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curaloucur
curaloucur
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Hello, I just loved this website, such a great resource for vegan bakers!

I have a question about shortening though, in the pastry recipe you suggest using it and I wonder if it's the same vegetable shortening made of hydrogenated oils as you can find on supermarkets. I've seen in USA some shortening that are not that bad (I think from the same company as Earth Balance) but it scares me a bit having to use those kind of shortening. Any healthier alternative?
Tuesday, November 29 2011, 03:13 AM
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  • Accepted Answer

    Mattie
    Mattie
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    Wednesday, November 30 2011, 12:52 AM - #Permalink
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    Welcome to Veganbaking.net curaloucur and thanks for the kind words!

    Great question! The shortening I use and recommend is either made by Earth Balance or Spectrum Naturals. Either one works fine. These shortenings are mainly just blends of palm, soybean, canola and olive oils so they can remain non-hydrogentated, vegan and work identically to hydrogenated shortenings. There is some concern about the use of palm oil because its production has been associated with rainforest and habitat destruction- what an ironic catch-22 for vegans!

    As of this writing, Spectrum Naturals appears to be the only company of these two that actually takes steps to make sure their palm oil is sustainably aquired: http://www.spectrumorganics.com/?id=269
    Unfortunately they appear to have distribution in only some parts of the US West coast.
    Emails to Earth Balance have been returned with broad statements ensuring that they care about sustainable palm oil but no actual concrete information on what they're doing. This leads me to believe that they're not actually seeking out sustainable palm sources.

    Shortening is 100% fat that is mostly saturated. Depending on who you talk to (and what industry is doing the talking), plant-based saturated fat is either good or bad for you. I like to use it in moderation. The best way to use it healthily is to use as little of it as possible ;)

    I'm going to work on a recipe for palm-free shortening based on my own blend of fats so people can avoid palm oil if they wish and so our friends in other parts of the world are able to have access to it- it's really hard to find outside of the US.
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  • Accepted Answer

    Mattie
    Mattie
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    Friday, March 02 2012, 11:52 AM - #Permalink
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    Hi curaloucur, I just wanted to let you know that I just posted my recipe for Vegan Shortening below. That way, if you can't find it you can just easily make it yourself.

    http://veganbaking.net/other-vegan-treats/776-how-to-make-vegan-shortening
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