The last time I was in Trader Joe’s, a product in the dairy section jumped out at me: Miyoko’s Creamery Cultured Vegan Butter. Cultured butter is made by adding live bacteria to cream before churning it into butter. Culturing gives the butter a rich tanginess to it that really sets it apart from regular butter (aka sweet cream butter). This cultured vegan butter is produced in much the same way but, instead of starting with cream, they start with coconut oil and cashews. Cashews are frequently used in vegan butter/spreads and cheeses and the results with this particular product are excellent. The spread is light textured with a hint of that same flavor you get from cultured butter and a nice even melt in the mouth. It reminds me very strongly of margarine, but with a lighter overall flavor profile and a cleaner finish. It contains no palm oil and is completely non GMO.
The butter can be softened and spread onto toast, buns, scones or muffins. It can also be chilled and cut into recipes for pie crust. The packaging says that you can substitute it directly for butter in just about any recipe. I conducted a few experiments with cookies and pie crusts and found that the results were excellent. While the finished pastries had only a trace of buttery flavor to them, their texture was excellent and the “butter” was very easy to work with. It seemed to take a bit longer to soften than regular butter, but that is likely because it is in a larger block form (1 cup) instead of smaller sticks. I was very happy with the results and overall flavor of this particular product, so I would definitely recommend if if you’re looking for a non-dairy butter option OR if you simply want a new item to experiment with in your kitchen.