Being vegan leads to a radical alteration of your diet. Whether it is cutting out cheese, milk or eggs, there will be drastic alterations to what you consume on an everyday basis.
But what about butter? Will you ever be able to spread this delicious, creamy substance on your toast ever again?
Well, if you are a vegan and you love butter, then we have good news for you: there is indeed a butter that is suitable for vegans, often referred to as vegan block.
This stuff is made out of a range of vegan substitutes such as rapeseed, chia seed and almond nut.
But what varieties of vegan block butter are out there? What are the ingredients and how much does it taste like the original dairy version?
Well, we’ll give you the low down on vegan block, where you can buy it and the nutritional profile of each version.
What Exactly Is Vegan Block?
Vegan block is basically butter that is made from 100% plant sources. To look at it, you would struggle to see any difference between this and the dairy kind. It is pale yellow, comes in a block and melts in just the same way as milk-based butter.
This is also great if you are a vegan baker. This stuff will act in much the same way as regular butter. It will help to bind your ingredients and provide that delicious moisture that is necessary for the best cakes.
Also, there are many different varieties of this kind of butter. You can get unsalted or salted, both of which taste great. You can melt the butter over some sweetcorn, spread it on your toast or have it on the side with some scones and jam.
The Ingredients And Nutritional Profile Of Vegan Block
One important thing that you might need to know is what exactly goes into vegan block and how healthy is it for you? Well, we’ve found one brand of vegan block and listed the ingredients for you.
Bear in mind, different brands use different ingredients, so make sure to check the packet before buying:
- Organic shea butter oil (43%)
- Organic coconut oil (21%)
- Organic rapeseed oil (11%)
- Organic almond (1%)
- Organic carrot juice
- Emulsifier (organic lecithin)
- Organic lemon juice
- Natural flavouring
The fact that this has so many different types of nut and seed oil in there means that it is slightly more processed that some of the natural nut butters and spreads that you can get from natural whole foods stores.
This also means that vegan block has a very high fat content, in much the same way as dairy butter. The absence of any animal products also means that the protein count is lower than that of dairy butter.
Here is the nutritional profile of the vegan block that contains the ingredients listed above:
Serving: Per 100g
- Energy: 670 Calories
- Protein: 0.5g
- Carbohydrates: 0.5g
- Carbs of which sugars: 0.5g
- Fat: 75g
- Fat of which saturates: 39g
- Salt: 1.2g
Now let us compare this with the ingredients and nutrition of regular, dairy-based butter:
- Milk fats (80-82%)
- Water (16-17%)
- Curd/Other Milk Fats (1-2%)
Serving: per 100g
- Energy: 717 Calories
- Total Fat: 81g
- Saturated Fat: 51g
- Trans Fat: 3.3g
- Polyunsaturated Fat: 3
- Monounsaturated Fat: 21g
- Cholesterol: 215mg
- Total Carbohydrates: 0.1g
- Protein: 0.9g
As you can see, there are far fewer ingredients in regular butter, which makes it less process than vegan block. However, vegan block as a lower fat content but less protein.
Can You Bake With Vegan Block?
Yes, you can bake with vegan block, and it is engineered in much the same way as regular butter. All you need to do is replace vegan block with regular butter in your recipe.
This type of butter can be mixed in with real or vegan eggs, although you might have to allow more time for stirring with a vegan mixture.
Best Vegan Blocks
Here is a list of some of the best brands of vegan block that you can currently buy:
This first brand is completely free of dairy and also does not contain any palm oil, which can be very harmful to the environment. This is excellent for baking, spreading on bread and toast, and using in baking.
The company boasts that this melts just like dairy butter.
You can keep this in the fridge for a few days or you can even freeze it for 3 months. This is also free from soy, egg, gluten, fish and wheat. Naturli Butter is decently priced, which is great for anyone who is on a budget.
This butter behaves and tastes just like the real thing. You can have it on your toast in the morning or melt it gently over sweetcorn. You can even put it in the frying pan to cook your veggies with. This butter browns very well, as will give you a crispy texture.
This contains coconut oil, cashews and sunflower oil, making it a rich source of healthy fats. You can pick up this butter from Walmart and Target, as well as buying it directly from the website.
If you are someone that really cares about the rainforest, then you should try this butter, as it contains no palm oil. In terms of taste, this is creamy with a slightly nutty aftertaste.
The company has also taken pains to make this affordable to the average household.
This is made to both spread and bake, which is great if you look to cook vegan sweet treats on a regular basis. We would certainly recommend trying this for your first attempt at vegan baking.
Butter is one of those foods that some people simply cannot live without, so finding a non-dairy alternative will be a must for a lot of vegans. If you are vegan baking, then you simply won’t be able to live without this vegan alternative.