I saw the most inspiring documentary last year called Game Changers. It made me so happy to see how much our world is revising the way it eats. People from main-stream sectors are turning to plant-based diets. You don’t need to be an old hippie or fanatic anymore to find your place with meatless and dairy-free cuisine.
The movie convincingly illustrates the powerful benefits to health and our planet’s ecology by reducing and eliminating the consumption of animal-derived food. Thus, I am thinking every day more people will be seeking delicious alternatives. Naturally, it isn’t easy to give up the foods you have enjoyed for years. That is why I have worked so hard to come up with the Ultimate Plant-Based Butter recipe. It has all the palate-pleasing attributes butter lovers desire.
After many revisions and refinements, I’ve come up with a dairy-free alternative that slices, flakes, melts, and bakes just like dairy butter. Plus, this fantastic plant-based condiment doesn’t have the additives or margarine-like consistency of vegan spreads sold at the store.
When I was creating this recipe, I would think of the fresh butter I had many years ago in Switzerland. The creamy flavors in this plant-based marvel are as pure as those pristine alps and green meadows I remember. It starts with a hint of sweetness. As the silky butter begins to melt in your mouth, a delicate, fresh, grassy flavor from hemp milk is revealed. Lactic acid from sugar beets gives that kiss of tang that cultured butter has. Finally, the finish is Himalayan pink salt vanishing on the tongue. The recipe is indistinguishable from dairy butter in baked goods and scrumptious dishes like these Sweet Lemon Blueberry Scones or Roasted Beets & Greens Crostini.
Are you a butter lover that has been disappointed with vegan butter recipes that contain coconut oil? Then you’ll be happy to know I have left the coconut oil out. To me, that was an important choice. That’s because, on my palate, even refined unscented coconut oil leaves a detectable taste. I love my coconut flavors, but prefer them in curry, homemade coconut yogurt, and desserts.
Instead, clean-tasting organic vegetable shortening provides this butter’s base. It improves the texture in a way that coconut oil can’t. But most importantly, its neutral quality allows all the subtle flavors mentioned above to take front and center stage. The organic vegetable shortening used in this recipe is derived from GMO-free pure palm oil. Organizations like Rain Forest Alliance and RSPO, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, are working with producers to ensure that the environment, as well as animal and human rights are protected in the harvesting of palm oil.
RSPO has made a great start in creating meaningful certification, but it is a big job to tackle. Thankfully, as consumers, we can do our own research and make thoughtful choices about what companies to buy vegetable shortening from. My highest vote goes to brands that support small farms in places like Colombia rather than Indonesia. That way there isn’t the threat to Orangutans or deforestation which has been devastating in Malaysia and Indonesia.
At last, butter can be a win from every angle. My Ultimate Plant-Based Butter looks, tastes, cooks, and feels heavenly. Go ahead and indulge.
Ultimate Plant-Based Butter Recipe
- 2 cups sustainably farmed, non-hydrogenated pure palm oil shortening
- 1/4 cup expeller pressed avocado oil
- 2 TB hemp hearts
- 3/4 cup filtered or spring water
- 1 1/2 tsp. raw sugar
- 1 3/4 tsp. Himalayan pink salt
- 1/2 tsp. Druids Grove lactic acid powder
- 3/8 tsp. unrefined red palm oil optional for color
- If palm oil shortening is semi-solid, place in a bowl over a pot of simmering water. Let melt while making and flavoring hemp milk. Stir palm oil occasionally until it is pourable, but not warmer than room temperature. Whisk avocado oil into melted palm oil until mixture is smooth.
Make Hemp Milk
- Place water and hemp hearts in a blender. Blend on high for 2 minutes. Lay a large handkerchief or square of thin cotton fabric over a bowl. Pour hemp milk in, and carefully gather top. Squeeze and wring until all the liquid is extracted. Toss out pulp.
Flavor Hemp Milk
- Rinse and drain blender. Return hemp milk to blender. Add salt, sugar, lactic acid and red palm oil. Measure accurately for optimal flavor. Blend on medium until color is uniform.
- With blender running on medium speed, pour the whisked oils into the center of hemp milk. As the mixture thickens, turn blender speed up. Stop as soon as all the ingredients are evenly mixed. Using a spatula, scrape sides of butter mixture towards center of blender and finish mixing. You will have a spoonable, fluffy, pale yellow butter.
- Scoop into silicone molds or serving dishes and cover. Glass containers with snap tight lids are also handy. Place immediately in refrigerator or freezer until firm enough to slice.