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Thread: Alternatives for butter and margarine

  1. #1

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    Default Alternatives for butter and margarine

    Hi,
    I am working my way to becoming vegan however, I have not been able to find any substitutes for Butter AND margerine. My parents (who are nutrionalists) always said NO to margarines because they (if I remember correctly) are heated oils and have just as much Saturated fats as real butters. They also remember when it was considered the "poor man's butter" because it was a collection of all the unwanted oils (Of course, I'm sure they've updated it now since we are not in the Great Depression anymore, heh :P). I have also read several articles by nutrionalists stating that margarines rest in the arteries and clog them just as real butters (well, it holds it shape at room temperature just as real butter), so I am trying to find a natural substitute.

    Are there any people out there who have discovered a butter AND margarine substitute?

    I have found tahini works as a wonderful spread on toast. But what about other things?


    (Ahhh after much searching, I found why my parents were anti-margerine. We always tried to stay away from trans-fats. I googled "Why are trans fats bad?" since I couldnt remember why. :P hehe

    Here we go: "Trans fats. You may have heard about these man-made fats, but what's so bad about them, and how do we avoid them? Trans fats are basically vegetable fats that have been changed chemically by a process known as hydrogenation and typically they take a healthy fat, such as corn oil or soybean oil and make it solid. They're frequently found in foods that contain some kind of fat, such as:
    • Cookies
    • Crackers
    • Fried foods (like fried chicken)
    • French fries
    • Doughnuts
    • Margarine
    The problem is that the body treats the hydrogenated fat like it's a saturated fat, similar to butter or animal fat. As most of us know, saturated fat is the culprit that clogs arteries. So in essence trans fats, while initially a healthful oil that's unsaturated, becomes a saturated fat through this process of hydrogenation and is linked to causing heart disease."

    I'm trying to stay away from all animal products/trans fat products for health (and for the animals )...

  2. #2
    vegan pizza! thecatspajamas1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alternatives for butter AND margerines?

    Olive oil on bread, instead of butter/margarine- that's how the Italians do it, and olive oil is so yummy.
    I eat nutritional yeast by the spoonful.

  3. #3
    ConsciousCuisine
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    Default Re: Alternatives for butter AND margerines?

    Welcome! How luck to have 2 parents who know about nutrition! Are they "nutritionalists" or "Nutritionists"???

    There are vegan versions of these widely available. Many people on here live closer to you and may be able to name brands directly.

    I use coconut oil and the following blends which are healthy spreads for vegans:

    Sweet:

    1/3 cup coconut oil

    1/3 cup flax oil

    1/3 cup agave nectar

    1/3 cup tahini or olive oil or equal parts of each

    Mix all together and use as a sweet spread (you can use pureed dates or dried, reconstituted and pureed fruits instead of agave nectar) and keep in the refrigerator;spreads like butter!


    Savory:

    1/3 cup coconut oil

    1/3 cup flax oil

    1/3 cup tahini or olive oil or equal parts of each

    2 T. nutritional yeast

    1/2 tsp. each onion powder and garlic powder

    Several pinches of pepper and salt

    Mix all together and use any combination fo dried herbs and spices you like. Keep it in the refrigerator; spreads like butter!

  4. #4
    Sweets's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alternatives for butter AND margerines?

    what about earth balance? its non-hydrogenated and extremely tasty.

  5. #5
    ConsciousCuisine
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    Default Re: Alternatives for butter AND margerines?

    ^^ Right, but last I checked in with people, it's hard to get and extremely expensive over there

  6. #6

    Default Re: Alternatives for butter AND margerines?

    Try roasting a garlic bulb with a drizzle of olive oil (wrap the whole thing in foil or cover pan with a lid). It makes a nice savory almost buttery spread.

  7. #7
    Sweets's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alternatives for butter AND margerines?

    Quote ConsciousCuisine
    ^^ Right, but last I checked in with people, it's hard to get and extremely expensive over there
    what a shame! on a happy note; i've just converted my entire family to earth balance! These people were country crock/butter addicts

  8. #8
    Seaside
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    Default Re: Alternatives for butter AND margerines?

    If you put rreally good olive oil in the fridge in a dish it will harden up and become spreadable like butter. It will of course liquify on warm foods, but the spreadability of chilled olive oil makes it easy to work with.
    Too bad you can't get Earth Balance. You ought to look for a margarine at your local health food store that has the same properties.

  9. #9
    kriz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alternatives for butter AND margerines?

    What about vegan mayo, avacado, or mustard as substitutes on sandwiches?
    "Animals are my friends... and I don't eat my friends". ~ George Bernhard Shaw.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Alternatives for butter AND margerines?

    I really missed Earth Balance when I was in Europe. It's better than ANY butter.
    "Animals are my friends... and I don't eat my friends". ~ George Bernhard Shaw.

  11. #11
    Knolishing Pob's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alternatives for butter AND margerines?

    Quote Seaside
    If you put rreally good olive oil in the fridge in a dish it will harden up and become spreadable like butter.
    We found that out when my wife put the organic extra virgin olive oil bottle in the fridge. Not easy to get out of a bottle when it's set

  12. #12
    oldsilverhead
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    Default Re: Alternatives for butter and margarine

    There is a Quebec-based deli that sells vegan goods at 690 Rue St-Jean.

    How about giving them a ring and they will tell you which brands of margarine are vegan?Phone-647-6881



    oldsilverhead

  13. #13
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alternatives for butter and margarine

    What do you want to use it for, Apple_Blossem? As others have said, for a spread you can use oil (or how about my favourite, nothing ?)

    For baking, I think oil will often work too, or maybe if you hunt around you can get a non-hydrogenated and vegan margarine where you are.

  14. #14
    perfect RedWellies's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alternatives for butter and margarine

    There's "Pure" in the UK, don't know if you have it there?
    "Do what you can with what you have where you are."
    - Theodore Roosevelt

  15. #15
    ConsciousCuisine
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    Default Re: Alternatives for butter AND margerines?

    Quote Rob(QG)
    We found that out when my wife put the organic extra virgin olive oil bottle in the fridge. Not easy to get out of a bottle when it's set
    Ice cube trays make good containers for this...you can let them "set" and remove them from the tray, placing them in a sealed container and then they are ready to go, individually portioned out already! Also, as in my recipes above, placing the oils in small containers before refrigerating works great;spreads just like butter

  16. #16
    scruffyhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alternatives for butter and margarine

    Quote RedWellies
    There's "Pure" in the UK, don't know if you have it there?
    Yep thats the one i use, if you dont have it there im sure there will be one if you look it up on the internet...

  17. #17
    Knolishing Pob's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alternatives for butter and margarine

    I think the idea of margarine being very unhealthy is due to the fact that originally it was just hydrogenated vegetable oils, died yellow, with a butter flavouring.

    These days most of what people call margarine are actually oils blended with water and an emulsifier (plus vitamins, flavours, natural colours). Non vegan versions will generally have some milk product in there as well.

    Assuming the oils used are healthier oils, then there is no need to avoid vegan spreads. Margarine listed in products should be avoided, though, as it is hydrogenated fat.

  18. #18
    Abe Froman Risker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alternatives for butter and margarine

    I use Pure aswell, currently using the sunflower one, it seems to be quite healthy.

    http://www.purespreads.com/home.asp

    Either that or Olive oil, it depends what you want to use it for really.

  19. #19
    oldsilverhead
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    Default Re: Alternatives for butter and margarine

    Somebody please correct me if I am wrong but I believe unhealthy fats are those which are solid at room temperature such as margarine and the healthier fats are those which are liquid at room temperature such as olive oil.


    oldsilverhead

  20. #20
    Knolishing Pob's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alternatives for butter and margarine

    That is true (though hydrogenated fats are far worse than the naturally solid palm and coconut fats).

    In terms of stuff to spread on your bread, though, there is probably not much difference to look at in healthy and not so healthy vegetable spreads. They are all designed to spread easily from the fridge as well as be somewhat stable at room temperature.

  21. #21
    Eating Wildflower's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alternatives for butter and margarine

    http://www.godairyfree.org/productli...ubstitutes.htm

    I found this interesting list of margarine alternatives. It is complete with websites, and if it is available in canada. Not everything on the list is marked vegan, allthough everything seems to be dairy free, as that is the purpose of the website. It gets into margarines, nutbutters, etc so it may give you good ideas and has brands.

    I find I don't really ever use butter, except on toast and maybe in a baked potato. And even then, I sometimes use peanutbutter or jam on toast, and salsa or non-dairy sour cream on potatos.

    my boyfriend likes butter on sandwiches, but I use mustard generally. Another great thing I have been eating lately is olive tapenade. Pesto is good too, or roasted pepper spreads. YUM! Spreads are way better, and have more flavor.

    Have you tried flavored oils? Sometimes you can find basil infused or garlic infused olive oils. Those are great on veg sandwiches, or you can just use fresh herbs with olive oil drizzled on top.

    For baking I sometimes use olive oil, or if I do use margarine (like for cookies) I use Earth Balance. I use Smart Balance Light w/Flax seed oil for toast and my boyfriend eats that on sandwiches. they are both vegan and proven to lower cholesterol. They are made my the same people, but not all of their margarines are vegan. Smart Balance is NOT, Smart Balance light IS, so make sure you check if you come accross them. Spectrum is another brand but I have heard it is not as good.

    www.earthbalance.net There is a number, but I don't see listings on where to buy.

  22. #22
    Gary M. Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alternatives for butter and margarine

    I've always thought "Shedds Willow Run" tasted really nice.

    To become vegetarian is to step into the stream which leads to nirvana. -Buddha

  23. #23

    Wink Re: Alternatives for butter and margarine

    I used Shedd's Willow Run before I switched to Earth Balance. It is good but I found that I preferred Earth Balance.

  24. #24

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    Default Re: Alternatives for butter and margarine

    If you want butter for quick breads and things (the baking process), pureed avocado works BEAUTIFULLY - it has a rich buttery flavor and is PERFECT, so does applesauce with some oil (i usually use the same amount of applesauce for the oil/butter the recipe calls for and then add 2 tbs of sunflower/canola/whatever oil), and then of course for baking and such, u can also use coconut oil (as others mentioned) (can u tell I bake a lot? )
    Peace Love Surf.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Alternatives for butter and margarine

    How about this? I got the recipe from VegWeb. I haven't tried making it myself yet but I like it in restaraunts. Of course I love just about all things garlic.

    Skordalia - A garlicky dip for bread

    Ingredients (use vegan versions):
    • 1 large head of garlic
    • 4 potatoes, cooked and peeled
    • 3 slices of vegan bread, crusts removed
    • The juice of 3-4 lemons
    • 1/2 cup olive oil



    Directions:
    Combine the lemon juice, olive oil and some salt in a food processor. Add the garlic, peeled and crushed. Add potatoes. Wet the vegan bread and squeeze out the water. Add the vegan bread to the mixture. Puree. Serve with vegan pita bread or vegan crackers or french bread as a dip.

  26. #26
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alternatives for butter and margarine

    I lurve skordalia! I have made it but I think the recipes I've seen use either potatoes or bread rather than both. Also doesn't it usually have walnuts in it?

    I believe it was originally used by Greeks as a substitute for mayonnaise during Lent - they don't eat eggs then.

    ETA I think this one is like the one I used to make:

    http://www.gourmet.gr/greek-recipes/...id=17&arid=272

  27. #27

    Default Re: Alternatives for butter and margarine

    I've got a greek cookbook at home...I'll have to check. I think what I had in the restraraunt was just potatoes...hmmmm

    There is a large greek community here...maybe I can just ask someone?

  28. #28

    Default Re: Alternatives for butter and margarine

    ooohhh Harpy that one looks good too. I don't think it makes as much either.

  29. #29
    Blix
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    Default Re: Alternatives for butter AND margerines?

    Quote Sweets
    what about earth balance? its non-hydrogenated and extremely tasty.
    I just looked up Earth balance and the margarine 'Pure', on the net. They use palm oil. Isn't growing palm oil plants, along with soya bean plants, the reason that the gorrilla's forest is being cut down, not to mention the Amazon. (Ithink the amazon destruction is just for soya beans), but I saw on television that the gorrillas forest is being replaced by palm oil plantations.

  30. #30

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    Default Re: Alternatives for butter and margarine

    I just want to say Thank You! for all the wonderful recipes that you have suggested for living healthier and finding alternatives for margerine trans fat products. I really cant wait to try all of the different recipes

    Webpage I found on trans fat/margerine: http://www.webmd.com/content/article/72/81813.htm

    http://www.webmd.com/content/article/85/98783.htm

    http://www.baptistonline.org/health/.../TransFats.asp

    These ideas will all help me to be a healthier vegan Thanks again!!!

    PS. I know this sounds wacky, but I've already started using an alvacado on my baked potato instead of butter substitutes -- I couldnt tell the difference...and it was tastier and I got my alvacado vitamins as well thanks

  31. #31

    Default Re: Alternatives for butter AND margerines?

    Quote thecatspajamas1
    Olive oil on bread, instead of butter/margarine- that's how the Italians do it, and olive oil is so yummy.
    Yes catspajamas, IT IS YUMMY! Especially strong Extra Virgin

    Virgin Cold Pressed Coconut oil is very good as well as having remarkable health benefits:

    www.coconut-connections.com

    "Be the change you wish to see in the world." Mahatma Gandhi.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Alternatives for butter and margarine

    delicious for dipping chunks of fresh bread into. i don't really measure when i make this, so the measurements are approximate.

    CELERY SEED DIPPING OIL

    6 tablespoons olive oil
    1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
    1/4 teaspoon paprika
    1/4 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

    combine in a shallow bowl or small plate and dip away. i think it tastes amazing with rye bread.
    my boyfriend like to season this with some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
    "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." óMargaret Mead

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Alternatives for butter and margarine

    I use smart balance light since I can't afford Earth Balance and it's really good and pretty healthy.

  34. #34
    Toxic Vegan Lydia_Sorrow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alternatives for butter and margarine

    I use olive spread..

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Alternatives for butter and margarine

    I have started to use the Pure range of margerines. I think it is the soya one. I made a rhubarb crumble with it on Sunday and you wouldn't be able to tell it was vegan. It is delicious!

    I haven't used it solely as a spread i.e in sandwiches yet but I'm sure it will taste just fine.

  36. #36
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    Default Re: Alternatives for butter and margarine

    What fantastic ideas! We're trying to cut down on margerine although we only use Pure vegan margerine, we've tried others which were horrible.

    Tonight we are eating asparagus fresh from the local farm shop. When I was a child we used to have it lightly steamed and dipped into melted salty butter. It seems sacriledge to use margerine but I've found that with the addition of copious amounts of minced garlic Pure margerine does the job.

    I may try olive oil and garlic drizzled over instead now!
    Silent but deadly :p

  37. #37
    ♥♥♥ Tigerlily's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alternatives for butter and margarine

    I honestly don't notice the difference between margarine and butter. And I grew up using butter and only started using margarine when I went vegan.
    Peace, love, and happiness.

  38. #38
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alternatives for butter and margarine

    Asparagus is nice with just lemon juice and pepper.

    ...damn, I need an asparagus fix now. Well, I suppose it's the time of year to need one.

  39. #39
    Hemlock's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alternatives for butter and margarine

    Damn ,we'll have to get some more asparagus now!!!
    Silent but deadly :p

  40. #40

    Default Re: Alternatives for butter and margarine

    Quote ravenfire
    I use smart balance light since I can't afford Earth Balance and it's really good and pretty healthy.
    When I emailed the company behind Earth Balance and Smart Balance, they told me that only Earth Balance was vegan. I think they must use animal-sourced vitamins (like fish oil-based Vitamin A Palmitate) in Smart Balance because it's cheaper...otherwise I don't know why they would say only Earth Balance is vegan.
    When you are guided by compassion and loving-kindness, you are able to look deeply into the heart of reality and see the truth.--Thich Nhat Hanh

  41. #41
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alternatives for butter and margarine

    Quote Hemlock
    Damn ,we'll have to get some more asparagus now!!!
    It's a hard life isn't it, Hemlock?

    I rushed straight out and bought some after posting that last message.

  42. #42

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    Default Re: Alternatives for butter and margarine

    I think it's bogus that Palm oil and coconut oil are bad for you. Sure they're saturated but their not an animal fat and if they're not hydrogenated, I don't have a problem with them. Coconut oil is quite delicious.

  43. #43

    Default Re: Alternatives for butter and margarine

    Isn't it? My newest 'invention' is virgin coconut oil on toast with a sprinkle of cinnamon - so simple, sooooo delicious!

    Have you read the health benefits on sites like www.coconut-connections.com or www.thevirgincoconutoil.com?

    I ordered The Coconut Oil Miracle by Bruce Fife from amazon a few days ago. Here is a synopsis:

    Use nature's elixir to lose weight, prevent heart disease, cancer and diabetes and beautify skin and hair. Can saturated fat be good for you? Natural coconut oil - not the hydrogenated version often found in processed foods - is a saturated fat, but not the kind your doctor has warned you about. Studies have shown that this uniquely curative oil actually has innumerable health benefits ranging from disease prevention to anti-ageing. Now, in his revised edition of the first book to describe the therapeutic properties of coconut oil, Bruce Fife offers a nutrition plan with dozens of tasty recipes that will allow anyone to experience the healing miracles of what he deems the "perfect food". When taken as a supplement, used in cooking or applied to directly to the skin, coconut oil has been found to: - Promote weight loss - Help protect against heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis and many other degenerative diseases - Strengthen the immune system - Improve digestion - Prevent premature ageing of the skin.
    "Be the change you wish to see in the world." Mahatma Gandhi.

  44. #44
    Blix
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    Default Re: Alternatives for butter and margarine

    Try this site. www.godairyfree.org It shows how to make all the alternatives to dairy products from milk to different creams and cheeses.

  45. #45
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    Default Re: Alternatives for butter AND margerines?

    Quote ConsciousCuisine View Post
    ^^ Right, but last I checked in with people, it's hard to get and extremely expensive over there
    I paid $2.79 here (US) in a health food store for a big tub of it.

  46. #46
    Demon
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    Default Re: Alternatives for butter and margarine

    Thanks to those who suggested chilled olive oil. I'm going to try that now. I have been using Pure but I am concerned about rain forrest destruction due to demand for Palm oil.
    Last edited by flutterby; Nov 3rd, 2006 at 09:42 AM. Reason: theres more about Palm Oil, Orangutans, and the environment in http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5619

  47. #47

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    Default Butter Spread?

    I was wondering if anyone knows of a lower in fat vegan butter spread. Right now I am using Earth Balance and its just seems so high in fat and calories.

    Thank you

  48. #48

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    Default Re: Alternatives for butter and margarine

    nevermind think I answered my own question, lol I found Smart Balance Light

  49. #49

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    Default Re: Alternatives for butter and margarine

    I hope none of these have already been said, but I use oil, apple sauce, or hummus usually.

    warm apple sauce on toast is amazingg, and I use hummus in sandwiches to replace butter/mayo etc.

  50. #50

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    Default Re: Alternatives for butter and margarine

    hmm I have yet to try hummus, may go out and buy some today.. Thanks!

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