Earth Balance Buttery Spreads

28
Version:
Original, Soy-Free, with Olive Oil (also soy-free), Organic, Omega-3
Price:
$3.99 to $4.99 per 13- to 15-ounce package

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On December 5, 2014
Last modified:April 19, 2015

Summary:

As of yet, we haven't found a brand that can touch this butter alternative. It bakes, cooks, and spreads just like a good margarine, but with natural ingredients and without hydrogenated oils. There is a variety for almost everyone, but despite their slight ingredient differences, all have a similar salted butter taste and consistency that works well in everything from cookies to frosting to savory sauces.

Updated Review! Otherwise known as dairy-free, non-hydrogenated margarine (yikes! I know, the “M” word), Earth Balance Buttery Spreads have dominated the dairy-free and vegan butter alternative scene for quite some time. And for good reason…

Earth Balance Buttery Spreads - All dairy-free and vegan, soy-free options

Recently upgraded with a new look and shape (they are cute and sturdy square tubs), Earth Balance Buttery Spreads come in an array of varieties to keep almost everyone happy: Original, Soy Garden, Soy-Free, with Olive Oil (also soy-free), Organic, and Omega-3.

Among our team of reviewers, we’ve sampled all of the varieties, and have found that each acts as a slightly salty butter sub that bakes, cooks and spreads like margarine, but with natural ingredients and without hydrogenated oils. In fact, I think Earth Balance Buttery Spreads have gained quite the following with health-oriented consumers who aren’t even on a dairy-free diet!

Earth Balance Buttery Spreads are sold in almost every grocery store I shop in, but the Original, Organic and Soy-Free varieties seem to be the most readily available. Of those, I typically purchase the Soy-Free, because I do a lot of “free-from” recipe testing.

Earth Balance Buttery Spreads: A dairy-free and vegan staple (with soy-free options) that bakes, cooks, and spreads like margarine, but with natural ingredients and no hydrogenated oils

As you can see, it is whipped to near perfection, and has a wonderful consistency that is soft, but solid at room temperature, and melts just as it should when it hits the pan or oven. Though I usually bake with oil rather than butter alternatives, I love Earth Balance Soy-Free in oatmeal cookies. It also makes fantastic dairy-free caramel, delicious homemade frosting, and is a flavorful base for dinner sautes.

Sarah is partial to Soy Garden or the Original, because they have a slightly higher smoke point than the Soy-Free, enabling her to make her higher heat baked good recipes, like popovers and brownies. She also finds the Soy-Free to be a touch softer and saltier than the others.

Hannah actually thought the Soy-Free spread could use a pinch more salt when used simply as a spread, but she was impressed by how well it performed in all types of recipes that she had previously used stick margarine for. Her Ginger Snap cookies, for example, baked up to an identical appearance and taste, with a texture that was close, but just a touch cakier.

Between the lot of us, we’ve enjoyed the Earth Balance Buttery Spreads when making Simple Toast and “Butter”, Snickerdoodle Blondies, Mylk Chocolate Frosting, Vegan Butter-Poached Potatoes, Browned Butter Vanilla Cupcakes, Vegan Girl Scout Samoa Cookies, Popovers, and Gluten-Free and Vegan Iced Nog Bread.

Earth Balance Buttery Spreads - dairy-free, vegan, and so many delicious ways to enjoy them!

Certifications: Earth Balance Buttery Spreads are Certified Kosher Parve. One variety is Certified Organic. They are also labeled as vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO, but I didn’t note any certifications.

Dietary Notes: By ingredients, Earth Balance Buttery Spreads are dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free (take note that they do use pea protein, though), vegan / plant-based, and vegetarian. Select varieties are also soy-free. Nonetheless, check with the company on their manufacturing processes for all varieties if potential allergen cross-contamination is an issue for you. Processes and labeling are subject to change at any time for any company / product.

For More Product Information: Visit the Earth Balance website at www.earthbalancenatural.com.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

28 Comments

  1. I use the soy free one and it works well for my needs. The only thing negative is that it has palm fruit in it. Do you think I could use it to make Carmel corn?

  2. I am just learning about this vegan plantbased thing. In particular it’s dr. Caldwell Esselstyn’s principle of no oil in your food. So this earth balance is no good for PBDiet? I just tried this now in the original flavor and i like it. Im no vegetraian/vegan and i eat dairy once in awhile.

  3. Colleen Zboray on

    I was tasked with hosting a gluten free, dairy free, low sugar brunch to satisfy all of my families dietary restrictions. Scouting the menu was challenging… choosing Earth Balance Olive Oil spread was effortless!

  4. I’ve been a regular consumer of the Original Earth Balance for about 3 years and both my boyfriend and I love it! We are not completely dairy free, but largely so, and this product leaves nothing to be desired in a dairy free “butter.” It’s fantastic in my book! I will add that we primarily use this as spread (toast, bagels, etc) so I can’t weigh in on how it holds up with cooking or baking.

    • It works pretty well in baking, too, Kellie, but have you tried it on popcorn? I do a 50/50 of buttery spread with coconut oil and it’s delish! Doing part coconut oil keeps the kernels from getting soggy.

      • I haven’t tried that but I make stovetop popcorn fairly often so I’ll remember this for next time. Thanks!

  5. My 17 month old is lactose intolerant so this had made cooking a little difficult for me to adjust to. I did a blind taste test for my husband and teenager made a dish with our normal butter and then the same thing but with Earth Balance buttery spread. They couldn’t tell the difference! Happy to say I am able to cook the same meal for the entire family that tastes great and doesn’t upset my little one.

  6. I use Earth Balance butter for everything since I stopped eating dairy. We used to fluctuate between the Original and the Soy-free but we decided we like the Original better (and I feel better about it since I switched from soy milk to almond milk!). We have used it for everything and it usually works really well but I do have a warning. My husband insisted that it had a weird taste sometimes and I didn’t really believe him but I have now recognized what he meant. It does not work well for butter-based baked goods. For example, we made some shortbread cookies to play with a friends cookie press and they cookies looked great and had a great texture but they tasted strange. If you are using this in baked goods, having a separate dominate flavor is helpful. Also, this butter does not work all that well things like pineapple upside down cake. It is my husband’s favorite and we have tried to get the top to come out correctly numerous times and we just can’t get it to taste quite right. This turned into a long post but really we are really happy with this butter and we have had mostly success in using it!

  7. As a soy-free vegan, I can’t tell you how happy I am that Earth Balance has a soy-free, vegan product. I love the taste and use it almost every day!

  8. I’ve only tried the Soy Free one so far but the butter flavor is amazing. It’s not a 1:1 copy of butter as its slightly sweeter.

    P.S. Soy contains a lot of Estrogen and if you’re a guy or you worry about your estrogen hormone levels, you should cut out as much Soy as possible. Also, soy is poisonous when eaten raw.

    P.P.S Alisa, the contact form is broken (clicking submit doesn’t do anything), can you fix it? I have a unique allergic experience i need your thoughts on.

    • Hi Jordan, our new contact form is now live and functioning!

      To clarify, soy doesn’t contain estrogen. I would read up a little more on this and the actual studies. Nonetheless, it is a personal choice by many to avoid soy. Thanks for the input!

  9. Stephanie Jensen on

    I like the Earth Balance flavor better than butter or traditional margarine. A friend told me about this. (My first mistake after my allergy diagnosis was a margarine.) I found varying varieties at the different grocery stores. I found the sticks at Natural Grocers. I saw about the mac and cheese in a magazine, so I will be excited to see that review.

  10. I love this company’s products. They just came out with a vegan mac and cheese and it’s absolutely delicious. In fact, I have yet to have had anything I didn’t like from them.

  11. Francine Singer on

    I used to be able to buy this at walmart and sam’s club, Now this year I have been told that both of these stores no longer carry this brand. Do you have any suggestions of where to buy it? I live in central TX.

    • Hi! I found this at my local Safeway grocery. In the stores that have a natural section this is normally where Earth Balance is found. In a Safeway without a natural section it is found with the butters, and margarine. Hope this helps!

  12. Earth Balance Butter – in sticks tried for first time and it tastes as good as or better than butter!! I am a newbie to Vegan….long time vegetarian. Erin

  13. I am so thankful and appreciative of this wonderful product! Its the only Dairy free margarine that I know of but it tastes just like butter! Its exceptional in cooking and baking!

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