Store-bought margarine is full of chemicals and other weird ingredients. Try making your own vegan butter instead – it acts just like the real thing, and tastes similar.
Yield: about 16 oz, equivalent to two sticks of margarine
Time: 15 minutes plus time to chill
- 1 Q mason jar or other tall container
- small double boiler
- small mortar and pestle
- immersion blender
- ice cube tray or freezer-safe dish (keep in freezer until ready to fill)
- 1 c cashew cream
- 1 t cider vinegar or lemon juice
- 1 c coconut oil*
- ½ to 1 t salt
- 2 T olive or grapeseed oil
- ¼ t turmeric, for color (optional)
Place cashew cream and vinegar in the jar and swirl around to combine. Set aside for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the coconut oil in the double boiler and heat until just barely melted.**
Grind the salt into powder with the mortar and pestle (optional).***
Add everything to the cream and blend for 2 minutes, until thick and creamy, with a few tiny bubbles.
Transfer to the ice cube tray or container and freeze for at least an hour, until solid.
Keep in the freezer for long-term storage, or if you’ll be using it within a few weeks, transfer it to the refrigerator, where it will thaw but remain solid.
It’s important for the butter to freeze as quickly as possible in order to avoid separating. So keep your storage container in the freezer before filling it, and be careful not to heat the coconut oil more than you absolutely have to.
I highly recommend cashew cream; if you use a different kind of non-dairy cream, I can’t guarantee the results: the taste and possibly the texture will be different. And you definitely need cream – if you use milk, you’ll need to add a thickener like xantham gum or lecithin.
You can use a regular blender rather than an immersion blender, but I find it tricky with such a small amount, so you might consider doubling or tripling the recipe, especially since the butter keeps well in the freezer.
Finally, you can use this pretty much like regular butter: for frying onions, for baking, for pie crust, and of course you can leave it out on the counter for half an hour or so to soften, then spread it on warm bread and watch it melt. (Put the softened butter back in the fridge and it will resolidify.)
* Unrefined coconut oil is raw but will impart a slight coconut flavor to your butter. If you’re not worried about it being raw and don’t want a hint of coconut, use refined coconut oil, which is flavorless.
** If your kitchen is hot, your coconut oil will already be liquid, so you can skip this step.
*** Grinding the salt isn’t absolutely necessary, but it helps keep the salt distributed evenly through the butter. If you don’t grind it, the salt will be heavier and tend to sink toward the bottom.