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How to Make Homemade Butter
I love butter. But, who doesn’t, right? Butter is one of those awesome real foods that you can easily make at home. This is especially important if you prefer to eat the most nutritious butter – raw, grass-fed butter. Before I get to how to make homemade butter, let’s talk about why you’d want to make homemade butter.
Butter is a Part of a Healthy Diet
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!
Still skeptical? Rest your worries with this book – Eat Fat Lose Fat. It’s a must have book for all real food eaters.
Raw Grass-Fed Butter is Better
If you want to receive the maximum benefits from butter, raw milk butter from grass-fed cows is the best option. If you have a source of grass-fed, raw milk from which to draw cream, you can easily make nutritious homemade butter. If not, you can use conventional, store-bought cream to make butter. However, 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. Look for low temperature pasteurized milk.
Take a look at these pictures of conventional, pasteurized, store-bought butter and my own homemade raw milk butter. You can clearly see the difference. The raw homemade butter looks vibrant and delicious.
Pasteurized, factory farmed, store-bought butter is pale and only slightly flavorful.
Homemade raw, grass-fed butter is a rich, bright yellow and is super flavorful.
Why is Homemade Raw Butter Such a Bright Yellow?
Just like my pastured eggs with their orange, nutrient-packed yolks, the raw butter shows its nutrients in its color and flavor. 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 real food lovers, like myself, today) for its nutritional properties.
The first time I made butter from raw cream, 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!
Now on to what you came here for!
How to Make Homemade Butter
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 mixer 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 to make.
Here are the steps: (You can print them below.)
- Pour the cream into the food processor bowl or a mixing bowl. Begin the mixing process.
- The cream will begin to bubble and froth and eventually it will turn into whipped cream. Stop the food processor or mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl then continue mixing.
- 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.
- The cream will get thicker and then grainer. When you notice liquid in the bowl separated from the fat, it’s time to take the butter out of the bowl. It takes about 10 minutes to get to this step.
- Remove the butter from the from the bowl and place it in a fine mesh strainer.
- Fold, press, and squeeze the butter to remove the liquid, or buttermilk. (You can save the buttermilk to use later with a buttermilk culture.)
- After the buttermilk is drained and squeezed out pour ice cold water over the butter and mix/process it for a bit longer.
- Pour that water out and put the butter in a flour sack 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 fermented raw butter, but I prefer my butter to taste sweet.)
- Add salt to taste. This is optional. I usually don’t add salt. However, adding salt helps the butter to last a little longer without fermenting.
Slather it on some homemade sourdough bread and enjoy your hard work.
Before you go!
This is how I get a real food dinner on the table on even the busiest evenings. It’s all about planning, baby. Check it out!