My contribution to ye olde NDIN blog this week is a re-post from my blog, Pocket Pause. I decided that after drooling over these butter photos on Wednesday, i’d like to do some more drooling on Friday. Forgive me. – Miranda
Butter was given a bad name years ago, replaced with man-made margarine packaged in wasteful plastic tubs full of heart attack causing ‘frankenfood’ with fewer calories. To be completely honest, i kind a like margarine. It’s salty. You know what is also salty? Homemade butter blended with SALT.
As you probably know, many of the authors here at Not Dabbling are advocates for drinking raw milk. I prefer raw goat’s milk, which is why we’ll be raising miniature Nubian goats, but also enjoy raw Jersey milk and belong to a local co-op who supports a young farmer with her 2 cows. I realize that the ‘raw milk debate’ is a ‘thing’ these days, but i’m not afraid to say that i prefer raw milk, can digest it MUCH easier than pasteurized milk, and it is my opinion that the enzymes and other goodies found in raw milk are important and worth whatever ‘risk’ there may be in skipping pasteurization. It’s all about the handling, folks! Raw milk is also known as “cream line” milk because the cream rises to the surface. I skim off this cream to make butter, and to leave my drinking milk at a lower butter fat percentage, closer to 2% milk. Whole milk is delicious, but i don’t think my waistline needs to be ingesting that on a regular basis. ;)
I encourage you to visit this website, as well as some of the sources they reference at the bottom. The entire article is wonderful, but here is the cheat-sheet “20 reasons butter is good for you,” which is worth a Pin, if you ask me. ;)
- Butter is rich in the most easily absorbable form of Vitamin A necessary for thyroid and adrenal health.
- Contains lauric acid, important in treating fungal infections and candida.
- Contains lecithin, essential for cholesterol metabolism.
- Contains anti-oxidants that protect against free radical damage.
- Has anti-oxidants that protect against weakening arteries.
- Is a great source of Vitamins E and K.
- Is a very rich source of the vital mineral selenium.
- Saturated fats in butter have strong anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties.
- Butter contains conjugated linoleic acid, which is a potent anti-cancer agent, muscle builder, and immunity booster
- Vitamin D found in butter is essential to absorption of calcium.
- Protects against tooth decay.
- Is your only source of an anti-stiffness factor, which protects against calcification of the joints.
- Anti-stiffness factor in butter also prevents hardening of the arteries, cataracts, and calcification of the pineal gland.
- Is a source of Activator X, which helps your body absorb minerals.
- Is a source of iodine in highly absorbable form.
- May promote fertility in women.9
- Is a source of quick energy, and is not stored in our bodies adipose tissue.
- Cholesterol found in butterfat is essential to children’s brain and nervous system development.
- Contains Arachidonic Acid (AA) which plays a role in brain function and is a vital component of cell membranes.
- Protects against gastrointestinal infections in the very young or the elderly.
Those are some great reasons to eat butter! So, let’s make some! (If you don’t have access to raw milk, pick up some organic cream instead.)
First you must separate the cream from the milk. Skimming the cream was difficult when i purchased my raw milk in regular milk gallons. Luckily, my local farmer sells her milk in wide mouthed half gallon mason jars. We bring in a jar as a ‘deposit’ when purchasing the milk. I have a handy little spoon (the type that looks like a mini ladle) that i use to carefully scoop out the heavy cream into another large mason jar, or in this case a food processor. Making butter is easy: all it takes is agitation. When making butter with the cream from a half gallon, i usually do it “by hand” in a large jar: shake shake shake shake. This batch was rather large, however so i saved time and sore muscles by agitating in a food processor. Easy. Though, i always have a hard time not just stopping at whipped cream. ;)
As you agitate the cream it will slowly begin to thicken, turn to whipped cream, then begin to separate. Once you get chunks of butter suspended in a milky liquid (buttermilk!), stop and move the operation into a quart jar. Carefully pour out the buttermilk (and use for baking and other recipes) and replace with super cold water. Shake, pour off, pour on cold water, repeat until the water runs clean. Place the butter into a bowl along with a pinch of salt and press any residual water out with a wide spoon. You can leave your butter salt-free, but the salt will help to preserve it, and i personally love the flavor. To store my butter, i pressed it into ice cube trays and covered them with wax paper and froze them. Now i have perfect little butter loaves: one in the fridge, the rest in a ziplock in the freezer. You can further preserve butter by making ghee.
I had a delicious piece of toast with a thin slice of melting homemade butter on it this morning, as did my husband. In his words: “man, this is delicious with your butter on it.” Yes it was. Go make some butter! It’s fun to do with kids, and it’s nutritious and good for you. Love margarine too much? Add some salt and maybe some other spices while you press out the water, and do yourself a favor: scrape out the cancer-spread and re-use the tubs for holding buttons or something.
How about you? What’s your stand on the “raw debate?”