There are cat people and dog people. There are beach people and mountain people. We just discovered that there are also butter and margarine people. So that may be why in our ultimate taste test, there was a rare tie when it came to testing vegan butter substitutes. So in the food duel between Miyoko’s cultured vegan “butter” and Earth Balance buttery spread, the division was clear: If you love real butter from the farm that has a thick-block like texture, then Myuokos is your choice. If you prefer a soft whipped yellow margarine-like spread with a little more saltier flavor, then Earth Balance is your choice.

The nutrition content is also a divider between these two since the Myokos is made of cashews and coconut oil and the Earth Balance is made of vegetable oils, which is a blend of palm canola, flax, soybean, and olive oils. The Miyoko's has 8 grams of Saturated Fat and the Earth Balance contains 3 grams of Saturated Fat -- among the least healthy forms of fat, and one to be avoided along with trans fat.

Coconut and palm contain saturated fat and so while you’re trying to eat healthier, you may not realize these fats undermine your long term goal. Instead look for canola, olive, avocado, and other oils as based ingredients. The Earth Balance also has pea protein so all in all, this tie comes down to choosing your preference and your nutritional pleasure or poison.

We also tested I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter… It’s Vegan, which lost out in the initial taste test round to Earth Balance. The reason? Even though I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter only has 2 grams of Saturated Fat it didn’t have the same salty satisfying taste.)

Bottom line: If you’re avoiding Sat Fat, go with the I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter. If you’re aiming to have a delicious toast or crumpet with your favorite buttery spread in the am, then choose these according to personal preference. Miyoko's will be the crowd-pleaser among butter lovers and Earth Balance will win among the margarine voters. We would love to hear your opinion!

The testing went like this: 

The whole office (yes, even the non-vegans) joined us in this taste test. The toaster was working overtime to keep up with the demand of tasters, who circled back for more after their initial tasting. The minute people see some bread and butter they seem to lose all self-control.

We didn’t reveal to the tasters which butter was which. The only thing everyone agreed upon was that both butters tasted just like the real thing. The decision was split on which was tastier.

1. Miyoko's European Style Cultured Vegan Butter

Miyoko's  European Style butter has a unique solid brick, crumbly texture similar to regular butter or even cream cheese. "Savory and salty" were the words that immediately came to testers' minds. A few testers felt that this butter seems like it might be good in cooking or baking. The creaminess adds another level of taste to whatever you may be using this butter for. The taste is similar to regular, dairy butter and so is the wax paper packaging.

Nutrition Facts:

  • 90 Calories Per Serving
  • Total Fat: 11 g
  • Saturated Fat: 8 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 65 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 0 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0 g
  • Sugars: 0 g
  • Protein: 0 g

2. Earth Balance Original Buttery Spread

Earth Balance Original Buttery Spread is smooth, with a whipped butter consistency. It melts with ease on anything that is warmed up and runs clear when melted. In comparison to the Miyoko's butter, this is easier to spread and has a more yellow color. Earth Balance comes in a plastic tub, which also makes it easier to preserve in your fridge. Testers described this as saltier and more like margarine than the Miyoko's.

Nutrition Facts:

  • 100 Calories Per Serving
  • Total Fat: 11 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 105 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 0 g
  • Protein: 0 g

3. Earth Balance Olive Oil Buttery Spread

If you prefer a light and healthy tasting butter this is your choice. We loved the fact that it melted easily and had an olive oily aftertaste. If you prefer olive oil on your bread, go with this one. With just 80 calories per tablespoon, this was the lightest and healthiest tasting of the choices.

Nutrition Facts:

  • 80 Calories Per Serving
  • Total Fat: 9 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.5 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 75 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 0 g
  • Protein: 0 g

 


4. I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter… It’s Vegan

This was a crowd favorite among the margarine lovers, but it lost out in the initial taste test round to Earth Balance, which is similar. The reason? Even though I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter only has 2 grams of Saturated Fat it didn’t have the same salty satisfying taste.

Nutrition Facts:

  • 60 Calories Per Serving
  • Total Fat: 6 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Sodium: 90 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 0 g
  • Protein: 0 g

5. Rich and Creamy Melt Organic Spread

Whether you like butter or margarine, the MELT choice is a winner for anyone who salts their bread. We loved this choice because it was rich and creamy, yet had the consistency of salted whipped butter. The testers each ate several mini bagels with the on it. It was just that good.

Nutrition Facts:

  • 80 Calories Per Serving
  • Total Fat: 9 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.5 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Sodium: 85 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 0 g
  • Protein: 0 g

 


No matter the brand, all of our testers went back for seconds. The choices came down to personal preference. So if butter is your guilty pleasure, reach for Miyoko's European Style Cultured Vegan Butter and for all you margarine lovers out there, you will not be disappointed with Earth Balance Original Butter.