and preparation methods, but all are delicious!
First, let’s explain why you’d want vegan butter instead of regular butter.
What is Veganism?
Choosing to eat vegetarian is a diet change; going vegan is a lifestyle change! While a vegetarian eschews meat, he or she usually consumes animal byproducts in some form, including butter.
A vegan, however, has chosen not to eat or use any animal product. This includes leather seats, handbags, and belts, as well as products such as eggs and milk. While many vegans cite ethical and environmental concerns, there’s a growing movement of vegans who understand the tremendous health benefits the lifestyle also offers.
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Of course, it’s possible to eat unhealthy as a vegan (white rice and bread, anyone?) but a conscious eater will choose a wide variety of grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables to get the necessary nutrients and supplement where needed.
Doing so reaps wide benefits. In fact, research has shown that most vegan diets, properly chosen, are higher in fiber and vitamin C than standard non-vegan diets. Plus, vegans are shown to be trimmer and leaner, thanks to lower BMIs.
We all know the problems with a diet high in saturated foods, such as fried chicken and hotdogs, so vegans are also able to avoid some of the heart-health issues that non-vegan encounter.
What is Vegan Butter?
Most animal products have fairly easy alternatives. Replace cow’s milk with almond, soy, coconut, hemp, rice, or cashew milk, for example, or swap meat for deliciously flavored tofu, tempeh, or legumes.
Butter, however, is one of those ingredients that most of us tend to love and that’s a little more difficult to replicate. Enter vegan butter. Similar to margarine, vegan butter is made by mixing vegetable oils with salt, flavoring, and emulsifiers. It looks like butter, behaves like butter, and tastes like butter. Delicious!
Is Vegan Butter Better for Me?
Not only is vegan butter a healthier and kinder alternative to animal-product-laden butter, but it is also a great way to help you transition from the Standard American Diet (SAD) to a vegan lifestyle. It’s delicious, and it mimics the texture you’re used to.
It’s simply another way to help you stick to your new healthy lifestyle goals!
Why Make Vegan Butter?
As long as you live in a good-sized town, you shouldn’t have a problem finding a vegan butter premade at your local grocery store. However, some people can’t find a decent vegan butter brand and need to make their own.
You also might need to make your own to try your hand at a healthier version. Most commercial vegan butter contains palm oil, which had a devastating impact on local ecologies. It also isn’t good for you. The recipes we’ve listed below include ingredients like coconut oil, cashews, nut milk, and other delicious and great-for-you ingredients.
You might also find that you can save money, depending on which recipes you choose and how often you make and use butter.
How to Enjoy Vegan Butter
Once you’ve made your new vegan butter recipe, you can enjoy it in a variety of different goods. Substitute it one for one in baked goods, like cakes, cupcakes, and cookies or use it to make frosting (yep, works great for this!).
You can spread it on delicious toast or bread or even use it in cooking, for recipes such as risotto or pasta or with vegetables when you need to spice things up a bit.
We can’t wait to hear which recipes you make!
Cultured Cashew Vegan Butter
This vegan butter recipe takes advantage of the power of fermentation, just like the real thing.
Soak the cashews overnight or all day. Drain the soaking water and replace with boiling water to kill all bacteria; drain again.
Next, blend the cashews with the ⅔ c. water in a very high-speed blender. You want a creamy, smooth consistency. Add the live culture, cover, and allow the culture to stand for at least twenty-four hours until it has a sour, lemony taste and you see air bubbles.
Congrats; you have cashew cream! Now, let’s turn it into better. Melt the coconut oil and add it to the blender along with the cashew crew, grapeseed oil, and lecithin. If you’d like to add a pinch of salt, do so now. You can also add up to 2tsp. of carrot juice to add a nice yellow color (without the carrot taste).
Blend on high for approximately sixty seconds.
Using either silicone molds or a tub lined with parchment paper, pour in the mixture and freeze for at least an hour. Once it’s firm, you can move it the fridge to soften.
Unlike commercial vegan butter, this one won’t last more than a week in the refrigerator, though you may keep it for longer in the freezer.
Homemade Palm Oil Free Vegan Butter
This vegan butter recipe whips up in just a few moments.
Soak cashews for up to eight hours, then drain and combine them with ⅔ c. water and blend in a high-powered blender. Add apple cider vinegar and salt, and allow to sit for about ten minutes so it can thicken.
Clean your blender, and then melt your coconut oil (if it’s not already liquid) and add. Blend the oils, cashew mix, lecithin, and gum for about two minutes; the mixture should be completely smooth.
Prep silicone molds or line containers with parchment paper (silicone icecube trays work if you’ll only be using small amounts of butter at a time). Pour in the mixture and place in the freezer. Allow to freeze until it’s solid; usually, this takes about an hour.
Once frozen, you can remove the butter from the freezer and store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Can’t Believe It’s Vegan Butter
This vegan butter recipe has a unique ingredient (cocoa butter) which lends a fantastic texture.
Whisk together milk, lemon juice, and salt. Add the oil and lecithin but DO NOT stir; set aside.
Next, prep your pans. You’ll need six medium silicone cupcake liners in a cupcake pan or shallow dish, or two freezer-safe containers that hold approximately twenty ounces together. If you don’t have silicone molds, line your freezer-safe containers with parchment paper.
Shred or mince the cocoa butter and melt in a double boiler or in the microwave. Immediately place the dish in a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking. Use a food or candy thermometer to monitor the butter till it drops to below 90°F. You can also simply test it with your spoon; it should be warm but not hot, and completely liquid.
Pour the milk and oil mixture into the cocoa butter, along with the gum, and either pour the whole mixture into a blender or (better) use an immersion or stick blender. Either way, blend until it is emulsified (creamy and thick).
Distribute among molds and place in the freezer for an hour. You can remove the butter from its molds and keep for three weeks in the refrigerator or wrap it well and keep it in the freezer until you need it.