Dairy-free vegan butter, I'm still looking for a way to develop this further by creating a butter substitute, which combines beneficial coconut oil with cold-pressed monounsaturated oils like avocado, macadamia and olive.
I personally love organic, grass-fed preferably raw butter for its impressive nutrient range of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K and its balanced ratio of omega 6 and 3 essential fatty acids. However there are a lot of people out there who don't consume butter due to health issues like lactose sensitivities or they choose a vegan lifestyle. However commercial non-dairy spreads are highly processed products and their use over time contributes to imbalances like inflammation within the body.
In a previous blog, I tweaked a recipe I found on the net and combined homemade cashew nut milk with coconut and sunflower oil. The binding agent was soya lecithin and flavour notes were added using apple cider vinegar, salt and turmeric. I was really impressed with the result and felt there was room for lots of experimentation. So I'm going to try out a few of my ideas and share them with you, hopefully some of these experiments will yield a tasty nutrient-dense dairy-free butter with lots of flavour and most importantly does not contribute to inflammatory imbalances.
Soya lecithin may be problematic for some, so my first idea was to replace it with ground up sunflower seeds, which also naturally contain lecithin. For more information about soya lecithin see this informative article by Chris Kresser.
I've seen a few recipes, which use psyllium husk powder. Psyllium is the husk of the Plantago seed and is often used to support digestion. As a digestive aid, psyllium husks help to bulk up digesting food as it moves through the digestive system, so it needs to be taken with sufficient water. I'm going to try using 1/2 teaspoon of ground psyllium husk in this recipe with added liquid from the coconut milk. Using psyllium in this recipe should help bind the oils with the milk and create a soft texture to the end result, though I may try this another time using ground psyllium seeds as they contain a lot more soluble binding fibre than the husks.
As I'm experimenting, I've scaled down the amounts I'm making.
1/2 cup coconut oil suitable for cooking like biona cuisine
1/4 cup homemade coconut milk
1/8 cup virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp ground psyllium husk powder
1/2 tsp ground sunflower seeds
1/2-3/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/8-1/4 tsp Himalayan salt
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
- In my nutribullet, I ground up equal volumes of sunflower seeds with psyllium husk powder (roughly a tablespoon of each)
- Next I melted the coconut oil and then placed all of the ingredients (coconut milk, olive oil, psyllium husk/sunflower seed powder, turmeric, salt and apple cider vinegar) into a blender.
- After a short while blending, the mixture had all come together like a smoothie. I had a quick taste and decided to add a touch more vinegar and Himalayan salt.
- Then I poured the mixture into a clean jar and let it set in the fridge.
After around 30 minutes, I checked my vegan butter, it looked ok but the proof will be in the tasting.
I got some bread to try it with. Like butter it was a little hard in texture to spread when taken straight from the fridge. It melted onto hot toast nicely and when I left it to stand at room temperature for a bit then it softened and spread easily. The psyllium husk powder did give the spread a more softer texture and adding ground sunflower seeds seemed to do the trick in binding the oils and coconut milk together.
Taste wise, there was a coconut flavour coming through from my coconut milk which did overpower the olive oil flavour.
So all in all a successful experiment but I need a more neutral milk so that the flavour of the chosen oil like olive, macadamia, coconut and avocado can shine through. Perhaps homemade oat or rice milk will be a more suitable milk replacement. This will be my next experiment, but for now I'm going to have a bit more of my dairy-free butter with some beetroot and fennel bread.