After fat was wrongfully demonized, processed vegetable oil spreads marketed as margarine were produced and sold to the masses as a “healthy butter alternative”. These products however, are loaded with unhealthy hydrogenated, or partially hydrogenated oils, man-made trans-fats and refined seed oils.

Grass-fed butter has made a comeback recently, largely due to the popularity of the keto diet, but nearly 75% of all people are allergic or sensitive to dairy, or unable to digest the sugars (lactose) or proteins (casein/whey) in dairy. We have therefore provided a list of healthy dairy-free butter options for those navigating keto without dairy. 

A beautiful woman cutting into a stick of dairy-free butter

Table of Contents

Dairy-Free Butter Alternatives

Miyoko's Organic Cultured Vegan Butter

Miyoko takes great pride in creating high quality, ethically sourced products including a variety of dairy-free vegan cheeses, spreads, and butter.

Miyoko’s European Cultured Butter is coconut oil, sunflower oil, and cashew based, and comes salted or unsalted. It is a firm, sliceable butter alternative that is smooth and creamy, and very much resembles a traditional stick of butter.

Miyoko’s also offers two oat milk based vegan butter spreads that are slightly softer, more like margarine, and available in salted, or garlic parm flavors. 

All four Miyoko’s butter alternatives are high in fat, and extremely low in carbs, making them a great option for keto. They don’t contain any artificial ingredients or food colorings which can sometimes contain allergens. 

Normally I would recommend shying away from sunflower oil, however the sunflower in all Miyoko’s products is non-GMO, organic, and expeller-pressed, which makes it better than standard sunflower oil. 

Although some people suggest that these butters can be used for cooking or baking, I would recommend against it. Although they do contain coconut oil, which is predominately a saturated fat with a high smoke point, the other fats in these products are fragile and likely to denature if heated. 

European Style - Hint of Sea Salt

Ingredients: Organic Coconut Oil, Filtered Water, organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Cashews, Organic Sunflower Lecithin, Sea Salt, Cultures.

Macros: Per 1Tbsp (14g) serving – Calories 90, Fat 8g, Protein 0g, Carbs 0g.

European Style - Unsalted

Ingredients: Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Cultured Cashew Milk (Filtered Water, Organic Cashews, Cultures), Filtered Water, Organic Sunflower Oil, Contains 2% or less of: Organic Sunflower Lecithin, Organic Cultured Dextrose, Natural Flavors Derived From Oregano, Flaxseed and Plums, Lactic Acid.

Macros: Per 1Tbsp (14g) serving – Calories 90, Fat 10g, Protein 0g, Carbs 0g.

Cultured Oat Milk Butter - Sea Salt

Ingredients: Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Cultured Whole Grain Oat Milk (Filtered Water, Cultured Organic Oats), Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Sunflower Lecithin, Sea Salt, Organic Cultured Sugar, Lactic Acid, Natural Flavors Derived From Oregano, Flaxseed, and Plums.

Macros: Per 1Tbsp (14g) serving – Calories 80, Fat 9g, Protein 0g, Carbs 1g.

Cultured Oat Milk Butter - Garlic Parm

Ingredients: Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Cultured Whole Grain Oat Milk (Filtered Water, Cultured Organic Oats), Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Garlic, Nutritional Yeast, Organic Sunflower Lecithin, Sea Salt, Organic Cultured Sugar, Organic Parsley, Lactic Acid, Natural Flavors Derived From Oregano, Flaxseed, and Plums.

Macros: Per 1Tbsp (14g) serving – Calories 80, Fat 9g, Protein 0g, Carbs 1g.

Where to buy: Miyoko’s vegan butter is available at a variety of grocers and natural food stores throughout the US and a store locator tool is available on the Miyoko’s website. It can also be purchased online directly from the Miyoko’s websiteFarm Fresh to You, Instacart, Amazon, or Fresh Direct.

Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil - Butter Flavor

As the name suggests, this product is simply butter flavored coconut oil. According to the package labeling, the butter flavor is made from pure, non-GMO, certified organic, fermented, gluten free plants, including sunflower, coconut, and mint.

Annatto extract is a natural food coloring that is derived from the seeds of the achiote tree native to tropical regions of Mexico and Brazil. It is safe for most people in food amounts, but may cause allergic reactions in those who are sensitive

Although this product is labeled as a butter and ghee alternative, it more closely resembles ghee. Since it is essentially just flavored coconut oil, it is a great butter alternative for cooking, baking or melting onto foods, but it doesn’t work as well as a cold spread.

Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil - Butter Flavor

Ingredients: Organic Refined Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil, Organic Vegan Buttery Flavor, Organic Annato Extract (For Color).

Macros: Per 1Tbsp (15ml) serving – Calories 130, Fat 14g, Protein 0g, Carbs 0g. 

Where to buy:  The Nutiva butter flavored organic coconut oil is available at various natural food stores, but is not as commonly found in the big brand supermarkets. It is also available online from the Nutiva websiteiherbThrive Market or Amazon.

Thrive Market Organic Buttery Coconut Oil

Thrive Market has created their own butter flavored organic coconut oil similar to the Nutiva brand described above. Thrive Market is known for replicating popular products, and they often do so using higher quality ingredients while lowering the price. 

The ingredients in this case are identical to Nutiva, and are all organic, vegan and sustainably sourced. If you are a Thrive Market member however, you can get their version of this product for considerably less.

Thrive Market Organic Buttery Coconut Oil

Ingredients: Organic Refined Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil, Organic Natural Flavor, Organic Annatto Extract (For Color).

Macros: Per 1Tbsp (15ml) serving – Calories 130, Fat 14g, Protein 0g, Carbs 0g.

Where to buy: Thrive Market products are only available from the Thrive Market website. Thrive Market is a great resource for specialty foods that are often not available at many mainstream grocery or natural food stores, or on Amazon. 

With special offers and free shipping on qualifying orders, they also often offer the best prices.

Traditionally Made Cultured Ghee

Traditional ghee is one of the most sacred and healing foods described by ancient Ayurvedic (alternative Indian medicine) texts. When made properly, ghee contains high amounts of naturally occurring Vitamins A, D, & K, as well as conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), an antioxidant and essential fatty acid. 

Traditional ghee is also extremely high in butyrate which helps to fuel and protect the gut lining, reduce inflammation, combat obesity and diabetes, and protect against certain cancers. 

In traditional ghee, cultures are added to grass-fed cream before it is made into butter. These cultures consume the lactose (sugar) in the cream converting it to lactic acid, and help breakdown proteins (casein/whey), making it much easier to digest. 

Instead of simply heating the butter and removing the milk solids by skimming them off the top, traditional ghee is made by slowly heating cultured butter over an extended period until all of the moisture is removed. Any remaining milk solids are then browned (caramelized) in the fat, and strained out. 

It is possible to certify that ghee is lactose, and casein/whey-free through batch testing, however very few brands are willing to make this commitment. To qualify for this certification, test results must confirm that lactose and casein/whey levels are maintained below a set threshold measured in parts per million (ppm).

Ghee products with this certification are considered to be safe to consume even by those with known dairy sensitivities or allergies. However, if you have severe or life-threatening allergies to dairy, it is recommended that you consult your physician before consuming any dairy foods. 

Our #1 recommended brand of Ghee is Pure Indian Foods Cultured Ghee. This is the only brand we have found that is organic, cultured and batch tested to confirm that it contains no more that 0.25% lactose, and 2.5ppm casein/whey. 

If you are avoiding dairy for inflammatory reasons, and are not specifically sensitive to dairy, ghee is and extremely healthy butter alternative for cooking, baking, and flavoring foods.

|RELATED| Is Ghee Dairy-Free? Which Brands are Tested?

Pure Indian Foods Cultured Ghee

Ingredients: Grass-Fed Organic Butter (made from non-homogenized whole milk from grass-fed cows)

Macros: Per 1Tbsp (14g) serving – Calories 120, Fat 14g, Protein 0g, Carbs 0g.

Where to buy: Available at some specialty health food stores, or online at PureIndianFoods.com, iherb, and Amazon,

Summary

Healthy dairy-free butter alternatives are becoming much more available in common grocery stores and online, and due to their popularity, they are being incorporated into recipes and commercial products as well.  

With all of the options listed above, there is no need to consume unhealthy butter alternatives or margarine that contain unhealthy hydrogenated vegetable oils. 

Do you have a favorite dairy-free butter alternative? Help us support our readers by commenting below and sharing your experience. You do not need to provide your email address to leave a comment.

Thank you for visiting dairyfreeketo.com. Please check back often for new content and if you have found this information helpful, please do not hesitate to share. 

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2 Comments

Kelly · October 21, 2020 at 12:42 pm

Love your information & website, do you have a newsletter or blog I could get by email?.

    Calvin · October 21, 2020 at 2:50 pm

    Hi Kelly. Thank you for the complement and for your interest in our content. We haven’t developed a newsletter yet, but we plan to do so in the near future. You can however, follow us on Facebook, and bookmark our website so you can find us easily.

    Thanks again, and all the best,

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