Alisa Fleming ~ While most people pine for good cheese when going dairy-free, I get a hankering for rich buttery flavors. Fortunately, thanks to some amazing natural ingredients, my cravings are easily dealt with.
Store-bought dairy-free margarines can be convenient, and add a boost of flavor, but for taste and nutrition, nothing beats a good homemade buttery spread. And trust me, it can be SO much easier than you might expect.
The super quick and simple (optionally vegan) dairy-free butter alternative recipe below is completely free of dairy butter and margarine. Seriously. How do I do it? I use a combination of nutritive oils that firm up nicely for slicing, spreading, whipping, and melting. For solidifying power I use extra-virgin coconut oil or palm oil / shortening. To keep it just soft enough, I use another nutritive oil with a lower melting point. Keep in mind that these oils will impart their own flavors. For a relatively neutral taste, I use extra-light olive oil or grapeseed oil. For a richer flavor, I would turn to flax, walnut, or avocado oil.
This buttery spread firms up enough that it can easily be shaped into molds for cute edible decor to go atop pancakes or even lightly whipped and piped into little containers. Since I’m extremely deficient in food presentation, I simply mold it into a small rectangle and slice it into individual pats of buttery goodness.
It is delicious melted into steamed or roasted carrots as pictured at the bottom of the recipe, or simply spread on a slice of homemade dairy-free spelt bread (or toast of your choice!).
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted (palm shortening can be substituted)
- 1 tablespoon good quality oil (flax, olive, grapeseed, walnut, etc.)
- 1 tablespoon honey (use agave nectar or honey-flavored agave to make it vegan)
- ¼ teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder (sold in most spice sections)
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch salt
- Whisk all of the ingredients together in a small dish.
- Place the oil mixture in the freezer for about 10 to 15 minutes..
- Remove it from the freezer and vigorously whisk the mixture with a fork to smooth it out.
- Return to the freezer for another 10 to 15 minutes.
- Whisk again to make it smooth. It should be quite firm at this point.
- Shape or pipe as desired and store the dairy-free "butter" in your refrigerator until ready to use.
This recipe is Vegetarian, optionally Vegan, Dairy free, Egg free, Gluten free, Nut free, Peanut free, Soy free, Wheat free, and Refined Sugar free.