I won’t say that I feel good about it but in the past, I’ve been known to use a lot of margarine in my food, especially when I needed dishes to be parve. But right before Rosh Hashanah, there was a parve margarine shortage in Dallas. Sticks of parve margarine could not be found anywhere and believe me when I tell you that I spent a great deal of time in all of the local stores looking for said margarine. During these trips, several neighbors told me I shouldn’t be using margarine anyway because it’s not healthy but I didn’t care. I needed my margarine!
Just as I was about to be forced to rethink my menu for the holidays, my friend Marilyn told me about Earth Balance Buttery Sticks. Her Mother-in-Law had discoverd this awesome parve find and shared her discovery with Marilyn, who then found the product at our local Wholefoods. She had successfully used in as a margarine replacement in several of her recipes so I went to Wholefoods and stocked up for fear the word would get out and there’d be a Earth Balance buttery sticks shortage as well.
The sticks look bigger than a regular margarine or butter stick but they are the exact same size. I used them in everything from my Pineapple Challah Kugel to my Squash Pie to my Lemon bars. All recipes turned out great with the exception of the crust of the Lemon Bars. It was a bit mushy but not enough to make me regret the substitute.
Now I haven’t done any comparisons between the buttery sticks and margarine although I did find an interesting debate taking place on the FitSugar web site: Margarine War: Earth Balance vs. Smart Balance. I have not tried Smart Balance and I’m a bit confused as to whether their butter spreads are parve or not. It looks like maybe the “light” ones are parve but the others are dairy? Please leave me a comment if you know.
However, back to my original point, I haven’t compared the Earth Balance against margarine but I’m thinking anything that has no Trans Fat is better than something that does. I at least feel better about cooking with it : )
Have you tried the Earth Balance Buttery Sticks? If so, what did you think? Do you use a parve butter substitute that you like better?