Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Save with homemade butter spread

My homemade butter spread and the reason for
making it - homemade banana nut bread!
The other day I was completely out of Country Crock - which I pretty much only use for spreading. Now, I usually get Country Crock for a great price, but this week there were no sales to go with coupons. But I had stocked up on butter a few months ago - getting it for about $1.99 a pound. So, I went online, searching for instructions to make my own spread. This recipe isn't as cheap as the margarine spread you can buy, but it's real, natural butter and healthy oils of your choosing instead of all oil and who-knows-what!

I found several recipes, but all involved whipping together about 1 part oil to 2 parts butter. Some had the ratio as 1-to-1 and others added 1 part oil and 1 part water to 2 parts butter. You can play with the recipe to get what you like best. I can tell you that I tried 2 parts butter, 1 part canola oil and 1/2 part water and whipped it in my mini-food processor.  It only took 10 minutes max! The recipe I tried kept the butter more soft after refrigeration, but not as soft as Country Crock. After some more research, I found the water isn't necessary and the more you whip it (adding air) the softer it stays in the fridge. This process also increases the shelf life of the butter! So, I think I'm going to omit the water next time and whip it more.

Anyhow, here is a basic recipe to start from:
2 sticks (1 cup) of butter
1/2 cup of oil (most popular and healthy are olive or canola, but any blend will do)

Let the butter soften to room temperature (don't melt it.) Put the butter in the bowl, blender or food processor. Start whipping the butter and once it starts getting smoother and fuller, slowly add the oil while whipping. The butter will become a pretty shade of cream like you see in whipped butter at pancake restaurants, but will be a little like mayonnaise in texture. Scrape the whipped butter into a clean container (I used a wide-mouth, pint-sized jam jar and the butter filled it about 80%, but I believe it would fill it if I whipped it up more) and put it into the fridge to firm up a bit. 

My final cost :
8 oz Butter 99¢
4 oz Oil 6¢
2oz water 0¢
Total: 14 oz for $1.05

If you were lucky, you got in on the Land O' Lakes buttery spread deal a couple weeks ago (on sale for $1.50 and only 50¢ after using doubled 50¢ coupon) but if you didn't, this is MUCH cheaper than paying full price now! But I do like that I know exactly what is in this spread - no unnecessary preservatives - and that it contains natural butter. I just may not buy Country Crock anymore!

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