Butter and margarine have been perpetually competing with each other over prime space at supermarkets in effort to win consumership from customers. But which item is considered to be more heart healthy? Trans fat free margarine- vegetable oil spreads are more preferable above margarine and butter. The reason for this lies within the different types of fat found in both margarine and fat. Made from animal fats, butter is high in artery-clogging saturated fats. On the other hand, margarine is gerneally made with vegetable oil and therefore contains polyunsaturated fat. Even though margarine has less saturated fat content than butter, the lard varieties such as stick margarine has high trans fat content.
Trans fat is nearly impossible to avoid. They are mostly found in processed and commercial goods. What arre trans fats then? Trans fats are manufactured by hydrogenation, a process in which vegetable oils are transformed into solid fats. Trans fats are used in cookies, crackers, and pasteries to improve the flavor and texture of these goods as well as to prevent them from going stale quickly. Akin to saturated fats, trans fats have been shown to raise LDL cholesterol but can lower levels of HDL cholesterol as well. According to many studies, trans fat can increase the risk for obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and cancer. Likewise, transfats are considered to the worst type of fats and should be avoided.
I use margarine a lot in my baking. I was elated to discover trans fat-free alternatives. Learning how to make homemade margarine from scratch wasn’t difficult either. It’s certainly preferable to the oft-maligned version. As someone who has been monitering my cholesterol level for quite some time, I can never be too careful. Although margarine still has a second class status in the cooking world, more people are using it twice as much as they do butter. When making this vegan butter, it is no more high-tech than it was when it was first made back in 1869 by the French – a mixture of solid and liquid fats, emulsified by hand, but not as labor intensive nor nerve racking as making hollandaise sauce. But don’t just take my word for it. This homemade dairy-free margarine recipe is so easy to make, its is a delicious substitute to store-bought vegan margarines. You can modify the taste by adding herbs or spices of your choice. Remember, it won’t harden as much as it doesn’t contain hydrogenates or trans fats.
For this recipe, you will need:
- 1 tablespoon of water or coconut oil
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 1/2 cup of corn oil or vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup of coconut milk (I used soy milk)
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- Dash of turmeric (optional)
Place all ingredients in a food processor using a plastic blade. Blend on medium-high speed until ingredients are well incorporated and mixture has thickened. Pour mixture into a 2 cup shallow container and freeze for several hours or overnight. Remove margarine from freezer at least 10 minutes before use. Store in freeze for about a month.
Yields about 1 1/2 cups