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May 30, 2010 04:56 PM

ISO: Vegan Non-Hydrogenated Butter/Butter Substitutes [moved from Ontario board]

Hello fellow Chowhounders!

I'm searching around for a Vegan butter/butter substitute, but preferably one that is non-hydrogenated. Can anyone recommend any brands and where I'd be able to find it? I'm looked in central downtown, for the record.

Thanks in advance! :)

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  1. You might want to check out The Big Carrot. I know they have options that meet your criteria. Plus, they're reasonably centrally located near Chester subway station.

    1. Becel now makes a vegan margarine and it's non hydrogenated. I found it at my local No Frills so it should be readily available in most supermarkets. See their website:

      If you are checking out health food stores, the Earth Balance brand is quite tasty.

      1. Ah, I should've thought of checking out The Big Carrot! Thanks, I'll head there tomorrow and see if the staff can help me out with that :)

        I also was not aware that Becel had a vegan, non-hydrogenated margarine out either...I'll definitely keep my eye out for that one as well. Thanks a bunch!

        2 Replies
        1. re: Sheikah

          I second Earth Balance. Quite tasty! Check out Panacea, in the Bloor and Bathurst area for everything vegan.

        2. I actually DON'T like Earth Balance because it uses palm oil and I prefer not to purchase stuff that uses it. I found this recipe online for vegan butter that I use instead.

          4 Replies
          1. re: lizwaynick

            I think it's going to be hard to find (or make) a commercial vegan product based on a solid fat that's both non-hydrogenated and also doesn't contain any coconut / palm oil. But at least Earth Balance isn't entirely palm oil, and it doesn't contain too many weird ingredients (and they various versions, including a soy-free one, for those who are concerned about particular things, though none are totally palm-oil free).

            Are your objections to palm / coconut oil health related, or because of environmental concerns?

            I also use just plain coconut / palm oil or shortening, or Earth Balance's unflavored shortening sticks, for some tasks (those which benefit a lot from using a solid fat). But I do try to limit the amount I use or blend it with canola or olive oils, because while it's trans-fat free, as with most shelf-stable solid vegetable fats, the balance of Omega-6 to Omega-3 is almost infinity:1.

            I understand that "margarine" is a word that has some negative associations, but I have to say that the attempt to rebrand it as "vegan butter" is a bit misguided. Even as someone who hasn't intentionally eaten dairy for 20+ years, I can say that calling things like Earth Balance "vegan butter" is an insult to the real thing. While we can argue about the relative health merits of butter, problems with our industrial agriculture system, whether humans are meant to drink milk, etc., I don't think anyone argues that butter is not insanely delicious.

            1. re: will47

              My objections are environmentally based. I have read on online that some companies (Spectrum and I think Galaxy Foods are the two that come to mind) purchase their palm oil from certified sustainable plantations in South America and Africa, but I still feel uncomfortable purchasing products that use it. Because it's found in practically everything you can imagine it's incredibly difficult to avoid, so if there's some alternative to it I'll use it. The site that I read the info about Spectrum and Galaxy on said they had written a letter to Earth Balance as well but had not yet received a reply about where their palm oil comes from. I personally use coconut oil in place of butter for now (for baking/cooking uses). I know they say it may give your foods a coconut-y flavor but I can't tell. I still look for vegan, palm oil free butter recipes, though, because buttered toast is something that I greatly miss.

              1. re: lizwaynick

                I have purchased earth balance for years and think its the best vegan butter on the market.
                The company elaborates on sustainable palm oil sources and supporting the farmers here:

                1. re: Ttrockwood

                  Sorry, missed the other mention of this below, but I've been making some of the homemade "vegan butter" from recently; so far, I've only tried the "cultured European style butter", but I really like it.


          2. Personal preference, but I prefer the becel vegan, Presidents Choice also offers one called celeb which is good, Earth Balance is a bit more expensive I believe. I have used becel and PC numerous times for my dairy allergic nephew.