Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A paleo buttery spread?

If you're like me, you probably shunned "buttery spreads" years ago. Country Crock, Promise, I Can't Believe It's Not Butter ... all are chock full of junk. Yuck.

Last week, however, I learned that a new buttery spread is on the market. And this buttery spread, the company tells me, is probably paleo compliant. By 'probably' I mean that they didn't call it paleo -- they just suggested that it might be and sent four giant tubs of the stuff so I could come to my own conclusion.

Meet Melt® and Honey Melt® Organic Buttery Spread.

Melt is made up of an organic oil blend, with virgin coconut oil taking center stage. It is soy free, gluten free, trans-fat free, fair trade, Kosher and non-gmo. All good things.

But is it paleo? Let's take a look at the facts ...
  1. It has an eight-month shelf life.
  2. It contains canola oil.
  3. It is processed.
  4. It contains 'natural butter flavor.'
For me personally, this adds up no -- primarily because of the canola oil, which I avoid (for reasons explained by Diane from Balanced Bites). However, paleo does not have to be a rigid set of rules/standards -- we are all on our own health journey and need to make food decisions based on our own experiences, needs and goals. Some people are low carb, some are not. Some enjoy occasional 'reminder days,' some do not (someone on Twitter introduced me to the phrase 'reminder days' -- I can't remember who it was, but I love it!). Some are OK with canola oil, some are not. So, even though Melt isn't OK for me ... it might be OK for you.

Anyway, despite seeing canola oil on Melt's ingredient list I went ahead and tried it so I could give my assessment (I'm not going to experience any major issues from a wee amount of canola oil, after all). The verdict: it tastes pretty good! Especially the Honey Melt. You know how coconut oil sometimes seems overwhelmingly tropical? Melt does not. The other oils in the blend (palm fruit, sunflower, flaxseed and that pesky canola oil) seem to balance it out. Melt also has a smooth/creamy texture, and it works well in recipes (yep, you can make a direct butter/Melt swap).

Nonetheless, it is still a packaged buttery spread and I firmly believe that we are all better off using real butter and/or unadulterated coconut oil. High quality butter is not 'bad fat' (as stated in Melt's marketing materials) and coconut oil (believe it or not) actually spreads pretty well on its own (without help from other oils and/or processing).

With all of that said, Melt is by far the healthiest buttery spread out there. If you have family members who are still suspicious of saturated fat and paleo, this might be a good transitional product as you work toward getting them on board with better nutrition. They might not be willing to give up bread right now -- but perhaps they'll spread Melt, rather than soy-laden Earth Balance, on their toast? That's a start! In fact, I used Melt to bake a loaf of (organic) wheat bread for my non-paleo husband. He loved it! Melt worked very well with our standard bread machine recipe.

How do you feel about butter? Would you rather use the real stuff or a buttery spread like Melt?


  1. We can't use the real stuff because our son has a dairy allergy, so we use the non-soy EB or ghee the rare times we want something buttery. I'll have to look out for Melt. Thanks for the review! :)

  2. You are welcome! I hope you like it!


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