About a year ago, two things happened. The first was that my doctor started suggesting that I look for ways to lower my cholesterol. The second thing happened when I realized that the butter spreads I had been buying really weren’t all that healthy, and they cost just as much, if not more, than real butter. I needed real butter for baking. There wasn’t a good answer when I examined why I was buying both?
Anyone who’s ever tried slicing off a hunk of stick butter and spreading it on toast right out of the refrigerator knows why you buy both, but that didn’t seem like a valid reason for eating something that wasn’t all that healthy. Still, spreadable butter flavored things and stick butter are not the same. I needed a way to achieve spreadable butter.
Now, I know all about leaving butter out all the time and it not spoiling, but that’s just not the way I was brought up. Plus, my degree in biology gives my imagination far too much insight into what could be growing on that room temperature log of fatty goodness. Drink after people in restaurants? Sure. Kiss people you haven’t really known all that long? Yep, if I’m into him. Use your phone while going to the restroom? Okay. (Oh, don’t even try to deny it. We have all done that.) Leave food that I in my mind needs refrigeration on the counter though? Not happening! So, right off the bat, that was not an option I was willing to entertain.
I needed a way to use the real butter I already had on hand. That meant it needed to spread easily. Finding a way to add more healthy fats to my diet to bring those cholesterol numbers back in line was also a requirement for this project. Here’s what I came up with.
Spreadable Butter Recipe
4 sticks of salted butter
12 ounces of almond oil
Pinch of salt
Remove butter from the refrigerator. Allow it to warm to room temperature for at least an hour. Leaving it for about four hours will make blending it with the oil even easier.
Place butter, oil, and salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk or beat until creamy smooth. (I use by hand mixer with the whisk attachment, but I have also used the beater attachment with good results.) Pour mixture into a container you can seal.
Store in refrigerator. The mixture will return to a solid state once it is cold.
Why did you choose almond oil?
Almond oil works for me because it has a very mild flavor and it is high in unsaturated fats. The first time I made it, I used olive oil. I like olive oil, but I do not like that flavor on my toast. I’ve also used grapeseed, hemp, and canola oil. I keep coming back to almond oil because the butter flavor still comes through perfectly.
Can I use another type of oil?
Yes, you can. If you are doing this for health reasons, you just want an oil that is low in saturated fats and high in mono or poly unsaturated fats. Sunflower, rice bran, grapeseed, safflower, flaxseed, corn, avocado, and olive are other oils you might want to consider. Just keep in mind that some of them have strong flavors.
If your goal is to just make real butter spreadable, you can use any liquid oil. Just know you will lose the health advantages if the oil you pick isn’t high in unsaturated fats.
Can I cook with this spreadable butter?
That depends on the type of oil you use. If you pick an oil that has I high smoke point, then you should be fine. If you pick one that has a low smoke point, then I wouldn’t recommend trying to cook with it.
I found a table showing common smoke points for oils on Wikipedia. Check it out if you would like help in finding an oil that might work for you. Smoke Point of Cooking Oils
Can I bake with this spreadable butter?
No, uh-uh, nope, nein, nee…do not use this spreadable butter for baking. Even if your recipe calls for butter and oil, the ratios are probably not going to be right. Cooking may be an art, but baking is a science. The chemistry needs to be right.
How long will it last in the refrigerator before spoiling?
I don’t really know. Butter just doesn’t last that long in my house. The best I can say is that it will at least last a month if refrigerated. Sorry I can’t be more specific. Just follow my lead and gobble it up quickly. That way, this won’t be an issue.
What was the hemp oil like?
It had a flavor. Tasted a bit like grass. It was more palatable than the one I made with olive oil, but still not what you think of when you think “butter”. The hemp oil also turned the mixture green. I thought the effect was cool, but some people might not like that.
You used salted butter. Why add more salt? Can I use unsalted butter?
We’re adding a lot of oil to the butter. That is diluting the saturated fats in the butter, but it is also diluting the amount of salt. Adding some back into the mixture helps the flavor. If you use, unsalted butter, I’d recommend two pinches of salt, but it really boils down to what tastes good to you. Making this recipe with unsalted butter and no extra salt might be the best thing you’ve ever tasted. Experiment and find out. The salt is just for taste and isn’t doing anything chemically to make the recipe succeed or fail.
Has it helped lower your cholesterol?
I’ve been using this spreadable butter for a year. My total cholesterol has dropped almost 50 points. Your mileage may vary, but from where I’m standing, it certainly isn’t hurting anything.
That’s it. Super simple, right? If you give it a try, let me know. I hope you find this as useful as I have.