Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Butter vs Margarine

Promisedland ~ at HomesteadBlogger.com ~ posted this information about margarine a while back and I thought it was VERY good info to know.

Below that, you will find my VERY easy, VERY tasty butter recipe.

And, in the interest of full disclosure, I do have to use margarine & rice milk for certain recipes for DD#2 b/c of her allergies. However, I choose a non-hydroginated margarine that is also certified Kosher (Biblically clean) called Earth Balance. You can find it in health food stores or in the healthy section of most of the large grocery stores. If they don't have it, ask for it by name. (I'm not getting paid to say that!)

Did you ever wonder how margarine is made? You know, the stuff that’s supposed to taste like butter and be healthier for you? I couldn’t help wondering because if it’s not butter, then what is it? This is what I found:

First, margarine is made from vegetable oil. Along with using high pressure and high temperature to remove the oil, hexane is used to remove the last bit. Hexane is a carcinogen (causes cancer), and is mostly removed later on, but trace amounts remain.

Second, the oils are steam cleaned. This kills any bacteria, but also destroys any vitamins and anti-oxidants that were in the oils.

Third, the oils are then mixed with finely ground nickel, which acts as a catalyst for the hydrogenation process. Nickel is also a carcinogen.

Fourth, the oils are again put under high temperature and pressure, and hydrogen gas is introduced. The hydrogen atoms are forced into the oils. This turns the oils from a liquid into a semi-solid. This semi-solid pretty much takes the form of a grey greasy substance. Emulsifiers are added to remove any lumps.

Fifth, the grey grease is steam cleaned again, and bleached to turn it white (after all, who wants to eat grey margarine?).

Because you now have a lump of stuff that has practically no nutritional value or taste, synthetic vitamins and artificial flavors are added. A natural yellow color is added to make it look like butter. Until the 1950s, margarine had to be white so people wouldn’t mix them up. Now people don’t know the difference.

So which would you choose…a bleached, colored, artificially flavored greasy lump…or….nice fresh, lightly salted butter right from the cow? I know what I’d choose. In fact, I don’t know if I can ever eat margarine again. Yuck!
{Thank you, Promisedland!}

Now, for the BUTTER...

My mother used to do this as a child on a VERY RURAL (to put it MILDLY) Kentucky farm during the Depression. Only she used what she refers to a "curdled milk."

The way I do it is also a great project to do w/your own kids!

Here's my way...

You will need:
~ 2 small cartons of heavy whipping cream
~ pinch of salt
~ an air-tight GLASS jar
~ a WOODEN spoon (NO METAL!!)

Pour the 2 cartons of cream into the glass jar. Shake (shake...shake...SHAKE) for around 45 minutes. You will notice several stages while you are shaking....it will become creamy, then like whipped cream, then a little watery. ALL OF A SUDDEN, at around 45 minutes of shaking, you will notice that a complete ball has actually shaken loose from buttermilk!!

THAT'S YOUR BUTTER!! It's really such a miracle how it simple just 'appears'!

Take your wooden spoon and, while holding back the butterball, drain the buttermilk either down the drain or into a glass for your own drinking pleasure. Press and drain, press and drain, press and drain until hardly a trickle of milk is left.

Add a pinch of salt (or to taste), stir salt completely into butter and then store your butter in a crock or air-tight container.

I like soft butter so I leave mine on the counter in a crock. This will make just less than a pound, so it won't last long!


Blessings from Ohio, Kim Wolf<><


  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Kim! I read all the same about margarine and we've been using butter (from the store) for a couple of years now. BUT, I've never realized how easy it would be to make my own! I'm curious to try it now! All of that shaking would build up my arm muscles, too! I'll let you know how it turns out for me.

  2. GREAT! I'll be excited to find out how it turns out for you ~ anyone else who tries it.

    Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

  3. Coming right back over here, Kim, to tell you that I am so sorry for the problems you've been enduring, but SO grateful for the Lord's preparing your heart ahead of time. I'm glad His Word was an encouragement to you.

  4. I just wanted to thank you for your sweet comment and hoppin' on my blog. I sure hope ya'll enjoy the ride.

    God bless and in the words of that silly old Granny Clampett, "ya'll come back now, ya hear!!!"

  5. Wow! That was jaw-dropping, eye-poppin' stuff! I'm so glad that we eat butter.

    Kim, about a month ago I tried to make butter just as you describe it, but it stopped short of the butter stage. It was thicker than whipped cream, though (still delicious!) I read that the whipping cream has to stay unrefrigerated until it curdles. But it sounds like you don't do that. I'll try it again. I've enjoyed this post, Kim!

    Here's a video that offers an entertaining visual about butter making. He explains the science behind it, too. Just copy and paste the URL into your address bar. Hope you enjoy it:


  6. Mrs. T ~ No, I do not let my heavy whipping cream warm. I take it right out of the frig. I hope your next attempt is successful.

    Blessings, Kim<><

  7. I'm going out shortly to pick up some whipping cream to try it again, your way. I'll let you know the results!

  8. I've done with with my children and it turned out great. I think if everyone knew how margarine was made, they wouldn't touch the stuff. I originally read about this process several years ago and threw out any margarine in the house. Its just butter from now on.

  9. Kim, I made the butter!! I survived all that shaking, but my hands are a bit tingly, lol.

    I came VERY close to giving up at the 55 minute mark when it seemed nothing was happening. Maybe it took me longer than your time of 45 minutes because I wasn't shaking strongly enough. So, then I was so frustrated, I started shaking the jar really vigorously. Wouldn't you know, just as you said, the mixture started pulling away from the side of the jar!!

    Then I was really encouraged to keep going and within a couple of minutes I could see that there was a distinct blob of butter, separate from the liquid.

    I drained the buttermilk into a glass and drank it all--I loved it. ~smile~ What surprised me was how easily the butter came out of the jar. There was no sticking to the sides, it came out clean.

    That was a great experience and so satisfying. Next time, I'll wait until I have Hubby here to take turns with the shaking! You were inspirational, Kim...thanks!

  10. Wow...I don't want to eat margarine again! {:-o
    My kids did make butter quite a while back in a study about milk and all that was done with it.
    They shook and shook and shook! :-) I have an old butter churn from my grandmother's farm. (decor, though) It was also fun for them to watch a video about cheese making. Thanks for a GREAT post. Enjoyed reading. :-)

  11. OH YUK! (the margarine)

    Nothin' beats butter:)


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