. vegan butter

This vegan butter is not only a great store-bought alternative, but it’s also free of palm oil, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. It’s smooth, creamy, rich, and spreads and melts just like regular butter. While it’s not real butter, it’s pretty close. I love to spread it on a piece of bread, add it to mashed potatoes, or use it in baked goods, such as muffins, cookies, or muffin tops.

Since becoming a vegan, butter is something I have missed dearly. I love food that doesn’t need an ingredient list and butter is as simple as it comes – cream. That’s it! No emulsifiers, no hydrogenation, no artificial flavors, no preservatives. It’s also delicious and makes everything taste better – from foods as simple as a toast, to scones, pies, puff pastry and croissants.

Unfortunately, vegan butter options are pretty slim. If you’re lucky you have either access to Earth Balance or Melt Buttery Sticks. These butter substitutions utilize a blend of fats (including palm oil, which is currently associated with rain-forest destruction due to its rising popularity), emulsifiers and natural flavors to mimic real butter. If you are unlucky you only have access to other margarines that use a process called partial hydrogenation to solidify vegetable oil. This hydrogenation process alters the fat structure which also happens to create compounds called trans fatty acids that are highly toxic to the body.

So it seems that the best alternative to traditional butter is homemade vegan butter with real and sustainable ingredients.

Tips for Making Vegan Butter

Ingredients

Dairy butter is about 80% fat, 10 – 16% water, and 4 – 10% curds and minerals. Refined coconut oil is the best alternative to the typically used palm oil. It’s solid at a room temperature and has a neutral flavor (as long as you get the refined version).

The other oils present in store-bought vegan butter are usually a blend of canola oil, olive oil, and sometimes avocado oil. I went with avocado oil because it has a rich buttery flavor, but pure olive oil works too. Be sure to use pure olive oil as extra virgin olive oil can turn bitter when blended. This is because extra-virgin olive oil contains a high percentage of molecular compounds called polyphenols, which are normally coated in fatty acids. When these fat molecules are broken into droplets in an emulsion, the polyphenols are distributed into the solution and their bitter taste can ruin an otherwise delicious recipe. The easiest way to avoid this problem is to use either pure olive oil or hand-whisk the extra virgin olive oil rather than using a blender.

The best plant-based milk for this dairy-free butter is cashew milk. It has a neutral flavor, high fat content, and low protein content. Avoid plant-based milks with strong flavor, such as coconut milk, and milks with high protein content, such as soy milk (because milk proteins easily curdle in the presence of an acid).

Talking about acids, coconut vinegar works the best as the acid medium. It’s milder than any other type of vinegar, has a smooth finish, and no – it doesn’t taste like coconuts. If you can’t find coconut vinegar, you can resort to apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. Nutritional yeast and salt serve as flavor boosters so you can fine-tune their amount to your own taste.

To prevent the cashew milk separating from the oil, I use sunflower lecithin, which is a phospholipid-based dietary supplement. Sunflower lecithin will keep all the ingredients in emulsion while the butter is setting in the fridge. To be honest though, I have made this recipe several times without the sunflower lecithin and it works perfectly fine. 

Cultured Vegan Butter

The main benefit of cultured butter is that it’s fermented with lactic acid bacteria (LAB). LAB are among the most important groups of microorganisms in food fermentation. They contribute to the taste and texture of fermented products and inhibit food spoilage bacteria by producing growth-inhibiting substances and large amounts of lactic acid. If possible, choose probiotic capsules that offer several strains of Lactobacillus bacteria as well as beneficial Bifidobacterium strains. This will create a more complex flavor than using Lactobacillus acidophilus alone.

 

vegan butter - raw, paleo, coconut-oil based

Technique

When blending, put all the ingredients into the blender except for the oils. Salt doesn’t dissolve in oil. So blending all the ingredients without oil ensures that salt is evenly distributed throughout the mixture. The mixture needs to be completely smooth without any grainy bits.

Another reason for adding the coconut oil into the blender at the last moment is that you don’t want the oil to get too warm. The cooler the coconut oil, the faster it will set in the fridge. The faster it will set. the less chance that the butter will split.

For the best looking butter, I recommend using either an old-fashioned butter mold or a silicone mold. This will allow you to make gorgeous butter sticks/cubes that you can easily slide out of the molds. If you don’t have either, any air-tight container will work just fine.

Tools You’ll Need

kitchen tools for vegan butter (dairy-free butter)

1. Blender (Vitamix 5200) | 2. Measuring Cup (1 cup, Pyrex, Glass) | 3. Measuring Spoons (Set of 6, 1EasyLife, Stainless Steel) 

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vegan butter
5 from 28 votes

Vegan Butter

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 48 tsp. (2 regular butter sticks)
This vegan butter is not only a great store-bought alternative, but it's also free of palm oil,  emulsifiers, and preservatives. It's smooth, creamy, rich, and spreads and melts just like regular butter. While it's not real butter, it's pretty close. 

Ingredients
 

  • 8 Tbsp. (48 g) almond flour
  • 10 Tbsp. (150 ml) unsweetened cashew milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. (3 g) nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp. (2.9-5.7 g) salt
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) coconut vinegar*
  • 4 Tbsp. (60 ml) avocado oil (or pure olive oil)**
  • 1 cup (240 ml) refined coconut oil, melted***

Instructions
 

  • Add the almond flour, cashew milk, nutritional yeast, salt, and coconut vinegar into a blender and blend until smooth. The mixture should be completely smooth without any grainy bits.
  • Pour in the refined coconut oil and avocado oil then blend on full speed until velvety smooth and light. Blend the mixture for at least 2 minutes so a lot of air gets in.
  • Pour the vegan butter into an old-fashioned butter mold or silicone molds. Place it in the fridge and let it set. Depending on the size of your container, it might take several hours for the butter to solidify.
  • You can use this vegan butter just like you would regular butter. However, I don't recommend using it when high temperatures are involved. This includes frying, broiling, and grilling.
  • Store leftover butter in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. (The shelf-life will be shorter if using homemade almond milk. The butter will last for however long your homemade milk lasts).
    For longer term storage, freeze the butter in silicone ice cube trays. Once set, squeeze the butter cubes out and keep them in a sealed freezer bag for up to 3 months.

Notes

* If you can't find coconut vinegar, you can also use apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.
**If you want to use olive oil, avoid using extra virgin olive oil as it can turn bitter when blended. Pure olive oil is a much better choice.
***Make sure you use refined coconut oil. Unrefined coconut oil has a coconut flavor. 
This recipe has been adapted from Virtual Vegan.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 48, Calories: 62kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 6g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 0g

 

vegan butter
5 from 28 votes

Vegan Cultured Butter

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 2 regular butter sticks
This vegan butter is not only a great store-bought alternative, but it's also free of palm oil,  emulsifiers, and preservatives. It's smooth, creamy, rich, and spreads and melts just like regular butter. While it's not real butter, it's pretty close. 

Ingredients
 

  • 10 Tbsp. (150 ml) unsweetened cashew milk
  • 1 (1) probiotic capsule*
  • 8 Tbsp. (48 g) almond flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. (3 g) nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp. (2.5 g) sunflower lecithin, liquid or powdered
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp. (2.9-5.7 g) salt
  • 4 Tbsp. (60 ml) avocado oil or olive oil**
  • 1 cup (240 ml) refined coconut oil, melted***

Instructions
 

  • Before you proceed with the recipe, sterilize all your kitchen equipment. I like to use a dishwasher, but regular soap and hot water work just fine.
  • Add a little bit of the cashew milk into a small bowl together with the probiotic capsule. Stir with a wooden spoon (avoid using metal utensils as metal can react with the probiotics). When the probiotics are completely mixed in with the milk, add the rest of the milk
    Cover the bowl with a piece of cheesecloth and let the milk culture on the counter for a few hours or until the milk reaches the tanginess you like.
  • Add the cultured milk, almond flour, nutritional yeast, sunflower lecithin, and salt into a blender and blend until smooth. The mixture should be completely smooth without any grainy bits.
  • Pour in the avocado oil and refined coconut oil. Blend until velvety smooth and light.
  • Pour the vegan butter into an old-fashioned butter mold or an air-tight glass container. Place it in the fridge and let it set. Depending on the size of your container, it might take several hours for the butter to solidify.
  • You can use this vegan butter just like you would regular butter. However, I don't recommend using it when high temperatures are involved. This includes frying, broiling, and grilling.
  • Store leftover butter in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. (The shelf-life will be shorter if using homemade almond milk. The butter will last for however long your homemade milk lasts).
    For longer term storage, freeze the butter in silicone ice cube trays. Once set, squeeze the butter cubes out and keep them in a sealed freezer bag for up to 3 months.

Notes

*If possible, choose probiotic capsules that offer several strains of Lactobacillus bacteria, as well as beneficial Streptococcus thermophilus and Bifidobacterium strains. This will create a more complex sour cream flavor than using Lactobacillus acidophilus alone.
**If you want to use olive oil, avoid using extra virgin olive oil as it can turn bitter when blended. Pure olive oil is a much better choice.
***Make sure you use refined coconut oil. Unrefined coconut oil has a coconut flavor.