Luscious Oil-free Vegan Butter
This luscious oil-free vegan butter hits all the notes expected of a rich butter and can be used for more than just the typical butter uses.
Oil-free vegan butter is not easily found in the stores. In fact, I have never seen a vegan butter without oil. For that reason, it became necessary to create this homemade version of a butter type spread. The method created for this oil-free vegan butter makes for a smooth creamy texture and buttery taste.
Thinned with a little water it can be tossed with potatoes and other vegetables for roasting. I have also used it in place of coconut milk in curry sauces, which adds a great taste, thickens the sauce just right and unlike coconut milk has very little saturated fat. Luscious oil-free vegan butter is also the base to making flavored dips and sauces like the Silky Smooth Vegan Hollandaise.
Simmer the Cashews
For this oil-free vegan butter, simmering the cashews until they are soft as opposed to soaking overnight gives a smoother more buttery taste and texture. The cashews take about the same amount of time to simmer as it does to preheat the oven and roast the garlic, so they can be done simultaneously and the cashews and garlic will be ready around the same time. When the cashews are ready they will appear very smooth on the outside and will have the same lightened color throughout if you cut one in half horizontally.
Roasted Garlic for Luscious Oil-free Vegan Butter
Roasted garlic is the secret to this oil-free vegan butter. It makes it savory and full flavored without overpowering the luscious, creamy taste. Garlic when roasted becomes mellow and loses its pungency. The roasted garlic develops a lush, rich savory taste which balances and enhances the sweet creamy taste of the blended cashews. It also adds sheen to the appearance, making the vegan butter even more appetizing.
Storing Luscious Oil-free Vegan Butter
The oil-free butter is best stored in a glass container in the coldest part of the refrigerator and will be good for up to five days. It thickens up once it gets cold. If needed, add a few drops of warm water at a time and stir to the consistency desired.
The lemon juice will lift and brighten the flavor, but I note as optional because it depends on how you use the butter. More often than not, I add some lemon juice.
Tools Used in this Recipe
- small sauce pot
- Chef Knife
- Cutting Board
- baking sheet
- parchment paper
- hand blender
- flexible spatula (like silicone)
- 1 cup cashews unroasted and preferably organic
- 1 whole garlic bulb roasted (see instructions below)
- 1/4 tsp salt or 2 tsps sweet miso optional
- 1/2 cup very hot water divided
- 1 tbls lemon juice optional
- Cut off the top of the bulb so some of the garlic clove tops are exposed. Rinse and drain the cashews. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. While the cashews are simmering (steps #2–3) you can roast the garlic (steps #4–5) so both the garlic and the cashews are ready around the same time.
- In a sauce pan, add the cashews and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer on low heat with the lid on for 40–45 minutes. When done, the cashews will be soft and have a smooth appearance on the outside.
- Wrap the garlic bulb loosely in parchment paper and place on a baking pan or sheet pan. Roast in the oven for 35 minutes or until the clove interiors are soft and golden around the edges. We don’t want the garlic to get dark for this recipe, just golden and soft. Usually it’s just the papery garlic skin that gets too dark, but if the cloves have dark spots, cut and discard those sections. Dark garlic will give an unpleasant bitter taste.
- When the garlic bulb has cooled enough to handle, squeeze out the individual garlic cloves and place in the blender cup with the cashews.
- To keep the cashew particles from spattering out, wrap a paper towel around the top of the blender cup.
- Start blending the cashews and roasted garlic paste with a pulsing action (turn on for a few seconds, turn off, turn on again and repeat).
- Scrape down the sides of the blender cup with a flexible spatula and add 1 or 2 tablespoons of the very hot water, the salt or miso if using and continue blending. It should be a really thick paste and pretty smooth. It will get smoother and thinner in the next step.
- Blend until very smooth. It should be fairly thick (forms peaks that hold). If too thick, add more of the hot water one tablespoon at a time, blending in between until the consistency is super smooth. If using lemon juice, the juice can be used in place of a tablespoon of water. The butter will have sheen and appear completely smooth when done.
- The butter can be stored in the coldest part of the refrigerator in a glass or ceramic container for up to 5 days. The butter will thicken up as it gets colder and can be thinned if needed with a little warm water stirred into it with a fork.