“ Type: Other Spreads „
When I bake for my vegan sister, I have find an alternative for the butter and eggs that so many recipes call for. I really enjoy experimenting with vegan ingredients anyway, as I am a vegetarian. That is the reason that drew me to try a dairy free spread from Pure. It was on offer for £1 for a 500g tub at the time, with the usual price being around £1.40. It is currently on the same price promotion again in Sainsbury's, so I thought it was a good time to write this review.
Pure make several dairy free spreads, including sunflower and olive ones. The one that I am reviewing is the original version. It can be found with sunflower spreads in the chiller cabinets of most supermarkets, as well as in health food shops. I especially wanted to try this product because the packaging states that it is suitable for baking, as well as shallow frying, freezing, and spreading. I have found some other alternative spreads to be unsuitable for baking, sometimes because they are lower in fat and so seperate too much when heated. This spread still has 74% less saturated fat than dairy butter, and it doesn't contain hydrogenated oils, or GM ingredients. In fact it is free of all artificial additives, so it lives up to it's name!
The spread looks exactly like sunflower spread or margarine - creamy yellow and smooth. It has hardly any aroma at all, which is fine by me as I don't usually like the scent of other soya products such as milk. I am not very keen on the taste of soya either, so I approached the spread with caution! In fact, it has only a mild soya taste, and I am happy to have it on toast just on it's own. It doesn't have a fatty or oily flavour either, which was my other concern. It is harder than some spreads when used directly from the fridge which means I prefer to get it out a few minutes before I am going to use it. This makes it easier to spread on bread without pulling the slice to pieces. It doesn't claim to be a soft spread though, and is no worse than traditional butter in that sense. Once closer to room temperature, it is easy to use, and has a good smooth consistency.
HOW I USE IT
The spread doesn't taste of butter, and isn't trying to. For this reason, the flavour would probably be disappointing if you wanted to use it to make things such as shortbread or fudge where the butter taste is an important part of the flavour for many people. However, as I have no shortage of other recipes to try, I used it to make other baked goods. First off came fairy cakes. I used just a basic recipe, and added the Pure to both the main mix and the "butter" icing topping. Once at room temperature, it mixed in well, and was no more trouble to use than butter. It didn't leave any detectable soya taste in the cakes at all. When used to make icing, it made a great textured topping, but I feel it needs flavouring to avoid a feint soya aftertaste. I used lemon juice and it was delicious.
I usually prefer to use oils for shallow frying, as I think that is more economical. I tried using this spread though, out of curiousity, and I found it heated well. You don't need to use much, and it melts quickly. I have fried onions and mushroom in it, and both cooked and browned through normally. Again, any soya taste is mild, and not detectable at all if you have also used strong flavourings in the pan, such as chilli or garlic.
Lastly, I have used it to make a white sauce, and a herb "butter"spread, and it performed perfectly. I would happily reach for this whenever I am cooking, without feeling that it was a second claass substitute for other products.
The Pure website has a huge range of recipes on it, and it is well worth a look. What is especially helpful is the fact you can sort recipes by diet such as vegan, egg free, or gluten free. This makes browsing much easier.
WOULD I RECOMMEND THIS?
I would, even if like me you think you don't like soya. It is versatile, as well as lower in fat than real butter which makes it of interest to non- vegans and vegetarians. A 10g serving gives you 8% of your RDA of fat, and 7% of your salt. It has added vitamins E, D2, and B12 too. I would recommend it to everyone to give a try - especially if you can get to Sainsburys where the 500g tub is £1 until the 24th July! I like the taste, and now add it to my shoppping basket whether I am baking for vegans or not.
My son has a dairy allergy, so since we have been aware of this, we've been using Pure instead of butter or normal marge spreads. It's completely dairy-free and suitable for vegans.
It comes in tubs of 500g, which is about the same as most other spreads in the chiller cabinets. There are several types available: I tend to choose the Sunflower or the Olive over the original. I've actually only seen (and bought) the Olive version once from the supermarket, it doesn't seem to be as widely available, unfortunately. I'm not sure there's a significant difference in taste between the three, it's possibly just the packaging of the Sunflower one that appeals to me more: the plain soya one just doesn't seem as interesting or attractive. The Sunflower one does have added Omega 3, so that's a selling point. It varies in price between £1 - £1.50: the original tends to be a little cheaper than the other varieties.
To start with we used to have butter or marge and Pure in the fridge, but in the end we went over to the whole family using Pure all the time. It seemed like a good move to just drop the other spreads so everyone was having the same and also to cut the grocery bill slightly. I can't convert to soya milk as it's just a bridge too far for me (yuk!) but I never was a big fan of butter, so it was no hardship for me to change. I actually prefer the mild taste of Pure.
The spread looks & feels like any normal marge or butter-like spread: an agreeable pale yellow and thick creamy consistency.
It works well as a spread for sandwiches and toast. I bake and cook with it successfully too. When rubbing Pure into flour to make a breadcrumb texture for doughs, it needs to be cold, straight out of the fridge, otherwise it's hopelessly soft and sludgy. It's a bit of change from leaving out the butter to soften to bake with, but once you get used to the best ways to use it, it's no problem. It melts well when heated, just like butter would, so it's surprisingly adaptable. I don't even think about whether it will perform like butter or marge when cooking with it anymore, I know it will almost always give good results. I've only once gone out to buy butter to cook with since making the changeover.
I am really happy with this product - I never expected it to be this good.
Choice is a bit of a luxury for vegans - and when it comes to something to spread on sandwiches and toast this is no different. At my local supermarket this is the only dairy-free spread; fortunately, it is a good one.
I know of only one other supermarket dairy free spread and that is at Sainsburys - but I shop there infrequently.
There are three varieties of 'Pure'
Pure - Soya Spread
Pure - Sunflower Spread
Pure - Organic Spread
The soya and the sunflower spreads both cost £1.12. Tesco stocked the organic spread a few months ago but it has disappeared off the shelves. Its price was a little more expensive at £1.45 ish. I am unsure as to why they have stopped selling it. Possibly because it is more expensive and therefore less popular. Also, it has less of the added vitamins and minerals it.
Generally, I think that Pure is a little more expensive than your bog-standard margarine/spread but it is not enough to put you off (if you had a choice).
Soya Oil (45%), Water, Vegetable Oils, Salt (0.75%), Emulsifier (Mono and Diglycerides of Vegetable Fatty Acids), Vitamin E, Natural Flavouring, Vitamin A, Colour (Natural Carotenes), Vitamin D2, Vitamin B12
Per 10g serving, Pure contains 3% of your daily calories, 0% sugar, 8% fat (saturates being 7% of that and 1% of your salt intake.
The sunflower spread contains added omega 3 and 6 - so if you wish to make sure you get a shot of those important nutrients choose that variety. The soya spread does not have them added.
The spread is also free from additives, free from Dairy, free from genetically modified ingredients, free from gluten and suitable for vegans (as mentioned previously).
I think it is always good to check that the soya you are eating is non GM type. There is so much soya grown in the world now (mostly to feed meat-producing cattle) and soya added to many foods. I personally want a quality product and the long term effects of GM foods are not known.
The Pure Soya Spread is sold in a 500g rigid opaque plastic container with a slighly less opaque lid. It is a functional design and keeps the product well during the time you are consuming it; it never splits. It has a green coloured design on the tub (the sunflower variety is a yellow design and the organic variety is a blue design). This makes the different varieties easily identifiable. When you peel off the lid, the spread has another coating of a greaseproof paper protective covering. I truly wish that there was also a smaller tub of 250g available to buy - because sometimes when I am going camping or taking a bag of food with me when I am going somewhere (you get used to doing this as often the alternative is to eat nothing/crisps) I would like a smaller pack. At the moment, I have to fiddle around decanting some of the spread into a tupperware for camping - a bit iccy. Recycling - The lid details it as 05 - which I believe is just being added to my local authority collection. Otherwise, it is a landfill nightmare.
Appearance and texture
The spread has quite a 'bright' look to it as you skim your knife across it and does not have that yellow appearance that comes with many creamy, buttery spreads. It is thick and spreads well. When put on to hot toast, it melts easily in the same way that standard spreads would. I prefer to eat toast with the spread fully melted.
The reason why I prefer the spread fully melted is I think that the spread is a little non descript in its unmelted state. If you think about it, butter is eaten on its own on bread for its thick, creamy experience - but margarine and spread are an altogether different experience; they are there to enhance the texture and flavour of the topping that you add after. I don't eat Pura in a cold state - unless I have a tasty soup to dip it in. I would describe the flavour of Pura spread as quite 'neutral'.
I currently have 3 tubs of Pure in my fridge as I am about to make a large vegan birthday cake . This spread works very well in baking (although many vegan recipies use oil as a fat) in the same way as regular good quality spread canbe used and works very well indeed as a frosting on the cake. I will be making a chocolate frosting and all of the previous ones have kept a good firm texture when applied to the cake. Because the spread has a very neutral taste, it adapts very well to flavours you can add - such as chocolate or lemon.
Value for money
I have no issues with spending £1.12 on this good quality product. I feel confident that what I am buying is a truly vegan product and a lot of care has been taken with its production.
Pure have a website which discusses the products in greater detail. It is well worth a look for people with specific dietry needs because it has a recipe section where you can refine your search. I ticked 'vegan' and the search threw up a huge number of recipes for snacks and starters, main meals and desserts. They look quite good too! For example - what about
Baked butternut squash and red camarge rice pilaf for tea tonight? You can even join a special 'Pure' club to get more details of other things. I was very impressed with the care and attention to detail - in the same way that I am with their spreads.
The website address is: www.puredairyfree.co.uk. For those without internet (not you I know) there is a freephone - 0800 028 4499
It is a long time since I ate butter but I do remember the taste of it. If you wanted to replicate that buttery experience - this is not the spread for you. There are countless other spreads trying to do just that on the shelves. If you want a spread that is great in all other ways - and is a compassionate food choice - this is an excellent buy. When I use it I often marvel at the unnecessary use of animal ingredients in such basic foodstuffs; it is so good without those products.
We had a bit shock in store for us when we found out our little one was allergic to milk and the first thing we looked into was soya alternatives. A was a little stumped when it came to butter but someone recommended the Pure range to me and i've never looked back.
~~ What is it? ~~
Pure Spread is perfect for those who have allergies or need to cut certain foods out of their diets. Pure Soya is completely free from dairy, gluten, artificial colourings, flavouring & preservatives, hydrogenated oils and GM ingredients. We only needed it to be dairy free at the time but having nothing artificial in it was a complete bonus and something that set my mind at ease. After all, it wasn't just my daughter that couldn't have dairy as I had to cut it from my diet whilst I was feeding her (She wouldn't take the dairy free alternative formula so I was completely stuck).
~~ The taste ~~
Does it taste like regular butter? No! It tastes a little bit like margarine which isn't an altogether bad thing. It was a little bit strange for me at first, but you soon get used to it and I actually prefer it to butter these days! It isn't a horrible taste that you have to force yourself to eat but you will notice a difference from what you are used to. My daughter has never had butter so it comes naturally to her to eat it and we have no problems there (Though we've now had to switch to the Sunflower Version due to a Soya allergy).
~~ Price ~~
A tub of it is usually £1.10 in Asda and tends to last about 2 weeks for 3 of us using it daily. We now use the Sunflower version which is quite similar and costs the same amount but doesn't have soya included.
~~ Overall ~~
I probably would never have looked at this had it not been for the fact we had no choice. However, it is much better than I would have expected and it is just like using a margarine spread. The taste is alright and like I've mentioned, I actually prefer the sunflower version that is soya free too and will use it rather than buying butter. You can bake and cook with this too which means we have no trouble making meals for our daughter or baking things that would have otherwise needed butter. My only disappointment is that Pure haven't come up with cheese and other dairy and soya free ingredients that we can use!
~~ Other Facts ~~
The spread contains less than 1% salt which was obviously very important to us as a baby can only handle a certain amount of salt. It also has added folic acid along with key vitamins that allow you to lead a nice healthy lifestyle. Other key information can be found at http://www.puredairyfree.co.uk/soya.php
ALong with Vitalite, this is the only other dairy free spread I would recommend. It is my second favourite and when the supermarkets are out of Vitalite, I will always buy this one.
There are two types in this Pure range, both are dairy free and both are equally as good. The other is a sunflower version and to be honest, although I have tried, I cant tell the difference between the two.
Pure Dairy Free Soya Spread costs around £1.50 and can be found at most supermarkets nowadays. It has been around since the 1990s when you could only find it in health food shops. It's called Pure because it is made with natural ingredients. It is free from artificial preservatives, colours and additives. It is also free from hydrogenated oils, GM products and gluten. It is hailed as one of the best spreads for people with most common food allergies and (although it isn't advertised for this) it is ingredibly low in fat and calories. I was able to continue spreading it on my toast while on Weight Watchers!
Aside from this being an excellent source of vitamins B6, A, E, D, D2 and B12 it is also rich in folic acid! For vegetarians and vegans, it is an excellent source of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids that you miss out on when eliminating fish from your diet. which is also a really good thing.
This spread can be used in all the same ways that you would use an ordinary margerine or butter: you can bake with it, fry with it and use it in your sandwiches. But in terms of taste, I have it as my 2nd favourite spread because it lacks any distinctive flavour. It melts well and spreads easily on toast and bread but it lacks the saltyness of conventional margerines and spreads (which is probably better for your health but not as great if you are a butter fan). I have sometimes had this brand and found myself sprinkling a little tiny bit of salt onto my toast also just so I could taste something!
But I have to give this product a good review all in all because most of the time the flavour doesn't concern me as I wolf most of my food down anyway and it is a super product that keeps bang up to date with our health consciousce consumer needs.
Apparently they are bringing out an organic version too although my local supermarket doesn't seem to sell this.
Of which saturates 14g
Omega 3 fatty acids 2.5g
Omega 6 fatty acids 24.5g
Vitamin A 800μg
Vitamin D as D2 7.5μg
Vitamin E 380mg
Vitamin B6 5mg
Folic acid 1000μg
Vitamin B12 5μg