How to Make Homemade Vegan Butter
Want to know what to use instead of dairy butter? I've gotcha covered! While several commercial vegan margarines and shortenings are available (and they are certainly much better than dairy butter), I prefer to create my own version from scratch for most recipes.
I do this for several reasons. For one, most vegan margarines use palm oil, a product that has been linked to some major issues in the countries that produce it. Ranging from human rights abuses to climate change, animal cruelty, and deforestation, I find it’s easier to just avoid the ingredient altogether.
Another reason I lean toward more natural vegan butters is because it’s cost-efficient!
One of my favorite tips is to use unflavored coconut oil, which is labeled as “refined.” Unrefined or virgin has the coconut flavor, which is great when you want it, not when you don’t.
Keep in mind that dairy butter is 75% fat and 25% water, while vegetable oils are 100% fat, so if your recipe calls for dairy butter, replace the amount with 75% coconut oil and 25% water (e.g. for 1 cup of dairy butter, use 3/4 cup coconut oil and 1/4 cup water).
If you want to make a spreadable homemade vegan butter, here's my recipe from The Dairy Detox Cookbook and a video to show you just how easy it is!
Homemade Vegan Butter
By Allison Rivers Samson (inspired by Miyoko Schinner)
Makes 2 cups
1 cup unflavored (refined, not virgin) coconut oil
3⁄4 cup sunflower or safflower oil
1/4 cup unsweetened, plain non-dairy milk (my fave is homemade almond milk)
1 tablespoon lecithin powder
3/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
scant pinch turmeric powder
- Place a glass container in the freezer to chill while preparing the Homemade Vegan Butter.
- In a blender, process all ingredients together at medium speed for 30-60 seconds, until completely combined. Be careful not to over-process or the oils may separate.
- Transfer quickly to the chilled container, cover, and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
- This is a soft, spreadable butter. If you'd like something harder, decrease the sunflower or safflower oil and increase the coconut oil. You can start with 3⁄4 cup sunflower or safflower and 1 cup coconut oil, and adjust by the tablespoon until you get your preferred texture. Just make sure that the total of both oils always equals 13⁄4 cup.
- Unflavored coconut oil is also called “refined coconut oil,” and is sold in a jar in most health food stores. The most common brand is Spectrum. “Virgin” will taste like coconut, which is best to use for coconut-flavored dishes.
- Lecithin is used to emulsify or combine the ingredients.
- Although lecithin is most commonly made from soy, sunflower lecithin is becoming more popular. Look for it in the supplement section of health food stores, or online.
- How much is a pinch? Not much! It’s approximately half of 1⁄8 teaspoon.
© Recipe by Allison Rivers Samson, Self-care Coach, award-winning vegan chef and author of Quick + Easy DIY Salad Bar, The Dairy-Freedom Cookbook, Comfortably Yum, and Co-Founder of The Dairy Detox.
Photo credit: Michelle Cehn