About 6 months ago, I had an existential crisis in the grocery store.
I was standing in the oil section, trying to choose a neutral flavored oil for these delicious banana muffins. I use olive oil in almost everything I cook, but it seemed like it wouldn’t lend the right flavor to the muffins. I also thought it would be good to get an oil that had some beneficial component that would add to the healthiness of the muffins.
Grapeseed oil was a good price and what the original recipe had suggested. So I googled grapeseed oil to see if it had any particularly healthy attributes. And I was attacked by the following results:
Some sites claimed that grapeseed oil was a great choice for my baked goods and others claimed that it would surely kill me. I was literally paralyzed, hunched over my phone like that annoying person I usually grumble about in the grocery store. I kept clicking and reading and clicking and reading, frenzied by the conflicting arguments and desperate for an answer for what I should actually choose. All of the claims became more and more hysterical and this seemingly simple choice became more dire than ever.
I felt betrayed, afraid and embarrassed. How was everyone else buying their products so easily? Didn’t they know that EVERYTHING WAS A LIE?!
Why am I such a lunatic about this? Most of it has to do with watching my mother suffer from pancreatic cancer. When something like that happens to a loved one, it’s natural to seek answers, and I decided to focus on food, which is really the only thing I can control about my environment. Well, and exercise, but that’s a whole separate discussion.
The point is, I was very vulnerable and these “click-bait” headlines really messed with my head. I’m very grateful to James for encouraging me to do more research before making drastic changes to my (and, because we live together, his) diet. Now I’m able to look at Google results like the ones above and search for reputable websites that I have decided to trust like the Mayo Clinic or Harvard Medical School. Are these sites infallible? Of course not. But I try to at least look for information with a science background. It keeps me sane.
So what does all of this crap have to do with spreadable butter? Merely that homemade spreadable butter has two ingredients: real butter and the oil of your choosing. And after all that, my choosing is still grapeseed oil. It’s cheap, has a neutral flavor and a long shelf life.
Because I’m a huge nerd, I find homemade spreadable butter so much fun. I took spreadable butter for granted for so long, as something I HAD to buy, no other options, the end. But in my health crusade, I decided to look at the labels on every single spreadable butter in the store, hoping that one contained healthy oils so I could not only use delicious butter but increase my health as well. Each and every one, even the ones that claimed to be organic and super healthy, had a ton of chemicals in it. A TON. Do I know these are bad for me? Absolutely not. They could be fine. I really don’t know. But it had me thinking – can’t I make spreadable butter at home? Does it have to have chemicals to be spreadable? And this time the internet DID come in handy – not only was homemade spreadable butter possible, it only contains two ingredients. Done and done.
So, after that rant, I give you the recipe for Homemade Spreadable Butter. I can’t say that it’s better for you, but I can say that it’s cheaper, less wasteful (no plastic container) and tastes AMAZING. And it’s super fast, too!
Homemade Spreadable Butter
- 2 sticks (1 cup, 16 TBL) of salted butter
- 2/3 cup of oil (I use grapeseed, but you can use any type that pleases you.)
- Let your butter come to room temperature so it is soft and easy to combine with oil (Alternately, heat your butter in the microwave in 5 second intervals until soft)
- Combine butter and oil in a small food processor until homogeneous and smooth
- Chill and enjoy spreadable butter anytime
Procedure with Pictures and Anecdotes:
Our apartment often gets really hot, especially when we’re cooking and baking all day, and this was one of those days. My butter was way meltier than recommended and it still worked out great.
Because I am obsessive, I actually have three food processors to choose from, and this one can be used as an attachment to my immersion blender. I know. I have a lot of kitchen appliances. I find using my tiny food processor much easier in this application, but you can combine the butter and oil with a fork or with a whisk as well. It comes out a little chunky, but it was still spreadable out of the fridge.
Yeah it’s… really easy. There’s nothing else to say. Go make some! And then spread it on these delicious buttermilk biscuits! Everybody wins.