When I was at the Gluten-Free Expo a couple of months ago, the Earth Balance team was doing tastings of their new coconut spread. My immediate reaction was, “Oh my, this is good!” It is something that you can easily spread on a slice of toast and – dare I say – it tastes even better than butter!
My second thought was, I wonder if this will work as a shortening for baking?
It took a while for the product to make it to my local store (unfortunately I don’t live near a Whole Foods, where it seems all the exciting new products land first). But it’s here now, and I had to try it.
Earth Balance Coconut Spread is organic, and it contains coconut, palm fruit, and canola oils, as well as salt, natural flavor, sunflower lecithin, and lactic acid. (Thank you Earth Balance for using a non-soy lecithin.)
The ultimate test was to make one of my tried and true recipes from Learning to Bake Allergen-Free: A Crash Course for Busy Parents on Baking without Wheat, Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, Soy or Nuts using the Earth Balance Coconut Spread instead of the Earth Balance Natural Shortening. I made chocolate chip cookies. And… wow!!
I am happy to report that this product will work when a recipe calls for shortening (or butter), and it just might become my new favorite. (Good thing I bought two containers.)
The cookies didn’t do the unruly spread (common if you don’t use a true shortening), they browned nicely, and they tasted (can I use the word?) buttery.