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HOMEMADE PALM OIL-FREE VEGAN BUTTAH

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Photo by Christina Hoheisel  (PS: Christina not only did a fantastic job photographing the Buttah, but went out and found the ingredients, ordered the molds and tackled the recipe, mastering it on the first try!  Thank you so much, Christina!)


IMPORTANT NOTE: I just wanted to give you a heads-up that I will be adding some information to my Buttah recipe that I have just discovered. Forget measuring the melted cocoa butter! I, along with a few readers, have discovered that 109g/3.85 oz. does not always equal 1 cup when melted, for reasons that I have not yet discovered. This is confusing, but, in testing, I have found that it is the weight of the cocoa butter that matters, not the cup measure! I thought I would be giving people without a scale an option, but it's not that simple, obviously! (I recommend a digital kitchen scale for lots of kitchen uses anyway. Here's one for just over $15; here's one for under $10.) I will be revising the online recipe to reflect this. (THE PRINTABLE RECIPE IS ALREADY REVISED.)
 

PS: I devised a "tub version" of my Buttah recipe--
 all you do is follow the original recipe, but use 1 1/4 cups oil and only 81.6 g (2.88 ounces) cocoa butter.


All the best, Bryanna
INTRODUCING HOMEMADE PALM OIL-FREE VEGAN BUTTERY SPREAD—BUTTAH!     © Bryanna Clark Grogan 2012
No reproduction of the following material without permission from the author.

Printable Copy of This Page

You may wonder why a food writer like me, who advocates very moderate use of fat in the diet, would take the time to develop a full-fat homemade vegan buttery spread.
           
About 2 1/2 years ago (was it really that long ago?) a woman whom I have admired from afar for years wrote to me. Her name is Kay Bushnell and I have read her vegan cooking column, Cooking Green, in the Loma Prietan Sierra Club Newsletter for years. Kay asked me if there was an alternative to vegan margarines utilizing palm oil and outlined the reasons why she was asking.
           
I’m ashamed to admit that it took me so long to act on what Kay was telling me. However, I never forgot about what Kay told me, or her request. When 2012 arrived, with my new book finally launched, I decided that this would be my first project for the New Year, and I wrote to Kay to let her know that I was committing to developing an alternative product. She signed on as a tester, and I later recruited a few more.
           
I have been working on this recipe since the beginning of January 2012. I wanted it to look and taste and behave much like dairy butter. I wanted to be able to use it in baking. I wanted it to be easy and quick to make, with minimal equipment required. I wanted it to cost no more than the most popular vegan margarine.  I wanted options to make it with organic and even fair trade ingredient. And I wanted—no, required-- it to have a healthy balance of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, with the monounsaturated fat playing the starring role—and that meant that my recipe  would NOT be coconut oil-based.

I’m happy to say that I have succeeded on all counts! Organic fair trade cocoa butter mixed with oil high in monounsaturated fat proved to be the answer, along with a few other simple ingredients. (You can read about the qualities of cocoa butter in the material below.) I tested it in vegan icing, pie crust, cake, scones and biscuits, with no problems at all.

Buttah is really delicious and has not only proved itself in the baking department, but has passed the taste-test with two picky 12-year-old granddaughters (not vegan), a table-full of omni dinner guests who nearly finished off a whole batch, and a mixed bag of tasters at a cocktail party. So, I’m proud to put my name on a homemade product which, as Erik Marcus of vegan.com says, is “… a butter recipe capable of destroying your cravings for dairy products.”  

YOU WON’T FIND THE ACTUAL RECIPE HERE ON THIS BLOG, THOUGH….
Erik Marcus of vegan.com has provided me with a platform larger than my own to introduce my recipe to the vegan community-- here is the recipe link. But, before you jump over there, please read on: Though the recipe itself is simple and quick to make, you’ll have greater success with it if you read the information I have compiled right here at this post (below) concerning  ingredients, molds and equipment, where to purchase them, nutrition, and fat breakdown. Also, at the end of this post is material on the palm oil question and the threat to orangutans.

So, good readers, you can go to vegan.com for the recipe and get started, but please read the following important info on this page (**and this link contains the recipe and all the info on this page, in printable format**)...


Photo by Christina Hoheisel 

(A BIG “THANK YOU”, BTW to Mattie at veganbaking.net for his ground-breaking recipe for "Vegan Butter", which provided a launching pad for developing my own recipe. Mattie provides so many details about how butter works and how the ingredients in his recipe work. I was aiming for a product with much less saturated fat, but his work was invaluable.)


**COOKING TIPS AND IMPORTANT INFO**
NOTE: It saves time and effort if you make double or triple the recipe at one time and freeze most of it (double-wrapped)-- it doesn't keep as long in the refrigerator as real butter or margarine.


FOR MOLDING YOUR BUTTAH:
The Buttah pops out of  silicone molds easily. With glass or plastic molds or containers, if you want to unmold the Buttah rather than use it straight from the container in which it was chilled, you must dip the bottom of the mold into a bowl of very hot water for a few seconds and then hope it will slide out without melting the product too much!
           
A good mold for Buttah is the Tovolo King silicone ice cube tray that makes approximately 1/2-cup-square-cubes (the recipe will fill 4 1/2 of the 6 cubes).  Another is the Wilton Easy Flex Silicone Four Cavity Mini Loaf PanOr use 4 large silicone muffin cup liners.


Wilton Easy Flex Silicone Four Cavity Mini Loaf Pan



the Tovolo King silicone ice cube tray

If you prefer small portions, use 6 medium-sized silicone muffin cup liners, or 12 mini silicone muffin cup liners. Another possibility might be this 12-cavity silicone dessert bar pan. Or you can use a muffin pan with medium cups, lined with baking parchment "tulip" baking cup liners (which you can fold over the top once they're set, and store like that in a storage container or zipper-lock bag); or  baking parchment baking cup liners, largemedium or mini in the appropriate-sized muffin pan.


Silicone Dessert Bar Pan
COSTING BUTTAH:  
I can't give you an exact amount, as it's hard to figure out the cost of  2 tsp. lecithin, 1/2 tsp. guar gum, 1/8 tsp. turmeric, and 1/2 tsp of  lemon juice (can't be much for those things!), but calculating cost using deodorized organic, fair trade cocoa butter at $13 lb. (to include shipping) from Chocolate Alchemy (see below), and organic oil at about 32 cents a fluid ounce (going by prices when purchased in larger amounts online) this recipe (a bit over over a lb.) would cost under $6. (If you use non-deodorized organic fair trade cocoa butter it can be as low as $3.75 for the recipe.

To compare, organic butter is over $7.00 per lb. where I live and (non-organic) Earth Balance, in my town or online in Canada, is between $5.49 and over $6. So, I'm happy with what it costs me to make, especially considering how easy it is to make. (If you don’t care about using organic oil and lecithin, it will be cheaper, of course.) Canadian and US dollars go up and down, so this is sort of a combination of both. If you belong to a food coop, you can save on the cost many of the ingredients (and perhaps share cases with friends).

COCOA BUTTER:
“Cocoa butter is the ivory-colored natural fat of the cocoa bean extracted during the manufacturing process of producing chocolate and cocoa powder. It has a very subtle mellow flavor that gives chocolate its creamy smooth, melt-in-your-mouth texture…Cocoa butter is solid at room temperature but it has a low melting point (just below body temperature) and it does change from a solid to a liquid quickly (i.e. sharp melting point).” Source
           
The qualities of cocoa butter make it perfect for my recipe—I can use more oil than cocoa butter and it will stay solid on your dinner table, spread well, and have a creamy mouth-feel. “About 36% of the fat in the cocoa bean is "good fat" — either mono- or polyunsaturated fat, of which, oleic acid (the fatty acid also abundant in olive oil) makes up the largest proportion.” Source Cocoa butter also contains antioxidants that prevent rancidity. Source


Diced cocoa butter
WHY USE FAIR TRADE COCOA BUTTER?        
I was taken aback when, some years ago, I learned that much of the world's chocolate was produced not only by very underpaid and badly-treated workers in Africa, but by children in virtual slavery. For me to have my chocolate hit?  No, no, no!
           
I understood that organic agriculture is not only better for the planet, but better for the workers. But chocolate slavery?  This was truly disturbing. I did what I always do-- researched. Here is some of what I found out:
           
1.) Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) farms produce nearly half the world's cocoa (and 75 % of North America's chocolate), most of which is used by major corporations like Hershey, M&M/Mars, and Nestle.
           
2.) About 90 percent of Ivory Coast cocoa plantations used slave labour when the BBC documentary "Slavery" was made. Most are young men and boys from impoverished areas in Benin, Togo and Mali. They are enticed by traffickers who promise them (or their parents) paid work, housing and an education. Instead, they are sold to Ivory Coast cocoa plantation owners who beat them into submission and offer no pay for gruelling, 18-hour days.
           
3.) Big companies, like Nestle, purchase their cocoa on international exchanges where cocoa from Ivory Coast is mixed with cocoa from other countries and loses its identity as a slave-made product. Video to watch: 
http://youtu.be/ZNpwIzeyjKQ
           
4.) If chocolate manufacturers don't respond to consumer pressure, Anti Slavery
International recommends:  "In the absence of industry action, the only way consumers can be confident the produce they use is free from exploited labour is by buying products which carry a fair trade label.
           
Cheap chocolate is probably slavery chocolate and cocoa butter comes from chocolate. It's a luxury, so let's be prepared to pay fair prices for fair trade. This applies not only to the chocolate and cocoa we eat and cook and bake with, but to cocoa butter and cocoa butter products, including cosmetics and toiletries.

WHERE TO BUY DEODORIZED ORGANIC FAIR TRADE COCOA BUTTER:
I discovered that all deodorized cocoa butter is steam-deodorized, and NOT deodorized with chemicals. (Here is an article explaining the process of deodorizing cocoa butter.)  Deodorized cocoa butter does not taste or smell like chocolate, so that is the one most of my tasters and testers preferred in Buttah. However, some of us liked it quite well with either one, so I have listed places to buy both kinds.

I’ve been buying my deodorized organic, fair trade cocoa butter from the Eugene, Oregon-based vendor , Chocolate Alchemy. When you order 8 lbs. at a time (order 5 lbs, 2 lbs, and 1 lb together), it comes to a little over $13 lb. because the shipping is the same price for 8 lbs. as it is for 1 lb.
           
Chocolate Alchemy 1 lb for $ 9.50; 2 lbs for $ 18.00; 5 lb for $ 44.00 (I paid $71.50  for 8 lbs., $106 including shipping to Canada.) Shipping to Canada-- the price and shipping cost is so reasonable that it’s worth the extra shipping for Canadians

A Canadian online vendor who sells organic Fair Trade Deodorized Cocoa Butter: 
5 lbs.: 84.99 Cnd (16.99 per lb.) + shipping

WHERE TO BUY ORGANIC FAIR TRADE NON-DEODORIZED COCOA BUTTER (Your health food store also may carry it.)

Canada:
Essential Aura $25.00 for 1 Kg (2.2 lbs) + Shipping; $15.00 for 1 lb. + shipping-- see other prices and sizes at link. (If you buy 8.8 k the shipping is free and it comes to only $4.50 per lb.)
           
USA: 
Mountain Rose Herbs $13.75 lb.+ shipping (other prices and sizes at link)

Frontier Coop 4 oz. for $4.99 + shipping (only in 4 oz. jars)
International Organics 1 lb. Bag - Conuco Reserve $12.99 + shipping 

Natural Zing: 
(2.5 lbs) $22.50 plus shipping
(1 lb) $10 to $12, plus shipping. Also available in 5 or 10 lb weights.

Green Lifestyles $12  lb.

NOTE: Food grade organic cocoa butter, lecithin, and oils are often available online from organic soap and cosmetic suppliers.

RECOMMENDED TYPES OF OIL TO USE IN BUTTAH:
 You can use ordinary supermarket canola oil, but High-Heat Canola, High Oleic (High-Heat) Safflower Oil or High Oleic (High-Heat) Sunflower Oil contain the most monounsaturated fats of common cooking oils. See the Spectrum Organics page on oils and click on the details for each oil you're interested in. Most North American health food stores and supermarkets carry Spectrum Organics oils. But some of these oils (not necessarily Spectrum brand) may be available online in larger quantities than in health food stores and supermarkets, and therefore lower prices, or you may be able to purchase them through a food coop for less.
           
Olive oil is one of my favorite oils and is high in monounsaturated fat. But it also has a distinctive taste that I don’t like in this recipe. There are other oils high in monounsaturated oils that would be tasty in this recipe and you are welcome to use them if you can afford them: including hazelnut oil, avocado oil, and almond oil.

WHY USE OILS HIGH IN MONOUNSATURATED FAT?
I wanted my spread to be low in saturated fat and useful both as a spread and in cooking and baking, which is why I recommend the oils that I do. I don’t have the space to elaborate much on this issue, but here are a few words of wisdom from two vegan registered dietitians.
           
“One thing we know (more or less for certain) is that replacing saturated fat in the diet with poly- or monounsaturated fat lowers blood cholesterol just as much as removing all fats from the diet. And there is evidence that eating more unsaturated fat is better as far as heart disease is concerned.” Read the rest of this article on fats in the vegan diet by Ginny Messina, RD 
           
Butter, palm oil, and coconut oil are high in saturated fats. Contrary to what you might have read on the internet, these fats do not contain any magical nutrients or qualities, and even if they did, I would regard them as a poor way to ingest them because fats are primarily just…fat, and, like sugars (natural or otherwise), contain only trace amounts nutrients. There are better ways to get your nutrition. Some oils high in polyunsaturated fats and therefore unstable at high heats, such as flax, borage, etc., do contain essential omega-3 fatty acids, but they are best used uncooked or in foods cooked at low heat.           
           
 “…olive oil, organic canola oil, and high oleic sunflower or safflower oil that contain mostly monounsaturated fats are more stable when heated and are your best choice for cooking and baking.” Brenda Davis, RD Oils high in polyunsaturated fats, however, are not so heat-stable and can be damaged in cooking.


Where to Buy Larger Quantities of High-Heat or High-Oleic Oils Online:
I could only find the following bargains online—you might find more with a little more digging than I had time for.
High-Oleic (High-Heat) Sunflower Oil (Canada) 4 L for  $26.95 + Shipping

Organic High-Oleic (High-Heat) Sunflower Oil (Canada) 4 L for $37.25 + shipping

Organic High-Oleic (High-Heat) Sunflower Oil (USA) $7.28 for 16 ounces (this vendor offers free shipping in the USA for orders over $49)

Organic High-Oleic (High-Heat) Safflower Oil (USA)  $7.61 for 16 ounces (this vendor offers free shipping in the USA for orders over $49)

BUTTAH  NUTRITION FACTS USING OTHER OILS THAN HIGH-HEAT CANOLA:
           
Nutritionals for Buttah made with High-Heat Canola Oil are directly below the recipe at vegan.com; here are the nutritionals for Buttah using the other oils I mentioned:
           
Supermarket canola oil:
Nutrition (per Tbsp): 84 calories; 9.5g total fat; Saturated Fat 2.28g; Monounsaturated Fat 4.61g; Polyunsaturated Fat 2.03g; 0.0mg cholesterol; 54mg sodium; 3.7mg potassium; 0.2g carbohydrates; 0.1g fiber; 0.1g sugar; 0.1g net carbs; 0.1g protein; 2.5 points
           
High oleic 70% safflower oil:
Nutrition (per Tbsp): 84 calories; 9.5g total fat; Saturated Fat 2.23g; Monounsaturated Fat 5.56g; Polyunsaturated Fat 1.11g; 0.0mg cholesterol; 54mg sodium; 3.7mg potassium; 0.2g carbohydrates; 0.1g fiber; 0.1g sugar; 0.1g net carbs; 0.1g protein; 2.5 points                                    
           
High oleic 70 % sunflower oil:
Nutrition (per Tbsp): 84 calories; 9.5g total fat; Saturated Fat 2.45g; Monounsaturated Fat 6.10g; Polyunsaturated Fat 0.47g; 0.0mg cholesterol; 54mg sodium; 3.7mg potassium; 0.2g carbohydrates; 0.1g fiber; 0.1g sugar; 0.1g net carbs; 0.1g protein; 2.5 points.

COMPARISON CHART OF SOLID FATS
1 Tbs.
Coconut oil, Natural
Cocoa Butter
Earth Balance Buttery   Spread
Earth Balance Stick (Non-hydrogenated
shortening)
VegBaking Homemade   Vegan Butter (made with coconut oil)
Bryanna’s Vegan “Buttah” using high-heat canola oil
Butter
Calories
120
120
100
130
90
84
101
Calories from Fat
120
120
100
130
88.65
82.55
101
Total Fat
13.6  g
13.6 g
11 g
14 g
10.29 g
9.5 g
11.5 g
Sat. Fat
11.8  g
8  g
3.50 g
5  g
7.95 g
1.9 g
7.29 g
Mono. Fat
0.79  g
4.47 g
3.50 g
5  g
1.09 g
5.9 g
2.98 g
Poly. Fat
0.35  g
0.40 g
3.50 g
3  g
0.60 g
1.13 g
0.43 g
Trans Fat & Cholesterol
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
I used Living Cookbook Software, and consulted the USDA Nutrient Database, for nutrition facts.

As a FURTHER comparison:

1 Tablespoon Lard contains:
Calories: 115
Calories from fat: 115
Total fat: 12.8 g
Saturated Fat: 5.02 g
Monunsaturated fat: 5.77 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 1.43 g
Trans Fat: 0
Cholesterol: 12.16 mg
and 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil contains:
Calories: 119.34
Calories from Fat: 119.34
Total Fat: 13.50g
Saturated Fat: 1.82g
Monunsaturated Fat: 9.98g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.25g
Trans Fat: 0
Cholesterol: 0

XANTHAN GUM OR GUAR GUM?
Xanthan gum is quite a bit more expensive than guar gum, and is also corn-based, for those who may be concerned about that. Health food stores usually sell these vegetable gums in the allergy foods section, and they can be ordered online easily. I have found that, for most purposes, guar gum works as well as xanthan gum.

LIQUID LECITHIN:
For a Soy-Free Buttah-- Organic Sunflower Liquid Lecithin:  
Upaya Naturals (This is a Canadian site, but they sell to Americans, too.)
bluemountainorganics.com (USA) (raw liquid lecithin)

Organic Liquid Soy Lecithin:
Mountain Rose Herbs (This is a US site, but they ship internationally.)
MyWorldHut.com (US site)

           AND NOW, ABOUT THAT PALM OIL QUESTION…

OIL PALM CULTIVATION AND THE THREAT TO ORANGUTANS:
As I mentioned above, Kay Bushnell wrote to me:
I am writing to share my concerns about palm oil and to hope that you might consider using a palm oil-free shortening or margarine in its place. You have outstanding recipes and have a lot of influence with vegans, who are generally assumed to be sensitive to animal suffering and environmental degradation. At the same time, we vegan cooks want to use fats that make the lightest, tastiest possible baked goods. Unfortunately, everything I have read indicates that there is no guarantee that any palm oil is sustainably produced at this time. There is no widely used accreditation agency that rigorously investigates palm oil production.
           
The region where palm oil is produced (Malaysia, Indonesia, Borneo) is rife with corruption, bribery, and government officials who are involved in the palm oil industry. The National Geographic Magazine had a restrained expose of the problem in its Nov. 2008 issue…
           
“The suffering of the orangutans and other wildlife due to palm oil production is heartbreaking. Orangutans and at least 3 other native mammals are expected to go extinct this century due to habitat loss and being killed due to the expansion of oil palm plantations. One can view the suffering orangutans in the startling images of Sean Whyte of the Center for Orangutan Protection at http://naturealert.blogspot.com. Even though palm oil is not an animal product itself, it causes the death and suffering of vulnerable animals. They are caught in the midst of rampant profiteering from palm oil production in countries where officials who could protect them often have ties to the palm oil industry. In the end, when the palm oil boom is over the animals will likely be gone.” You can read more about the issue here.

My own research:
I realize that there has been some controversy about this issue and I'm certainly not trying to wipe vegan margarine off the map-- I hope that companies will change their ingredients with time. (There’s some hope for that-- there is a brand of palm-oil-free brand in Australia.)
           
But my research gives me enough reason to be concerned enough to err on the side of caution. "… Everywhere that palm is grown– very much including Peninsular Malaysia– involves clear cutting rainforest and planting massive monoculture plantations– with serious consequences for both endangered species (the tapir lives in Peninsular Malaysia.. does it deserve to go extinct?) and the climate. It also involves displacing communities off their traditionally owned land, which regularly occurs in Peninsular Malaysia. Particularly in Peninsular Malaysia, migrant workers from Indonesia and India are forced into modern day slavery, forced to work for minuscule wages while paying back the companies for their their transportation from their country of origin. It’s a wreck." Source (The comments to the article are worth reading, too.) 
           
Unfortunately, when there is such a huge market for a product coming from third world countries, it’s difficult to know if it is truly sustainable. Kudos to the fair trade activists who have worked so hard with chocolate producers so that we can obtain fair trade cocoa butter!
           
Looking for information, I found smear tactics going on against such organizations as The Palm Oil Truth Foundation. 1.) No footnotes, just put-downs of Green Peace, etc.; 2.)  The author writes: "My nutrition and health views follow those of The Weston A. Price Foundation and Real Milk.com."; 3.) some purple prose here, and some competing evidence here; 4.) and this from the WAP Foundation itself.
           
I'm afraid that I’m suspicious of the motives of the above groups. In defence of the exploding oil palm industry, most of these articles parrot the "look at the soy and corn that is being grown in deforested areas" line, with no mention that these crops are grown primarily for feeding livestock and for biofuel (as is palm oil, and the palm refuse, I have just learned, is also used feed to livestock).  
           
All of these groups (and many more) have either an interest in the product, or have a Weston A. Price bias. Personally, I see no reason why orangutan
conservation groups would make this up-- they have no monetary interest.

If you are concerned with the issues very briefly outlined above (more links below), I hope that this recipe will help you to break the palm oil habit. But let’s keep writing to our favorite vegan companies to ask them to consider other ingredients and other formulas for not only margarine, but other commercial foods as well.

More reading:
"Unilever is the world's biggest buyer of palm oil with a yearly consumption of 1.3 billion tons and has been associated with rain forest destruction in the last years in Indonesia through their palm oil suppliers. One of them, Wilmar International, operating 600.000 hectares of palm oil plantations on Sumatra and Borneo, is well-known for illegal rain forest destruction and violation of human rights. Boycott Unilever!" 
           
More from http://www.eatnoshit.org/: “Starting in Fairtrade Fortnight (27 February – 11 March 2012), the Fairtrade Foundation is challenging the public to take a step in the right direction by thinking about what they can do in 2012 to make a difference to the lives of farmers in the developing world who produce the products we buy. Six out of ten consumers in the UK (59%) believe their own shopping choices can make a real difference to the lives of farmers and workers in poorer countries and four out of five (83%) say that they look to companies they deal with to help in reducing poverty through the way they do business. Learn more about the Fairtrade Fortnight!”
           
The new Greenpeace report, "Caught Red-Handed: How Nestlé Use of Palm Oil is Destroying Rainforests and the Climate" exposes how Nestlé is sourcing palm oil from suppliers, which continue to expand into virgin rainforests and carbon-rich peat lands, including habitat critical for endangered orangutans. Nestlé suppliers include the controversial Sinar Mas group, Indonesia’s largest producer of palm oil. Nestlé is using palm oil from destroyed Indonesian rainforests and peat lands in popular products like Nestlé CrunchCoffeeMate, and PowerBar. Nestlé, the world’s leading food and drink company, is a major consumer of palm oil. In the last three years, its annual use has almost doubled, with 320,000 tons of palm oil going into a range of products, including some of its most popular brands.  Send email: Give the orang-utan a break. Watch the video Have a break? from Greenpeace UK on Vimeo.

http://ran.org/palm-oil

Green, the film 






http://youtu.be/1NAYWHb-xaU



Thank you for your patience in waiting for the recipe and in wading through the information.  I sincerely hope that you enjoy making and using Buttah!

Photo by Christina Hoheisel  (PS: Christina not only did a fantastic job photographing the Buttah, but went out and found the ingredients, ordered the molds and tackled the recipe, mastering it on the first try!  Thank you so much, Christina!)

43 comments:

Dawn said...

Awesome! Thank you so much for this info!

Sarah Joyce said...

The Buttah is here!! I am blown away by your research capabilities and incredible food knowledge. You are both a scientist and an artist...and generous to boot. This Buttah is truly divine and healthy. Kudos Bryanna!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for all your hard work on this and everything over the years, too! What would we do without you? Can't wait to try the buttah. You can be proud of yourself for how thorough you have been! Lily Winter

Jeannie said...

Thank you so much for your continuing research and work on all things vegan. This post was amazingly well documented, for which I thank you.

I am sharing this information with my vegan meetup group.

Andrea said...

Thank you, Bryanna, for all the thought and care that went into creating the recipe, and for sharing the links and work that influenced your ingredient choices.

Christina said...

You're so very welcome, Bryanna! Thank YOU for this amazing recipe! Honestly, the Buttah turned out so well on the first try because you have perfected the recipe to a science!

Sarah said...

Hi! I'm so excited to try this! I've made Mattie's version and while it is great it's a little too hard for spreading. One question - is the lecithin required? We can do soy nor sunflower due to my sons allergies. Is there a sub I can use? Thanks in advance!

Christina said...

You're so welcome, Bryanna! Thank YOU for this amazing recipe! Honestly, the Buttah turned out so well on the first try because you have perfected this recipe to a science!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I can't wait to try it!
Krista

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Sarah, I think the lecithin definitely helps the product. Did you use it in Mattie's version? Also, could you ask your doctor if that tiny bit of lecithin in a product you don't eat gobs of would hurt your son? Technically, lecithin is a fatty acid and may not contain the substances in the plants that cause the problem. It's worth asking, anyway.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Sarah, I just found this: "There is no need to avoid soy lecithin No 322. Research studies show that most people with soy allergy can safely eat soy lecithin and soyabean oil." It's from http://kidshealth.chw.edu.au/fact-sheets/soy-free-diet the website of The Children's Hospital at
Westmead NSW Australia
A bit more:
"Lecithin is a lipid, or fatty substance, found in all living cells, especially cell membranes, composed of natural, nutritive phosphorus-containing biochemicals."
I should have noted that lecithin is present and can be obtained from other foods (natural sources of lecithin also include canola, egg yolk, wheat germ, legumes, yeast, peanuts and wheat germ, among others). So, again, perhaps lecithin from soy or sunflower would not be a problem. Also, you could inform your doctor that 2 tsp. of lecithin is distributed (in the recipe) through 108 tsp. of the Buttah, so it is a minute amount.

Carolyn said...

Oh boy. First, thanks for this recipe, Bryanna. Of course I JUST bought a 45 oz. tub of Earth Balance a few days ago, and it will take a long time for me to go through that. And it will probably be the last, unless Earth Balance comes up with a new formula.

I went to the link you provided for the Melrose spread, and will write to Earth Balance to let them know I will be suspending purchase until the formula changes, or they are able to guarantee a non-destructive source for palm oil (will share the Melrose link with them also). In the meantime, home-made will work just fine!

I've had Mattie's recipe for quite some time now and even bought silicone molds and a supply of refined coconut oil to start making butter at home. Because I've got the ingredients ready to go for his recipe, I will try that one first, and then your cocoa butter recipe, as cocoa butter is a little too much "ouch!" for the budget right now! Will keep an eye out for a deal, though...

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Thanks, Carolyn! But, I have found that, even with shipping, to Canada, making Buttah with the Chocolate Alchemy (see my ingredient resources) deodorized organic, fair trade cocoa butter keeps the cost about the same as Earth Balance. And, since it can be mixed successfully with much more oil that the other recipe, the fat breakdown is much healthier.

Sarah said...

Hi Bryanna,

Thanks so much for your response! Unfortunately he has reacted to both soy and sunflower lecithins :( I didn't use them when I made Mattie's version but wondered if that was why the butter wasn't spreadable. If they were for emulsifying, I found that I had no problem without them - the water/oil never separated. I'm going to give this a try with my regular cocoa butter before I order the deodorized cocoa - while I live chocolate, sometimes I would prefer a savory spread! Thanks again!

Sarah said...

I'm so excited the recipe is finally out! I've been eagerly anticipating this since you first mentioned it a few months back. I'm hoping you will decide to sell this in stores or work with someone who wants to make that happen, so that the less kitchen ambitious have access to a trans fat and palm oil free option (that doesn't taste like coconut). Thanks for the info on non-fair trade chocolate, I'm really glad to know that and will be buying fair trade exclusively in the future.

Lorelei said...

This is truly fantastic, and I can't wait to make my first batch!

About the milk...I make my own soy milk and I really try to avoid buying packages from the store. Is it possible to just add sugar to the recipe?

Thanks again!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

ILorelei, I make my own soymilk, too, and I add 2 tablespoons organic sugar and 3/8-1/2 tsp. salt to each batch (of 1 1/2 qts.). This comes to 3 g sugar per cup. Dairy milk contains contains 12 g! (Sodium is about the same).

So, if you don't add it to the milk itself, you could add 1/2 tsp. unbleached sugar to the recipe.

KateM said...

Hi Bryanna, thanks so much for this recipe and all of the fantastic info on your site! Right now I have coconut oil and would have to wait for shipment of cocoa butter but would like to make this ASAP rather than buy more Earth Balance. Could I make your recipe with the same measure of coconut? Or, should I just try the other recipe for the time being?
Thanks again!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Thanks, KateM! I don't think it would be firm enough with coconut oil. The coconut oil is softer than cocoa butter to start with, and the cocoa butter has pretty amazing qualities of firming!

Sarah said...

Wow - I just made this without lecithin and it turned out wonderfully! I'm so excited how this is actually spreadable at room temp! I used hemp milk and regular cocoa butter but now I'm off to order deodorized cocoa! Thanks for this recipe and for all of the info!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I have a couple of questions. First, I don't own an immersion blender and I don't really have many uses for one since I have a Vitamix. So, can this be blended in my Vitamix at the lower speeds? Second, has anyone tested Buttah in a "buttercream" frosting recipe? I think before I experiment with another vegan butter that I have to lay out some cash to make, I'd like to know if it makes good frosting. Thanks!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Anonymous, yes, you can use a Vitamix at low speed, but watch it carefully and stop it as soon as it gets thick and emulsified (though, as I tell you in the recipe, you can still save it if it "breaks"). I just recommend using an immersion blender if you have one because it works well and is easy to clean-- and also because, if you have no blender of any kind, it's the cheapest to buy.

It works perfectly in buttercream!

Lesley said...

Hi Bryanna! thank you so much for this recipe. I can't wait to try this. I have two questions for you. Until I can get deodorized cocoa butter, I have on hand raw cacao butter. Can I use this as an alternative? My second question is about soy lecithin. I have a large quantity of soy lecithin granules. Do you recommend using this as a substitute for the liquid until I deplete this stash? If I can substitute it, what would be the measurement? thank you again.! I am a long-time fan of yours!! Your generosity and talent are seriously appreciated in my family!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Bryanna! thank you so much for this recipe. I can't wait to try this. I have two questions for you. Until I can get deodorized cocoa butter, I have on hand raw cacao butter. Can I use this as an alternative? My second question is about soy lecithin. I have a large quantity of soy lecithin granules. Do you recommend using this as a substitute for the liquid until I deplete this stash? If I can substitute it, what would be the measurement? thank you again.! I am a long-time fan of yours!! Your generosity and talent are seriously appreciated in my family!!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Hi, Lesley! Yes, you can use raw cocoa butter, but be aware that it will have a chocolate aroma and slight taste, which some people don't like in this recipe. You can use 2 1/4 tsp. lecithin granules instead of the liquid, but I found it inconsistent in quality. Mix it in with the hot melted cocoa butter before adding everything else.

Kitchen Shaman said...

Thank you for posting this recipe. I have great resources to obtain the ingredients involved. I'm excited to try this, and hope to report back with success.
The political/ecological information is invaluable. I wonder about cocont oil as well?
Thank you for all your hard work.

Lesa said...

This is what happens when compassion meets innovation! I use to make pie crusts from Crisco, but stopped b/c it contains palm oil. PO is even in Spectrum's shortening, altho they claim from "sustainable" sources. My pet peeve is a good pie crust - the really dry, flaky, melt-in-your-mouth kind (usually made from either shortening or lard, neither of which I use). Any idea the nature of pie crust made w/Buttah? I suppose there's really only one way to find out! Thank you.

Brenda W. said...

Hi Bryanna ... I just made up my first batch of Buttah and cannot get over how quick and easy it is to mix up!!

One question: my batch emulsified almost immediately ... like within a second or two of turning on my immersion blender. But you talked about blending it for "a couple of minutes".

I was afraid of overbeating it, but I did blend it for maybe 45 seconds or so. Does it become thicker as you blend it? When I stopped blending, it was thick and opaque, with a consistency of a smoothie.

Anyway, I just took it out of the freezer and wrapped up the 3 pieces I made, so I guess it is fine!! I'm going to make up some cornbread and try this out!! But what I tasted when I licked my fingers had a great taste!

Mattie said...

Great work Bryanna! I love how you used deodorized cocoa butter due to its beneficial ratio of monounsaturated fats to saturated fats. It's interesting to see that you can achieve a good texture with a smaller amount of cocoa butter too. The fat analysis of various vegan butters including mine is also fascinating! I can't wait to try your version!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Mattie, I'm so honored that you commented here! Thank you so much for all your wonderful research!!

Sarah said...

Hi! I just wondered if the recipe changed...I made this a few weeks ago and I could have swore it said about 1 cup melted cocoa butter (last time 109g wasn't enough so I had to add more to make the 1 cup melted). I just tried this recipe again and the consistency is much different (I used 109g and it made about 1/2 cup melted). Like a pp, it's like a smoothie. I'm eager to see how it is after freezing! I was hoping you could help me feel like I'm not crazy for thinking I needed the 1 cup melted! Thx!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Sarah, It did change-- see Important Note at the top of the page. That's because I've discovered, from others and for myself when making this at my cousin's house, that the cup measurement varies. I don't understand how 109 g came to 1/2 cup melted. It has come to 1 cup at home, and 3/4 cup at my cousin's house, but we just went with that-- didn't melt any more cocoa butter-- and it worked perfectly. So I have concluded (and a professional chef agrees with me) that it's the weight that matters. Let me know how it works after freezing, please!

Sarah said...

Thanks for your response yet again! I don't know how I missed the note! So sorry that I should have looked at the top of the page!

It came out of the freezer just fine - it was much softer than my first batch, but I guess that's obvious since I was using double the amount of cocoa butter! I think my last batch was harder like butter, whereas this is more like margarine, which I think might make a softer buttercream which would be great. I might make the harder version for crumbles or sugar cookies. I'm just happy to know that this latest batch is in fact how it's supposed to be! Thanks so much again!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Sarah, I'm so glad it worked! BTW, are you sure that your scale is reliable? Just a thought.

Also, did you see this in the recipe?
"If for some reason you blended too long and the emulsified mixture “broke” (became liquid-y, as shown in the photo below), it’s okay—you can save it: stir each mold or container of Buttah mixture briefly with a mini-whisk before placing in the freezer. Then whisk it again every 10 minutes or so for about 30 minutes, putting it back into the freezer each time—or until it starts to firm up and look creamier."

Sarah said...

I'll check my scale but I think it's ok!

Thanks for the note about it being too liquidy - that happened to me when I first tried Mattie's version. My cocoa butter was too hot. So now I melt it then let it cool to room temp (while still liquid) and blend then. It emulsifies very quickly and doesn't break with the heat of the blender. My latest was the same consistency of a vegan becel while my first batch was a bit harder than earth balance.

I'm just so happy for your recipes! Even if my son outgrows all of the ingredients that are in earth balance, I will still make this from now on! It's awesome!

Lorelei said...

Thanks for the info about the sugar! Do you know which mold was used for the photos? I like that size and want to produce the same!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Lorelei, I just write to the photographer-- I'll let you know!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Lorelei, she used the Wilton Easy Flex Silicone Four Cavity Mini Loaf Pan-- 1st photo of a mold above--
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000VQ8EF6/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=vegfeakit-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B000VQ8EF6

Lorelei said...

Thank you so much!

Holly said...

Bryanna, I really like this butter. I just made zucchini bread with it, and it turned out awesome. I find that I like it better without the turmeric. Now I just need a palm oil free shortening recipe:) Thanks for all your hard work. There are a lot of people listening and following you.

Sara said...

Bryanna - I cannot have regular cocoa butter. Do you know if the recipe can be made with non-dairy cocoa butter?

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Sara, I'm not sure what you mean by "regular cocoa butter"-- perhaps white chocolate? Real cocoa butter IS dairy-free; it's just the fat from cocoa beans. Please read above for where to buy and various types.

Denise said...

I haven't tried it yet so can't vouch for the flavor, but I found an organic sunflower lecithin at http://www.mysunflowerlecithin.com/100-organic-liquid-sunflower-lecithin/#content. I don't believe the Love Raw Foods brand sunflower lecithen is organic even though it's sold by bluemountainorganics.