When I first found out that I was both dairy AND soy free, my first thought was "buh bye yummy, delicious, beloved cheese" ... then, "uh oh, ice cream" (because Hubby LOVES ice cream) ... then, "ohmigosh! butter!" How will I eat baked potatoes with no sour cream OR butter? And how will I bake? What about adding just the tiniest dab to my grits? It was then that I realized just how hard life was going to be for a while ... but all is not lost! One can be both dairy AND soy free and still survive ... with or without butter, ice cream and cheese.
So, when I first started looking, I immediately went to my local Roots Market. Being a specialty/gourmet food grocery store, I just knew that they would have something for me ... uh, or not. There was plenty of dairy free, but everything had soy ... soy lectin, soy oil, soy protein! What do the butter Gods have against me? Against all us dairy and soy free people? For the next couple of months, I searched high and low in every grocery store I could find. I went into grocery stores I had never been to before, went down streets I had never even seen before - all in search of butter. Well, at one local grocery store, Magruders, I found this:
This stuff is totally dairy and soy free. I was SO excited. I rushed home and made baked potatoes that night ... seriously! I was so thrilled and I got to end my tireless search for butter ... or so I thought.
Although I am very happy and so thankful to have this product, it does have it's limitations. First off, it is not recommended for frying or for baking ... urg. Back to my baking problem. I think it's because it is just so liquidy - it does not melt and does not really spread all that well. But, it is great on baked potatoes, bread, corn, and the like.
But, I was still out to find a replacement for my baking. I mean sure, I could replace butter in baking with applesauce, palm oil or coconut oil, but what if I wanted that "buttery" flavor in my muffins or cake? I needed butter!
So, then I decided to try this:
I found this at Trader Joes. But, it is NOT COMPLETELY DAIRY AND SOY FREE. It contains a soy protein and it's natural flavoring contains some milk derivative. But, I figured I'd use it VERY little and give it a try. Over a couple of months, I used it in baking, on bread, and on baked potatoes. Hubby and I both liked the flavor, it melted well and worked beautifully in my baking. Another great thing? I haven't had an adverse reaction ... so far.
But, I know that even if I don't feel anything, it still could be hurting my body. So, I continued my search. And found this:
This time, totally dairy free, but still NOT SOY FREE. It contains Soy Protein Isolate and a Soy-Based Natural Butter Flavor. But hey, I tried the Canoleo, so I figured I'd give this a try, too.
Oh my ... it was too bad to even describe here ... but I'll try. First off, the flavor was TERRIBLE. It seriously tasted like it had gone bad. It was sour and bitter ... but the expiration date was many months away, so I can only figure that that is how it was *supposed* to taste. Ick. Second, the texture was even worse! It was foamy, but thick. Kind of like marshmallow creme/fluff, but denser. And, when pressed down upon, it sprung back! SO NOT butter. I tried it on bread and then considered using it in baking ... but was afraid it would contaminate an entire batch of muffins or cookies or cake ... so, it sits ... still ... in my fridge.
So, more research ...
After doing a lot of reading online about dairy and soy free butter alternatives, I kept seeing one name popping up, again and again:
Everyone raved about it's delicious flavor, perfect texture, ability to both melt and bake ... all while being both dairy AND soy free! Woo hoo! It seemed like the perfect solution ... if I could find it! I literally searched for months, re-combing all those grocery stores that I searched to find Smart Squeeze. I was just having NO luck. I had heard that Wegmans, a local grocery store carried this product, so I drove out to the closest one to me (30 minutes away). No such luck. I was so disappointed. Then, Wegmans decided to allow you to put together an online grocery shopping list, therefore listing what products were carried and which stores! Great! Just find out where they carry this butter ... urg. The closest one was an hour away, but luckily, not too far from my Sister's house. So, the next time I went out there, I went out of my way to get it. Yeah! And only $1.99 for 1 pound of butter in 2 adorable little blue-lidding containers? Please, hop in my cart!
I brought it home, I had it on bread, I baked with it (no baked potatoes this time) ... YUM-O! Yeah! Then, Hubby wondered what was in it if it was both dairy and soy free but tasted so wonderful. So, I flipped over the package ... and saw the dreaded "Contains: Soy" in bold red letters at the bottom of the ingredients list. Huh? This is NOT SOY FREE? Everyone had raved, everyone agreed (okay, everyone being total strangers on the internet). So, I read around some more, and apparently this was a recent change. What?! Urg ... ick ... ah!
So, I'm back to my wonderful but limited Smart Squeeze ... with small amount of Fleishmann's being used in baking and other areas that the Smart Squeeze just doesn't cut it.
And the search continues ...