Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Vegan Butter Moratorium Ends!

I didn't mention this, but I imposed an Earth Balance Moratorium on our household since sometime in April, which was when Bryann Clark Grogran posted her recipe for a palm oil free vegan butter.  Bryanna wrote about the destruction of orangutan habitat to make way for palm oil farms, which propted me to read further about palm oil.  My conclusion: palm oil is bad news for the environment and animals.

After she posted the recipe I ordered the deodorized organic cocoa butter, Jon ordered the lecithin and guar gum (after unsuccessful attempts to get these from a local shop), and we used up the last of our last Earth Balance ever (unless of course, they come out with a palm oil free Earth Balance!).  Then life got busy: end of the semester, preparation for our vacation to Colombia, and the ingredients sat for a while. 

However, last weekend I finally had some time on my hands, and set out to assemble the Buttah.  I was kind of scared because I was worried about over mixing it and losing the emulsification.  Emulsification means when liquids that wouldn't normally mix nicely get mixed together evenly and prettily and don't separate. 

Buttah setup
Here is the deodorized cocoa butter on the scale

I believe I actually could have mixed mine a bit more and achieved a little thicker Buttah, but as a first timer, I was just relieved not to have massively screwed it up.  It was super easy to make, like a very easy pudding.

Buttah before stirring
The sunflower lecithin (seen as the dark brown liquid in the photo) had the consistency of molasses

 I added the turmeric because I wanted the extra yellow, but I have to say I don't recommend it.  It gives the Buttah a super yellowy look when put on bread, which seems really unnatural looking, even though turmeric is perfectly natural.  As to the taste, I like it but I have to admit, Earth Balance is better in terms of texture and taste...but not so much better that I'll be pining away for it.  Jon thinks it needs more salt (it has less than normal margarine), but I like the amount of salt.

I've only used it on my toast so far, which is the main use of vegan butter in our house.  We do occasionally make cookies and even more occasionally make a butter cream frosting, but that hasn't come up as of yet. 

I feel much better that I'm now eating in line with my values.

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