Each week I will be reviewing various vegan food products to show people what I find at local grocery stores. My hopes are to show people that there are a lot of vegan items in any conventional grocery store, and to let people know that I’m just like everyone else; every once in a while I like my processed food, I don’t make every meal 100% from scratch, and I have an interest in what products are on the market as the vegan food scene continues to grow.
This week I was wandering Natural Grocers and stumbled across a vegan buttery spread called Melt. The bright red and green container instantly got my attention sitting next to the Earth Balance. I have been a tried and true Earth Balance user ever since becoming vegan, and I was slightly skeptical of trying something new. I knew I had to put it to the test though!
For this particular product, I knew slathering it on toast wouldn’t be good enough. I really wanted to test the consistency when baked in something very sensitive where I would normally use Earth Balance. My solution: pie dough! I was baking for a market anyway, so I decided to create an apple pie cupcake and garnish it with a mini apple pie.
Overall, I was very pleased with how the crust baked up. It was slightly less flaky than the Earth Balance, but the dough was still tender. The flavor didn’t differ too much, and the dough held up just like it would have with Earth Balance.
Of course I had to try the Melt as a condiment as well. I happened to have some banana muffins (we ran out of bread…) that were the perfect canvas! My initial reaction was that it tastes much more like margarine than butter. It melted well, was spreadable, and wasn’t too greasy or artificial tasting like most margarine can be though.
Looking at the labels, the ingredients are similar to Earth Balance. The melt contains tocopherols, which are a family of vitamin E compounds derived from vegetable oils. The main difference is that the melt is mostly coconut oil based. It can be appealing to some people, but to most that doesn’t matter. Caloric wise, Melt weighs in at 80 calories per tablespoon serving, while Earth Balance sits at 100 calories per tablespoon serving.
Everything being said, I liked the Melt, but I still like my Earth Balance. For baking applications, I like the texture of Earth Balance better. For everyday use, I like the taste of Earth Balance better. That isn’t to say I wouldn’t recommend Melt to anyone, its way better than any other non-dairy margarine out there, so if you have the opportunity, try it for yourself!
Please note, this is not endorsed by Melt or Earth Balance.