With veganism gaining more hype and popularity, and products like sunflower seed butter and coconut butter fast gaining traction, many food manufacturers have started adding vegan items in the line of their products. Nowadays, you can get just about everything in a vegan variant. This also includes butter.
What is vegan butter?
It’s a dairy-free substitute of butter that looks, smells, and to an extent, tastes like regular butter. It’s also used as an alternative butter in recipes that require it.
Is It Really Dairy-Free?
With cream being the main ingredient in its recipe, many may find it hard to believe that any kind of butter can be dairy-free making the above question completely valid. However, the increasing vegan preferences of people and the need to add butter as the main ingredient in many delectable and scrumptious recipes have led the manufacturers to come up with dairy-free recipes to produce a vegan-friendly butter alternative.
The production process of vegan butter involves mixing multiple types of vegetable oils along with salt, emulsifiers or additives, and water. The additives help in imitating the churning process used in producing actual butter. So, yes! Vegan butter is really dairy-free.
In fact, vegan butter is just another form of margarine. Nonetheless, be very clear that every margarine is not vegan-friendly, as some manufacturers have milk as an ingredient in their margarine recipes.
So, how can you tell which margarine is vegan and which is not?
While most margarine manufacturers add a label that says ‘Vegan’ on the packaging if their product is vegan, many manufacturers have also rebranded their vegan margarine as vegan butter to avoid any confusion among consumers and capitalize on the market demand.
Another question that you might have here is;
Is Vegan Butter Healthy?
If your reason for asking this question is because you are on a diet or are planning to start one and can’t give up eating butter, so you’re opting for vegan thinking it’s a healthier alternative, we’ve got bad news. Vegan butter cannot help you with your diet.
But if you’ve recently transitioned into veganism and change your eating habits without having any health concerns, you may be happy to know that vegan butter is every bit as healthy as actual butter, if not more.
Because it’s specially made for vegans, ingredients like lactose, casein, whey, and caseinate are not used in it’s manufacturing. Just the lack of these items makes it cholesterol-free and heart-healthy. It also doesn’t have any hydrogenated and trans fats, also known as bad fats.
Since it’s processed rather than naturally churned, it also lacks a lot of healthy nutrients the original butter has. Some of these nutrients include vitamins A, D, E, and K, and calcium. It also comparatively holds a far greater amount of sodium than butter. They both share the same amount of calories in a similar serving size.
So, while you don’t get most of the unhealthy negatives of regular butter in its vegan alternative, you also miss out on a lot of healthy nutrients. Though, the number of nutrients missing in your vegan butter can vary depending on the brand that you incorporate in your diet. This is because some manufacturers artificially add a certain amount of these nutrients as part of ingredients, during the production process. To find out for certain on what you are missing out on and what you are getting, check the nutritional fact printed on the back of the packaging of your vegan butter.
Other Benefits of Vegan Butter
1. Dairy is known to be one of the biggest causes of acne. Whether you are a vegan or not, if you have acne and you have been struggling with ridding yourself of it, making vegan butter a part of your diet instead of the regular butter can help you in slowly banishing your acne and get clear beautiful skin. For those of you who are not vegans, you will also have to avoid eating other dairy products as well.
2. Cow’s milk is number one the list of common food allergies in the US. The severity of this allergy ranges from mild to life-threatening. People who suffer from a dairy allergy usually avoid dairy products including butter. But thanks to vegan butter, even those who suffer from dairy allergy can enjoy the goodness of a creamy butter spread on a toast without ever worrying about releasing an allergic reaction.
3. While milk may not be a part of everyone’s breakfast, it’s hard to imagine the very first meal of the day without butter. Unfortunately, people who are lactose intolerant find it hard to digest dairy products like milk, cheese, and butter. Vegan butter is a great alternative for such people as well. It doesn’t cause constipation or triggers any bowel-related syndromes regardless of lactose intolerance.
4. Depending on the brand of vegan butter you purchase, it may contain more unsaturated fats or healthy fats than the real deal. Vegan butter with high contents of such fats can become a part of a healthy diet and in some cases may even help you lose weight.
5. This benefit highlights the overall vegan lifestyle, not just vegan butter. Most who follow a vegan lifestyle do so to help improve the environment and raise their voices against animal cruelty. We all know that cows that are milked are given antibiotics and hormonal drugs in huge doses to increase their milk production. This is not only harmful to their health but is also dangerous for the people who consume their milk. With vegan butter, you can rest assured that there are absolutely no traces of cow milk present in it, making it free from the presence of any after-effects of those drugs.
In the end, we just want to highlight the fact that vegan butter offers almost everything good about the dairy butter without any of its negative properties. Some manufacturers have even reached the pinnacle of providing almost the same taste as the real thing. And the benefits that it offers are an added advantage. So, if you‘ve been thinking of making it a part of your meals for a while but hadn’t been sure about it, we hope we were able to change your mind. If you want to learn about more healthy alternatives to butter, click here.