Hello! Welcome to Beyond Soy!
Today we are talking about one of my favorite foods: butter.
Butter has gotten a bad rap over the years, but butter is a soy-free dream. At its simplest, butter is just cream and salt. No soy here! And, butter is a great replacement for vegetable oils or shortening when cooking and baking.
There are two types of butter in the store: salted and unsalted. We prefer salted because the ingredients are only cream and salt. Unsalted butter has cream and natural flavoring. (This is a great example of how we avoid natural flavoring where we can because we don’t know if it has soy.) Many recipes call for unsalted butter, but then also add salt separately. We use salted butter and then don't add as much salt later.
A word of caution: Margarine is not butter!! Margarine is usually made from vegetable oil which is usually soybean oil. (Of course it is more complicated as vegetable oil isn't necessarily soybean oil.) However, since margarine is often used in lieu of butter, it can be difficult to determine if a food contains butter or margarine. For example, just asking if a food uses butter won't necessarily get you a complete answer because most people call margarine "butter". It can lead to awkward questions since you need to ask specifically if your host used butter or margarine. Just remember that it is okay to be specific, and when in doubt just don't eat it. We have some additional tips and tricks for asking about food that we'll post in the coming weeks.
Also be sure to watch out for spreadable butter. Spreadable butter comes in a tub and is pre-mixed with oil to make it easier to spread. The butter itself might be okay, but the oil might contain soy.
Ashley and I both love butter, and believe that as long as it is used in moderation (as with many things in life) it is okay. We buy Land O'Lakes stick butter and spread butter (pre-mixed with canola oil) and use them without fear when cooking & baking.