The health benefits of butter cannot be overstated. While many old-school doctors would have you believe that butter is the culprit in heart disease and an array of other health maladies, that couldn’t be further from the truth. The truth is that butter is chock full of nutrients that not only are good for you, but essential to normal development and overall health. Real, pastured butter can provide a great source of iodine, Vitamin A, CLA (a known antioxidant), GOOD (HDL) cholesterol, selenium, and butryc acid – a compound that helps to maintain levels of good bacteria in the gut and prevent cancers, ulcerative colitis, and other bowel disorders. TRANS fats (shortening, margarine, hydrogenated oils) are the true culprit in heart disease – not good saturated fats like butter. So, go butter those veggies! Homemade butter is super easy to make. I use my Kitchen-Aid mixer. You can do it by hand, or in a blender, but I’ve found the Kitchen-Aid is the best helping hand for making butter. Here are the steps to making a jar of the golden goodness:
1. Pour two pints of grassfed, lightly-pasteurized or raw heavy cream (do not use store-bought, ultrapasteurized “heavy whipping cream”) into your Kitchen-Aid mixing bowl. Using the whisk attachment, beat the heck out of the cream on high speed until it starts to separate into solid and liquid parts and looks like scrambled eggs (this could take anywhere from 5-15 minutes).
2. Pour off the whey (liquid) and reserve it for another use. Switch to the paddle attachment on your mixer. Beat that butter some more until more liquid separates. Pour that whey off too.
3. Take your butter out of the mixing bowl (yes with your clean bare hands) and wring it out to get as much of the whey out as possible. The more liquid you get out of the butter, the less likely it is to go rancid.
4. Put your butter in a clean, thin dishtowel or other piece of acceptable fabric (DON’T use a fuzzy fabric unless you want tiny pieces of fuzz in your butter!) and twist the fabric to contain your ball of butter.
5. In a bowl of ice water, knead your butter in the dishtowel a few times. When the water starts to get cloudy, change it for new ice water. Knead again. When the water remains clear after kneading the butter, most of the remaining whey should be gone and your butter should be done!
6. Form the butter into a bar and place in a butter dish or simply put your butter into a shallow jar.
For flavored butter, beat in a small bowl with the following ingredients:
Honey-cinnamon: 1 Tbsp. raw, local honey and 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
Cilantro-lime (fantastic on a warm ear of corn!): 1 Tbsp. lime zest, 1 Tbsp. lime juice, 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro
Chocolate: Tbsp. cocoa powder, 1/4 tsp. vanilla, 2 Tbsp. powdered sugar