There are a lot of margarines and spreads out there and they all have their merits and problems. None of them are as simple as churned cream, so if you want all natural, there is always butter. Though it’s not always truly an option if you are allergic or it simply doesn’t digest well for you. So while I like butter, I also try to eat as little dairy as possible because of how my body reacts to it.
Cooking with marg (no that isn’t a new cooking show) can be problematic. Simply substituting it for butter may ruin the recipe or make it oddly textured/flavored. So there is shortening, even butter flavored shortening to help with those who are lactally challenged (yes, I totally made that word up). But after understanding what shortening is, I’d rather eat butter and suffer. Still, I thought that there had to be something else.
So, I went through my fair share of “fake butter”. All claimed to be healthy, some claimed to be not made of milk but still contained milk by-products like casein. As with most things, you can’t trust what it says on the front of the package.
Then, I found Earth Balance . In its stick form it is like salted butter. In tubs it is more like butter than margarine in consistency and flavor. I have baked, fried, sautéed and buttered with both the tub and stick version of this product. So far, no complaints! We even put a stick in the butter dish and let is soften for toast and sandwiches. In fact, I’m currently using up a little bit of a tub, then I am going to stick to the sticks (I needed to write that!).
So far I’ve been 100% satisfied with the results and flavor of this product, though it is a little on the pricey side. Where I live the price is comparable to butter. I hate having to go to specialty or over-priced yuppie stores to get things like this, but Raley’s, Safeway and even Wally-World sell it. That is a huge bonus to me!
I don’t see myself using any other brand of non-dairy butter substitute any time in the near or distant future. I highly recommend Earth Balance Butter Spreads & Sticks.
Oh, they also make an original version that does contain soy. As well as a shortening that comes in the same looking packaging except different colors. Make sure grab what you want, it will be written the largest under the big Earth Balance in the middle of the package.
The same company also makes other types of products like snacks, mayo and mac-n-cheese which are all vegan (yes, vegan), but I haven’t tried any of them.
For more info visit their website http://earthbalancenatural.com/