Friday, September 10, 2010

Homemade butter

Do you know how good butter is for you?? It is sooooo much better for you than the low-fat, hydrolyzed, “smart” margarine versions out there. It is a “good fat” NOT a bad fat. It is fats, vitamins, and minerals. Butter is necessary for adrenal and thyroid health. It is beneficial for fungal infections, especially candidiasis. It is also said to possess anti tumor and anti cancer properties. It is beneficial for fighting tooth decay and to promote muscle growth. Butter contains less amounts of lactose so if you are lactose intolerant you may be able to easily consume it. It is proposed that the lecithin in butter is essential for cholesterol metabolism. It contains conjugated linoleic acid, which promotes immunity. It can prevent calcification of the joints and also help the body in absorption of minerals.

Butter contains arachinoic acid, vital for the brain and cell function. It could possibly even be beneficial in preventing GI infections in children. It is rich in vitamin A and D, essential for calcium absorption. Butter contains lots of antioxidants and lecithin, which aids in cholesterol metabolism. The surge of heart disease in the second half of the twentieth century affected butter consumption. A huge increase in the consumption of refined sugar and starch also occurred around the same time as increased incidence of heart disease.

Making your own butter isn’t necessarily a huge cost savings, but the best part is that you know exactly what goes into it. It takes 1-2 ingredients. That’s it! The only thing you need is heavy (organic) cream…real cream. Not half/half or highly pasteurized whipping cream. The kind I use is 40% heavy cream from a local dairy. The only other ingredient is optional…a nice pinch of salt (sea salt…not refined, iodinated). Some people use a mixer but make sure you have a cover or at least saran wrap over the bowl. I use a quart sized mason jar and pour slightly less than a pint of cream in. You can use a pint but the more room you leave the quicker it goes to butter. If I use the whole pint I have to beg Lee to help. It’s best to use it at room temperature. All you do is shake, and shake, and shake some more. It has taken me anywhere from 5 minutes to what seemed like 20 minutes. Sometimes I’ll shake it for a few minutes, check my email, shake some more. Once it turns to whip cream, I usually ask Lee to shake it for a minute or two. The hardest part is getting the “butter milk” to come out. Once you do it you’ll understand exactly what I mean. It usually feels like you can’t even get the cream to move, and then all of a sudden, the butter and milk separate. Then you’ll start to hear the butter clinking around. At that point I pour the contents into a metal or glass bowl (wait until you have a nice, glob of butter formed). I take a wooden spatula and squish/press the butter to get the rest of the liquid out. Pour all of the liquid off. Keep pressing the butter, then run a little bit of cold water over it to rinse the butter. If you skip this step the remaining milk will cause the butter to go rancid in a few days. Once you’ve rinsed it several times and pressed all of the liquid out, pat it with a towel, and put it in a container. I’ve used glass, plastic, and wax paper. Then make some toast!!

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