Yes, you can make your very own yummy spreadable butter. How wonderous, you are thinking...
Indeed...but first the back story!
Butter versus Margarine.
The big debate right?! Well, I grew up eating margarine and honestly thought there was no difference between them in taste or otherwise, except that one you couldn't spread! Well, cut to a few years ago when I started to get a little more health-aware and trying to cut out certain processed foods, chemicals and additives where I could... in particular trans fat, which margarine contains - so I decided to swap to butter. 'Just eat real food', is now my basic food mantra! Don't get me wrong, I am not obsessive and don't stress about eating junk at times, but just try to keep making small and better choices and changes where and when I can. Baby-steps and all that. So, margarine was out and butter was in. Funnily though, I now couldn't touch margarine with a ten foot pole, just based on taste alone - can't believe how different they are! And how much a palette can change...
So, taste and health-wise, butter was my new best friend... except for the small issue of spreadability. Canberra being the climate of extreme temperatures that it is, leaving it out on the bench just didn't seem to work. Either it was so hot here it melted into a greasy puddle, or so cold during winter that it was like trying to scrape a block of ice. In fact the temperature in the fridge was probably warmer, haha!
So I started buying spreadable butter sometimes but not only was it a lot more expensive but... gasp... most of them had trans fat in them too! Sigh. Anyway, we persevered with the butter variations but a few months ago some clever friends mentioned on Facebook that they make their own spreadable butter by mixing it with oil.
Stop.the.press! MAKE YOUR OWN!?! What a radical yet 'why on earth didn't I think of that' idea!
Of course over the last few months making spreadable butter hasn't been the top of the priority list but I was so keen to give it a go when I could. I did a bit of googling and found a hundred variations of the idea so I made a recipe ratio that seemed like it would work and gave it a shot! TOO EASY, people! So I thought I would record it here on the old blogaroo in case anyone else wants to try it and save on both money and chemicals...
One variation I found online was some used canola oil to mix with it, while others preferred the health benefits of olive oil. Some said though that olive oil when chilled in the fridge went too hard. I would much prefer olive oil too so decided to combine them both for hopefully the best of both worlds! Also, I used light olive oil so the butter didn't taste too olive-oiley! Some said to add water too but that was a bit too whacky for me!
The ratio I came up with was -
- 500 grams softened butter
- 1.5 cups oil (1 cup extra light olive oil, 1/2 cup canola oil)
Then the process was just -
- Beat the butter in a bowl for a couple minutes until whipped/lighter colour
- Slowly add the oil while still beating - it will become quite liquid, like a pancake batter
- That's it - pour into containers to chill overnight! (I used 2 x 500ml glass Pyrex containers)
The whipping also adds air/volume so your butter goes even further. Good for the grocery bill too!
Anyway, I excitedly chilled overnight and in the morning - hey presto - light, easy to scrape and spread, yummy buttery-tasting butter! Woohooooooooo!!!
Ok, ok, maybe I am just a leeeettle too excited over this but what can I say? Finding something that benefits my family in both health and dollars and practicality = yeeha! Not to mention a satisfying conclusion to an ongoing butter saga, haha!!! No more ripping up fresh bread or hacking at hard butter blocks. It only took a couple minutes to do, so it's very easy to make up a few tubs to last...well.... not too long in this house with our toast and sandwich-loving horde!
Alright, alright, if I talk about butter any longer, I'm sure every reader is going to boycott this blog so I will stop now. But go on... give it a go!! ;)
Yours in buttery-spreadable goodness xx
Edited to add: As this is one of my most popular posts, I thought I had better update it (over a year and a half later) to say that we still make and eat our spreadable butter this way - it's the only way we have our 'spreading' butter now! Still easy, delicious, and convenient. The only thing I wanted to change here is that we now make it with only olive oil (1.5 cups), and not canola or similar. I try to avoid all those more processed vegetable oils these days. Here is a starting article on why. It works fine with just olive oil... a little bit harder straight out of the fridge but still spreadable (and much more spreadable than straight butter would be! Just wanted to add that little update in case it helps anyone wanting to avoid canola/vegetable oils too. x