But why am I discussing the good old butter in today’s article? And why is it such an important commodity?
I’ll discuss if butter is good for you or not. Later in this article, I’ll show you how you can make butter at home with little experience!
Butter is a lot more common in our diets than you realise. It’s especially more prevalent in pastries, desserts, and bread. Imagine the reaction from households and chefs when prices of butter started to skyrocket in 2014.
If you’re a constant believer in the use of butter in your recipes and foods, you would have been taken aback by the rise in prices across the board.
In most cases, chefs would absorb the rise in prices to continue their use of butter. Only because butter has no other great alternative.
Butter is actually my preferred choice over margarine. Butter is rich in pure fat. It’s fragrant and has a beautiful, creamy texture that you can never find in alternatives (like margarine). In fact, butter is what I would advocate in a keto diet.
Butter is a great source of fats (high-fat) — saturated and unsaturated.
Is Butter good for you? Or not?
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There have been numerous studies. I repeat, numerous studies since the 19th Century.
And each time a study is conducted on the effects of butter on health, there is always the question of whether the results of these studies are entirely conclusive. The answer is: no.
Recently, there has been a surge in popularity in the use of butter because of the perceived health benefits from the consumption of butter. Needless to say, this is because a then study purportedly said it has health benefits.
In 2014, the study stated that butter actually may help us lose weight and that there was no relationship between saturated fats (what butter is full of) and heart disease.
However, many people only took the results of that study without really asking if the study contained any flaws that would make the results inconclusive.
In fact, the study did have flaws. And it raised the uncertainty again. That there could possibly be a relationship between saturated fats and heart disease.
The conventional understanding by many, especially in the health industry, is that saturated fats raise your ‘bad’ cholesterol (HDL). And they’re one of the biggest causes to congested arteries (one main contributor to heart diseases).
However, with so much uncertainty regarding butter and its purported effects, can we really say that butter is good?
Well.. if you ask me, butter is actually a better alternative to margarine (which is made up of vegetable oil). It works great in recipes; it has terrific fragrance and creamy texture.
We’re able to enjoy most desserts today because of butter. Take out butter, and we would have to turn to the vegetable oil alternative, margarine. And we get an oily aftertaste in our desserts.
So if you ask me, butter is a great option to have in our keto diets. It’s high in fats. But we should be careful to not consume too much butter. Remember: moderation is key.
How is Butter made?
Butter is essentially fats, more specifically the butterfat from milk. Butter is made by churning milk to separate the fat from the milk.
It is a lengthy process where to separate the fats from the milk and then converting it into a solid. (When I talk about milk, it’s the milk that’re fresh from the mammals — cows, goats, etc).
If you did a little bit of chemistry, you’d know that water and oil does not mix naturally. Butter is what they call a water-in-oil emulsion. That means that butter is essentially the combination of water and oil (fats) with milk proteins acting as the emulsifiers.
After the churn, the butter is then kneaded and worked on to give us that buttery, silky smooth texture that we all love.
And that’s the process that is followed by farms all over to give us the butter we find in supermarkets.
The next question is.. Can you make butter at home?
How to make Butter at Home?
The overall idea to making butter stays the same. It’s probably slightly easier for us because the farm has already eliminated several steps in between to ensure that the cream/milk we use is suitable for consumption.
But, in most cases, cream is used as the preferred choice to make butter. This is because it has the highest percentage of fats amongst other dairy products.
And that makes it a really good option to use if you want to make butter at home.
Home Butter Churners
Not surprisingly, there are plenty of options online when it comes to churning butter at home. In fact, some of them are even able to churn it for you.
No longer do we need to churn for hours just to get that little dollop of butter.
I’ve taken the time to find the best butter churner you should use if you ever want to make butter at home (and stay above the rising butter prices).
With an average of 4.4/5 stars, this makes it to the top of the list for homemade butter beginners.
It might only have a capacity of 1 litres, but what I like about this (and many others who have tried) is that it allows you to manually churn the cream, and observe the gradual changes in the cream as it becomes butter.
There’re few with this glass jar offering. If it’s your first time making butter at home, try this for a start.
- Dishwasher-safe: throw (not literally) into a dishwasher to get this squeaky clean again!
- It includes a little recipe book to get you started
- Paddles are well-built (as many reviewers have attested to) so they won’t break during churning
- Because it is a glass jar, you have to be careful during your handling. But it still gives you a wonderful view of the process
2. Tamarack The Hand Butter Churn
This next one might be a little steep. But it’s worth every penny if you’re a constant butter churner. Why?
This particular one is three times bigger than the Kilner Butter from above. And it’s made with a lot more stronger materials. That means you can churn away as intensively or as gently as you want without fear something somewhere will come loose.
And doesn’t it look amazing? Reviewers elsewhere have also complimented on the effectiveness of this churner, and it being well worth its price.
The good thing is you don’t need to churn a gallon of cream each time. You can fill it with however much you require!
- Churns up to 1 gallon (3.78 litres) of cream each time
- Stronger gears, bigger paddles (less effort required)
- Aesthetics — looks great on the kitchen top
I would generally recommend going for a proper butter churner like these two above. You could certainly use a food processor or blender to churn butter.
It could take some time for you to figure out the right amount of time required (if you use a blender) because you don’t really get to see the consistency of the butter. Too much and the butter could split, just like any other emulsion.
- Size — your guests will not be able to overlook the fact you churn your own butter (but that can be an admirable feat)
What you will need
- Butter churner (one of the above, or any other churners you have)
- Heavy whipping cream (as high fat percentage as you wish)
- Let cream sit in room temperature for 2-3 hours until it’s soft and to ripen.
- Pour the cream into the churner and start churning!
- Depending on how much cream you used, the time taken for the fats to separate will differ (a litre of cream could take up to 1 hour).
- You will start to see the butter separate from the cream and you will notice liquid in the mix as well. The liquid is buttermilk.
- Strain the mix to obtain your butter and buttermilk. (The buttermilk can be kept for consumption or any of the pancake recipes found here and here!)
- Continue to strain the mix until the butter is free of the buttermilk.
- Run the butter under water until it runs clear. This is to remove any traces of leftover buttermilk within the butter. Otherwise, the butter will turn bad quickly.
- Simply wrap the butter in wax paper and refrigerate.
There you have it! This is all you need to know to make butter at home. It is relatively straightforward but the best way is to try it out yourself!