Photo: Miyoko's Creamery
The simple joy of sinking our teeth into warm, buttered toast is hard to resist, and when it comes to the pleasures of the dining table, the adage that “fat is flavour” comes to mind.
Indeed, butter plays a massive role in our dining and cooking habits but it is also one that puts a toll on the planet as well as animal well-being—it is the product of mass animal agriculture after all.
Traditionally, the pantry staple is made by first separating cream from fresh cow’s milk. This cream is then churned until the fat molecules bind together to form a solid mass. The result is a product that is high in fat and shaped into blocks.
What if you can have all the pleasure of butter without harming the planet? Thankfully, there are now plenty of vegan options to choose from. These are often made using plant-based sources of fat and some culinary wizardry, hence bypassing the need for animal agriculture entirely.
Are these vegan butters any good though? We let our abillion users decide. Here are five alternatives that our members know and love.
Miyoko’s Creamery is well-loved for its delicious plant-based cheeses but its European-style cultured vegan butter is just as good. It behaves like any gourmet butter in that it melts, brown, bakes and spreads beautifully. A look at the ingredients reveals a list of organic items from coconut oil to cultured cashew Milk, sunflower oil and of course, that sprinkling of sea salt that adds the flavour magic we all love.
“My go to, all day every day, favorite vegan butter!” reviews @haleylenora. “It is even better than I remember butter being! I cook with it as well as spread on things - if you haven't tried it I definitely would. On the pricier side, but worth it!”
Butter typically comes in a block format wrapped in paper or foil. Those who prefer that shape over something that comes out of a tub, Margadan’s Margarina Vegetal will be your answer. It’s one of the more affordable options when it comes to vegan alternatives to butter and it works really well in baked goods. “Margadan margarine is vegan-friendly,” writes abillion user @disculpefuegotiene in Spanish. “Excellent price-quality ratio. Easily accessible since it is acquired in any neighborhood store.”
At 60 percent fat, Flora Vegan by Flora is a great all-rounder if you’re looking for a butter replacement that works for spreading, cooking, frying and sautéing. It is made with seed oils and can be a source of omegas 3 and 6 as part of your plant-based diet.
abillion user @jemmagrier reviews, “It is a great product and one of the best tasting vegan butters I've tried. Even better, I can easily find the product at most grocery stores. The texture also is very smooth and creamy.
Earth Balance bills this vegan butter alternative as, “The tub that started it all” and a staple for dairy-free baking. Its butter flavor is said to be thanks to a proprietary blend of oils and it comes in two formats: in a plastic tub as shown above or as sticks which would make it the ideal format for serious bakers.
“Really creamy and perfect for anything you would normally use butter for,” says user @fungiforrest. “Great on toast and for cooking. I think next time I will get the same product, but in sticks to reduce plastic waste and make baking with it easier.”