Vegan Butter Substitutes
Butter — Not only does it taste amazing raw on the bread, but it also adds flavor to many dishes. From garlic bread to curry and dessert, butter is the base of many foods and sauces. But are there any vegan options? What can vegans substitute butter with? This article talks about vegan butter substitutes!
What is butter?
When milk fat separates from dairy cream, a semi-solid product is formed, which we know as butter. Butter is 100% dairy, making it not an option for vegans or those wanting to eat plant-based. Here is a quick breakdown:
- 80% butterfat
- 15% water
- 5% milk solids.
What is vegan butter?
Vegan butter is a plant-based dairy-free butter alternative that resembles, tastes like butter. It is made with oils, natural emulsifiers, and plant-based milk instead of traditional dairy cream and emulsifiers.
Since vegans prefer plant-based products in replacement for high-fat animal products, the very appropriate substitute for butter is oil such as olive oil, seed oil, and more.
Oil is a great vegan butter substitute. From stovetop cooking to baking, oil does it all. It works great for stovetop cooking, preventing ingredients from sticking to your pan. The number of options vegans have in this field is numerous. Each oil has different abilities, smoke points, and taste-making their uses are different from each other.
In many cases, the most appropriate dairy butter substitute is olive oil. It has a low smoke point, which means that it burns quicker than other oils at a high temperature. if cooked on medium heat, it turns out incredible. However, for anything above a medium heat point, better substitutes for butter are sunflower and avocado oil.
Moreover, look out for any allergies. For example, a nut based oil can trigger someone with nut allergies. Here is a list of plant-based substitutes for butter:
- Olive oil
- Sunflower oil
- Vegetable oil
- Sesame oil
- Walnut oil
- Flaxseed oil
Nut butter is not a perfect substitute, but can work in some dishes, especially baked goods. They have a creamy texture and rich flavor, and are not pure fat, makes them better suited as a condiment rather than as an ingredient. However nut butter could find purpose in baked breads, cookies, or even a crispy toasted sandwich. Nut butter can help enhance the flavor, along with eliminating the need for butter made from dairy.
Nut butter adds creaminess to your dishes with a hint of nutty flavor. I mean, what’s not to like about this substitute? Here is a list of nut butter substitutes:
- Macadamia butter
- Hazelnut butter
- Cashew butter
- Almond butter
- Peanut butter
- Walnut butter
- Pistachio butter
- Pecan butter
Although we already had a conversation about oils, coconut oils deserves a separate post because of its incredibly unique properties.
Coconut oil has become relatively popular over the past few years. From baking to body care, coconut oil is truly an all round wonder ingredient.
However, it is particularly perfect as a vegan butter substitute. Not only is it nutritious, it also has the same texture as that of a dairy butter. Coconut oil has a semi-solid texture at room temperature, then upon heating, it can easily melt.
It also has great plant-based saturated fats that can improve your health. Coconut oil even has a link with improving cholesterol levels.
Coconut oil is so versatile, making it one of my favorites for cooking and baking. It is such a staple that can always be found on my countertop.
Some of the best coconut oil brands in The U.S. are:
- Vita Coco Organic Virgin Coconut Oil;
- Nutiva Organic Liquid Coconut Oil;
- Kirkland Organic Virgin Coconut Oil;
- Viva Naturals Organic Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil;
- Nature’s Way Organic Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil;
- Tropical Life Organic Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil.
Commercial Vegan Butter Substitutes
Vegan butter is a plant-based butter made with an oil base, and has a similar texture to that of a margarine. Vegan butter has gained popularity over time and is now a common grocery item at almost every grocery store. You can find it in the refrigerated section.
Whereas margarine is sometimes an entirely vegan butter substitute, they often contain unhealthy trans fats. It is advisable to read the labels before making the purchase to check it does not contain any animal-based ingredient. I prefer to stick with healthier substitutes that do not contain trans fats.
Here is a list of some of the best vegan butters in the US:
- Earth Balance – all varietes
- I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! – It’s Vegan!
- Country Crock Plant Butter
- Califia Farms Plant Butter
- Pure Blends Plant-Based Butter
- Miyoko’s Creamery Organic Butters
- Milkadamia Buttery Spread
- Forager Plant Based Butter Alternative
Mashed Fruit Butter
Although a mashed fruit butter’s taste and a dairy butter’s taste are two opposites, they are still incredibly tasty, especially on an avocado toast. They are great as a baking ingredient because of their moisture. They are commonly used in baking cookies or banana breads.
Here is a list of mashed fruit butter substitutes:
- Mashed banana
- Mashed avocado
- Mashed raspberries
Did you know that you can make vegan butter at home all by yourself?
Soy Milk – I used soymilk. It gives a buttery flavor and creamy texture. You can substitute it with cashew or hemp milk.
Lemon Juice – is added to curdle the soy milk to form buttermilk. You can also substitute it with apple cider vinegar.
Salt – I added 1/2 a teaspoon salt. Just enough to flavor it without it being too salty.
Coconut Oil – refined coconut oil is the oil of choice, it solidifies above 76 degrees F. I also made a batch with cold processed coconut oil, it tasted great but does have a coconutty flavor. Therefore refined coconut oil will give you solid vegan butter without the flavor of coconut.
Olive Oil – gives a fruity flavor to your butter and a nice yellow color. You can substitute with, avocado oils.
Check out this recipe for more information and instructions!
Other Amazing Ingredient Substitutions
- Vanilla Extract Substitute
- Substitute for Buckwheat Flour
- Substitute for Turbinado Sugar
- Arrowroot Flour Substitute
- Substitute for Thyme
- Bay Leaf Substitutes
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