Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Why pay others when you can do it yourself?

Some people are butter aficionados (I don't think that is spelled right, but spell-check says it is..). Some people love margarine. Some don't care either way. I personally don't really care, but there are certain applications that I prefer one or the other. Baking- butter all the way. Eggs- butter. Grilled cheese- a spread is easier to get on the bread. I saw a blog post a while ago about someone who made their own spreadable butter. You know, the stuff you pay almost twice as much for, when there is actually less butter in it because it is cut with canola oil. (Kind of like the watered down foamy soap.) I've never purchased spreadable butter for myself, though I bought it and used it at work once in a while, and it was okay. I was still sticking with my good old Country Crock Shedd's Spread. (Why does it have two names?) But still, the spreadable butter idea was kicking around my head, and I wanted to try it, I just hadn't gotten around to it. Two things spurred me into it. 1) We ran out of Shedd's Spread, but have an enormous amount of butter (in a tub, instead of sticks, which is not so great). and 2) Alann recently heard the "margarine is one step away from plastic" theory. Check out snopes for some insight. So he has been saying that to me every time we had shedd's spread, until we ran out anyway. So, since I had lots of butter and wasn't planning a shopping trip anytime soon, I figured I would at least try it out. (Yes yes, butter may or may not be bad for you, especially if you happen to have a hubby with high cholesterol, but I prefer the natural stuff to the chemically made stuff 99% of the time. And by natural I mean I could make it myself if I wanted.) So, here is the recipe.

Spreadable butter:
8 oz (1/2 a pound, 1 cup, or two sticks) of really soft room temp. butter (mine seemed to be on the verge of melting it was so soft)
1/4-1/2 c of light flavored oil- canola or vegetable or light olive oil
1 tsp salt- honestly, I forgot this and it seems fine without it.

Whip all ingredients together in a food processor or with a hand mixer.

Seriously, that's it. I cleaned out the spread container and just mixed in there since it was twice the size of the amount of butter I was using. When I did this, I used 1 pound (16 oz or a whole box equivalent) of butter and 1/2 c of oil. The original recipe called for 1 whole cup of oil for that much butter. I decided when I started to see if I could use less oil, and decided to start with 3/4 cups. But after I had mixed in the 1/2 c, it was really really soupy, so I was afraid and stopped. But a night in the fridge sorted it out just fine. The consistency is almost exactly like the spreadable butter you get at the store. Straight out of the fridge it is still firm, but definitely spreadable, but if you let it sit out for a few minutes, it softens up nicely. If you wanted it more spread-like, you would have to add more oil. If it gets left out and warms up enough, I will probably whip the extra 1/4 c of oil in and see how that goes, but I won't leave it out on purpose. Or next time I will try the 3/4 c of oil and see which one we prefer. But so far, I am pretty pleased with it. I like that it's one less thing to buy. And I like that it cuts the saturated fat of the butter by the "good fat" in the oil. And it tastes really buttery, much better than most of the spreads anyway. So there you have it. Score one for Becca, score zero for corporations doing something for me that I can now do myself.

1 comment:

Shannon said...

Good for you! Way to stick it to the corporations. :) I am not even going to look at the info on margaine. I use it for baking and some other stuff and have no problems with it. Plus it's way cheaper than real butter. What I don't know can't haunt me.