Cashew butter is one of those products that’s just so great and goes with everything. Pretty much a vegan’s dream, or even if you’re not vegan and just love cashews.
But is cashew butter vegan ? Can you trust all the brands you come across ?
The best way to figure that out is to read the label, and also to understand what cashew butter really is. ‘This is what we’ll be talking about today, and hopefully you’ll get what you’re looking for.
Is cashew butter vegan ?
Yes, the original recipe for cashew butter is vegan. All it calls for are roasted cashews and coconut oil, both of which are vegan. You will need a food processor to put everything together but that’s it.
Cashew butters have become increasingly popular though, so you may expect some variations to the recipe that may or may not include animal products like honey or yogurt or whey.
Does cashew butter have dairy ?
Normally no, cashew butter shouldn’t have dairy. So everyone with lactose intolerance should be okay with regular, pure cashew butter.
But you may find on shelves cashew butters that contain whey for added protein, or versions that are sweetened with honey to make for a sweet spread.
Always be sure to check the label so you understand what it is you’re buying and don’t get a surprise when you get home.
Let’s understand what cashew butter is, so we’re all on the same page.
What is cashew butter ?
Cashew butter is a nut butter that’s actually simple to make and only has two ingredients.
You need roasted cashews, coconut oil (we imagine you can swap it for any plant oil that will solidify nicely) and a food processor.
For the most part all you have to do is blend the cashews in a food processor until they’re smooth (or as smooth as you like them). Be sure to add the warmed coconut oil in, so it will help liquefy everything and the blades won’t get stuck.
If you want any seasonings or flavors, you can add them while blending.
It’s actually a very simple food item and will keep for a reasonable amount of time in the fridge, something like 2 weeks or a bit more if kept in a clean, airtight container.
Coconuts themselves are vegan
You might say the coconut oil is the most important step here, and you’d be right. In order to make any nut butter (cashews included) you need something to tie the whole thing together.
Coconut oil seems to be the best choice, not just for flavor but for texture and how it hardens and keeps its shape at lower temperatures.
They’re vegan by default, and contain no lactose at all so coconuts and coconut oil are safe to use in nut butters.
Other options could include shea butter or cocoa butter, though both lean in the expensive side compared to coconut oil.
Palm butter is also an option from a lactose standpoint, but due to the damage it causes to forests (and animal habitats) it might not be the most vegan option. If you want to use palm oil try and find a version that’s sustainable harvested or comes from responsible sources.
Cashews themselves are vegan
Cashews are naturally creamy and a great option for making butters. Cashew milk is noted for being the creamiest of the bunch so cashew butter is naturally creamy too.
Since they’re nuts, cashews are lactose free and vegan by default.
If you want to make a different nut butter all you have to do is swap the cashew with a different nut or seed.
Not all nut butters are the same
When it comes to nut butters in general, they’re pretty simple and don’t require many ingredients.
Not all of them are the same though, and you might find nut butters that contain animal products.
Some examples may be nut butters or creams that are geared towards nutrition instead of vegan options, so they will focus on proteins and healthy fats.
This may include whey protein, alongside some chia seeds for good measure.
Others may be geared towards consumers who like their products sweet but natural, so you may find nut butters made with honey as a natural, organic sweetener.
Or, there’s nut butters (peanut butter in particular) that may contain chocolate as an ingredient. Now, cocoa seeds are vegan but chocolate is not always made with just cocoa butter and cocoa powder.
Some chocolate may contain milk solids, and you reaaaally need to look at the label of that nut butter to be sure it’s safe for your particular case.
Your best bet is to make it at home, and then you know exactly what went into it, how fresh it is, and you can easily make a large batch if you know you need a lot.
Hopefully you got the answers you were looking for here. Cashew butter is vegan if it follows the basic recipe, though you shouldn’t be surprised to find variations that have a bit of milk or honey added.
If you’ve got any food curiosities be sure to check the related articles below, we’re always adding more food facts to make your life that much easier.