I’ve never been a big fan of butter. Is that weird? I have always preferred margarine for some reason, which I’m sure drove my Mom crazy because she would cook these lovely dinners and have a nice ceramic butter dish out on the table and I would insist on grabbing the unsightly plastic Becel tub and putting it right in the middle of everything. Several years ago I switched from standard margarines to Earth Balance as Becel and others contain whey (though Becel does have a vegan one now, I have yet to find it anywhere). I love Earth Balance and I use it for everything that calls for butter. I recently gave their coconut spread a try, and also spied a different brand of vegan buttery spread, Rich and Creamy Melt Organic, and had to try that one too.
SO which one reigns supreme? Let’s take a closer look, starting with the Organic Coconut Flavour Spread from Earth Balance.
When we look at the nutrition facts 2 tsp (10g) contains 70 calories. There are 8g of fat (including some omega 3 and 6), 50mg of sodium, and 8% of your daily vitamin E. The taste was great but I’m not sure I like it for toast as it is very coconutty. It would be great for pies, cakes, or cookies though! I used it in the pastry for the Jamaican patties I made a few weeks ago and it was fabulous. It melts well and doesn’t feel too greasy. A+
The Original Earth Balance Traditional Spread is definitely my go to. 2 tsp (10g) is 70 calories, same as the coconut spread. It has the same 8g of fat, but more omega 6 with 1.5g (coconut has 0.7g). Both have 0.3g omega 3. The traditional spread has more sodium at 75mg, and also has 90mg of potassium that the coconut spread doesn’t have, but no vitamin E. I LOVE the flavour of this spread, though sometimes it’s difficult to spread on bread as it has a tendency to be a little hard straight out of the fridge. I find if you work it in the container a bit first it is easier, but still not as smooth as Becel and I end up tearing my bread a lot. Small price to pay though, really.
And now the Melt! I didn’t even need this stuff, I have plenty of Earth Balance, but I saw that it was a brand I hadn’t heard of before and needed to give it a try. This stuff is dairy and soy free, and includes coconut, flaxseed, sunflower, palm fruit, and canola oils. 1 tablespoon (14g) is 80 calories, which puts it lower than Earth Balance which for 14g would sit at 98 calories. It has 9g of fat, which for the amount of spread is slightly less than the Earth Balance. The omega 6 is lower though at 0.8g, as well as the omega 3 with 0.4g. Sodium is 85mg which is pretty close to the same as the Traditional Spread but higher than the coconut. It has 15% of your daily vitamin E as well which is higher than both of the others. The taste is good, it’s like a blend between the traditional and the coconut spreads, with a bit of emphasis on the coconut flavour. I liked the consistency, it’s the same thickness as the other spreads with the same bread tearing problem, but put it on some steamed vegetables or corn on the cob and it melts perfectly. Again, I’m not sure I liked it for toast, but for cooking or other vegetable dishes it would be perfect!
Overall it’s a tough call, I liked the taste of the Traditional Earth Balance spread the best, but the Melt seems to be a bit better for you fat and calories-wise. All 3 have uses in different types of cooking. For toast (with nooch) I will still use the Traditional Spread from Earth Balance. For cooking I would use the Melt (steamed veggies, etc) and for baking cakes and cookies I would be inclined to use the coconut. The Earth Balance Traditional Spread is the only one of the three that actually has a buttery flavour to it, so for that reason I would name it the winner since the category is “buttery spread”! ha.
Winner: Original Earth Balance Traditional Spread!