How Do I Choose the Best Vegan Butter?

Jeremy Laukkonen

There are a few different factors that can come into play when trying to choose the best vegan butter, such as personal taste and what the butter substitute is needed for. If you need a substitute that is suitable for cooking or baking, then consider using vegetable oil or a vegan margarine. Some margarine products include small amounts of lactose, whey, and other dairy products, so you will need to be careful to select a brand that is actually vegan. If you are looking for some type of vegan butter substitute to spread on rolls, toast, or other types of bread, then you might want to try a butter substitute made from onions, carrots, fruits, or nuts, depending on your own personal tastes.

Vegans do not eat any animal byproducts, including milk, cheese and eggs.
Vegans do not eat any animal byproducts, including milk, cheese and eggs.

Butter is a dairy product that is commonly used in cooking, baking, and as a spread, so there are a number of vegan substitutes that each work best in different situations. In order to select the best vegan butter substitute, it is important to consider the way it will be used. Some vegan butter replacements are can be used in either cooking or baking, while others are better as spreads or condiments.

Some types of vegan butter made with almonds or cashews.
Some types of vegan butter made with almonds or cashews.

If you need to find the best vegan butter substitute for cooking, it is typically possible to achieve good results from vegetable oil. Corn and sesame oil can also be used in baked goods, as can various types of margarine. Make sure to check the ingredients for substances such as casein, caseinate, whey, and lactose though, since some margarine contains small amounts of these milk products. If you are concerned about the potential health effects of hydrogenated oils, it is also possible to find non-hydrogenated vegan margarine.

Olive oil is one vegan butter substitute that is just as useful as a spread replacement as it is for cooking. Instead of looking for a replacement that can be spread like butter, you might want to consider drizzling a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar on your bread. There are a number of butter replacement spreads as well though, including products made from various fruits, nuts, and even onions. Products such as cashew butter, apple butter, and onion butter are typically dairy-free.

The best vegan butter spread is largely a matter of personal taste, though some are better suited to particular uses. Sweet spreads, such as fruit butters, are particularly well suited for use with foods such as waffles and pancakes, while savory spreads, such as onion butter, are typically better on bread, crackers, and other similar foods. Mashed avocado is one option that produces a similar mouth feel to butter, due to the high fat content, and it typically goes well on sandwiches.

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