I have used Earth Balance. I have used Becel Vegan Margarine, and neither even comes close to my homemade spread. Both Earth Balance, and non-hydrogenated vegan margarines use palm oil which is directly associated
with rainforest destruction and the destruction of all of its inhabitants. BAD.
A vegan option that actually leads to habitat destruction? Kinda defeats the purpose doesn’t it. Apparently, there are efforts currently underway to sustainably cultivate palm oil but as vegans know, but until then, I will avoid this oil as best I can.
These store bought spreads also contain many other unnecessary ingredients like gums, fillers, and stabilizers, that you just don’t need in your body! And don’t even get me started on the hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated margarines! These margarines utilize a blend of fats, water, starches and gums to mimic real butter. This hydrogenation process alters the fat structure which also happens to create compounds called trans fatty acids that are highly toxic to the body. No thank you!
So! Like I did with my mock meats, dairy-free cheeses, milks, etc., I have decided to make my own vegan butter. This way, I always know what I’m putting into my body, and also, because I take great pleasure in researching and creating plant-based recipes that are healthy, tasty, and easy to make.
Let’s get started! What you will need for this recipe are the following things:
1/3 cup light oil like organic canola, olive or grapeseed (use 1/2 cup if you wish for a softer, margarine-like spread)
1/2 cup non-dairy milk of choice (click here for my homemade rice milk recipe)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons salt or to-taste (use 1 teaspoon for an “unsalted butter”)
2 tablespoons liquid lecithin (available from most health food stores, I got mine online here)
Blender or food processor
Mould of choice
1) Curdle your non-dairy milk by placing the milk, apple cider vinegar and salt in a small cup and whisking together with a fork. Let it sit for about 10 minutes until the mixture curdles. It is imperative to add the salt to this mixture as salt does not dissolve in oil. This ensures the salt is evenly distributed throughout the mixture. Why curdling is important: it’s responsible for curdling the proteins in the milk which creates a layer of savory flavor. This ‘buttery’ flavor is also enhanced from the acid in the apple cider vinegar itself.
3) Add milk mixture to blender and blend again until smooth, scraping down the sides as you go
4) Transfer mixture to mould of choice (it’s easiest to remove from silicon moulds, however, glass bowls or containers will do!) and either refridgerate for a few hours (takes less time if you are using a variety of smaller moulds) OR freeze until solid (takes about 30 mins?).
FYI: Let me talk a little bit about Xanthan Gum. A lot of faux butter recipes call for this natural ingredient, however, I do not find it is necessary to include.
Xanthan gum was developed in the mid 20th century from the slimy “gum” that grows on vegetables in the refrigerator. This vegetable gum is a wonder ingredient, acting as both an emulsifier and a stabilizer which holds air bubbles and increases support structure. If you want to experiment further with this recipe, you can add 1/2 tsp of xanthan to your butter mixture, but I don’t really think it needs any other ingredients. It is quite stable as is.
FYI pt. 2: What the HECK is liquid lecithin?! Lecithin is the most abundant phospholipid in both plant and animal cells. It can make up almost 50 percent of the total phospholipid content. It is used as a supplement as it has a high choline content, which is linked to nervous system health, liver health, as well as delaying fatigue.
Warning: this product is a bit hard to clean out of the blender! just like butter, it leaves a waxy film on the plastic 🙁 I don’t usually put my vitamix in the dishwasher, but after a scrub in the sink with little success, I popped it into the dishwasher and washed my hands of it ….
And as you should know, this spread has a high saturated fat content, so use sparingly like you would butter 🙂