A lot of people love butter, but many of us are afraid of butter. Why on earth do we fear a liberal or even moderate consumption of this nutrient-packed dairy product?
This article by Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig, PhD explains our fear in the opening paragraph:
When the fabricated food folks and apologists for the corporate farm realized that they couldn't block America's growing interest in diet and nutrition, a movement that would ultimately put an end to America's biggest and most monopolistic industries, they infiltrated the movement and put a few sinister twists on information going out to the public. Item number one in the disinformation campaign was the assertion that naturally saturated fats from animal sources are the root cause of the current heart disease and cancer plague. Butter bore the brunt of the attack, and was accused of terrible crimes. The Diet Dictocrats told us that it was better to switch to polyunsaturated margarine and most Americans did. Butter all but disappeared from our tables, shunned as a miscreant.As it turns out, butter is a powerful, health-promoting food. So, go ahead, eat more butter!
If you want to receive the maximum benefits from butter, raw milk butter from grass-fed cows is the best option. If you have completed Step One of my Steps to Traditional Eating, you have a source of grass-fed, raw milk from which to draw cream, and thus make homemade butter. If not, you can use conventional, store-bought cream to make butter, but due to high temperatures during the pasteurization process and the diet of factory farm dairy cows, the butter will be inferior in nutrition and taste to raw milk butter. If you have no choice except to use pasteurized cream, stay away from cream that has been pasteurized using the ultra-high temperature (UHT) pasteurization process.
Take a look at these pictures of conventional, pasteurized, store-bought butter and my own homemade raw milk butter.
|Store-bought, pasteurized butter|
|Homemade, raw milk butter|
|Side-by-side comparison. |
The conventional, pasteurized butter looks almost white in contrast to the nutrient-rich raw butter!
Just like my pastured eggs with their orange, nutrient-packed yolks, the raw butter is a deeper yellow than the pasteurized butter. In the Spring and Fall, when cows are grazing on rapidly growing grass, the butter is a brilliant yellow and was prized in traditional cultures (and by traditional foodies, like myself, today) for its nutritional properties. The first time I made butter from raw milk, I gasped at the color after I opened the flour cloth it had been draining in and glimpsed the first hint of vivid yellow. Beautiful stuff, it is!
So, how do you make homemade butter? There are two options. You can pour the cream in a food processor and let it go to work or you can use a hand or stand mixer. I have used both a food processor and a hand mixer and prefer the food processor method.
Either way it takes about 20 minutes of processing or mixing to make. The cream will begin to bubble and froth and eventually it will turn into whipped cream. Once the whipped cream texture begins to break, you'll notice it getting lower in the bowl. Continued mixing will cause the solid butter and the buttermilk to separate.
I drain the buttermilk off and save it for other uses. After the buttermilk is drained, pour ice cold water over the butter and mix/process it for a bit longer. I pour that water out and put the butter in a flour cloth to absorb and drain the rest of the water/buttermilk. I give it several squeezes, as buttermilk remaining in the butter will cause the butter to sour more quickly. Now, there is nothing wrong with eating the soured, raw butter, but I prefer my butter to taste sweet.
Give this a try!
If you already make homemade butter and you have some tips or tricks to add, please post them in the comments section!