Cultured Vegan Butter
- 1/3 cup cultured cashew cream (recipe follows), OR store-bought unsweetened plain vegan yogurt
- 1 1/2 cups refined coconut oil, melted
- 3 tablespoons neutral oil, such as grapeseed, sunflower, avocado or canola
- 3 tablespoons sunflower lecithin granules (reduce to 2 teaspoons if using liquid lecithin)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
Cultured Cashew Cream
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked at least 4 hours or overnight (see notes* for substitutions)
- 1 cup water
- 1 heaping tablespoon unsweetened plain vegan yogurt, OR 2 vegan-friendly probiotic capsules
Make the cultured cashew cream
- Drain and thoroughly rinse soaked cashews. Add to a blender along with 1 cup water and process until completely smooth.
- Transfer to a glass container with a lid. (Ensure that your container is perfectly clean to avoid any unwanted bacteria from growing in your culture.) Add 1 heaping tablespoon vegan yogurt, or the contents of 2 probiotic capsules into cashew cream and stir to combine.
- Cover and set in a warm place to culture for 2-4 days. Taste the mixture periodically and move on to the next step when it has reached your desired level of tartness. The mixture should taste pleasantly tart and be slightly bubbly, but it should not smell funky or change colors in any way. If you observe any strange smells or colors, discard and start your culture again, ensuring that all your containers and utensils are clean.If you have an Instant Pot, you can speed up this process by using the yogurt function. Pour the cashew cream mixture directly into the pot, or place in the sealed glass container on the rack insert above a few cups of lukewarm water (see images). Incubate for 8-10 hours.
Make the vegan butter
- Measure out 1/3 cup cultured cashew cream. Store the rest, and see the notes** for recommendations for use.
- Add cashew cream to a blender with remaining ingredients. Note that the salt is optional. Blend until everything is combined, lecithin granules have dissolved, and mixture has taken on a light buttery color.
- Pour butter into containers of choice and refrigerate to harden. If you're planning to use this butter in baked goods, it can be useful to refrigerate it in 1/2 cup portions, as this is the volume of a standard stick of butter.
*I prefer cashews in this recipe because of their neutral flavor, but if you don’t like or can’t eat cashews, you can substitute in almonds. Purchase blanched slivered almonds, or soak raw almonds and pop off the skins by hand; you don’t want the bits of almond skin in your butter. You can also use raw sunflower seeds, but note that this will affect the flavor of your butter. **This recipe makes more cashew cream than is needed in one batch of butter, because most blenders require a minimum volume of ingredients to blend everything smoothly. This cultured cream can be saved for another batch of butter, or thinned out with a few tablespoons of water and used in many recipes that traditionally call for buttermilk or heavy cream (pancakes, biscuits, cream-based pasta sauces, or creamy dressings like ranch or caesar).