In our society, many people are turning to a vegetarian or vegan diet because they believe they are doing what is best for their health. In my opinion, the vegan lifestyle is almost becoming a new trend, especially among bloggers and young to middle-aged females. I will admit that I gave the vegan lifestyle a trial run earlier this year and just didn’t feel satisfied. While I didn’t necessarily miss meat, I greatly missed the taste of real, organic cheeses, pastured eggs, and full fat plain yogurt. So I got off that bandwagon pretty quickly and decided that there was a place for QUALITY animal products in my life. Not to mention that shows like Oprah started bragging about the health value of a vegan diet that was almost ALL processed soy foods. Ug. There’s so much wrong with that! That is NOT the vegan lifestyle!
This post is NOT bashing anyone who chooses to follow a vegan lifestyle. I am just stating that it is not for me and that I would rather practice a vegetarian lifestyle 80-90% of the time.
Recently, I was asked about the health value of Earth Balance buttery spreads. Earth balance has a vegan line of butters, soy milk, and mayonnaise. I have never used any of these products myself but have heard rave reviews from other websites and bloggers. I did a little research on the different buttery spreads and this is my conclusion.
If you’re looking to cut calories by using these vegan spreads, you are out of luck. One tablespoon of Earth Balance Buttery spreads will still run you between 80-100 calories and about 11 grams of fat per tablespoon. These are about the same values of one tablespoon of regular butter.
The ingredients of the organic whipped butter: expeller-pressed natural oil blend (soy bean, palm oil, canola, olive), filtered water, salt, crushed soy beans, natural flavor (derived from corn, no MSG, no alcohol, no gluten), soy lecithin, lactic acid (non-dairy, derived from sugar beets), naturally extracted annatto for color. Even the non-organic versions have similar lists. Personally, I would only buy the whipped organic version of the Earth Balance spreads, if I bought any at all. I just don’t like purchasing anything that contains non-organic soy derivatives. Just my personal opinion. Plus, I like the ingredient list of my REAL organic butter: organic sweet cream. *sigh* No guessing there!
While I have not tasted any of these spreads, the website boasts “superior flavor and consistency,” and from what I’ve read from other bloggers, fairs well in many recipes; breads, brownies, cookies, tarts, fettuccine, etc. Not too shabby!
Overall, I believe that the Earth Balance line is a healthy butter alternative for those vegans looking to replace real butter in their diet. There’s no artificial colors, flavors, ingredients, or other chemicals and that’s excellent. However, if you are NOT vegan, I don’t really feel it’s necessary to use Earth Balance over real, organic butter. You’re spending about the same amount of money and getting about the same nutritional values. Both products should be used moderately.
QUESTION: Do you use the Earth Balance line? What do you think?Print