Do you remember six months ago when everything started to close down due to Covid and many times you couldn’t get everything you needed at the grocery store? You worried about running out of toilet paper, eggs, and butter.
Around this time, I was checking out at the grocery store and stocking up on my favorite vegan butter. The clerk, who I chat with often, mentioned that he and his wife have been making their own butter. What? You can do that? He also mentioned it was “stupid easy!” Ok, now I HAD to try it! He also said that there are a ton of YouTube videos on how to do it (which there are).
I did my research and since then, I have in fact, been making butter. It takes me about 10 minutes tops. And for 5 minutes, I am just letting my food processor do the work.
What I like about making butter, is that I have control over what goes into it and I know exactly what’s in it. You can add salt to the butter, but I don’t even feel that I need to do that. All that is needed is heavy cream! That’s it! After five minutes in the food processor you get this wonderful, fresh, creamy butter. (As a bonus, the byproduct of processing cream into butter yourself is buttermilk. Pancakes, anyone?)
You can find heavy cream near the milk in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. Sometimes heavy cream does have guar gum in it, which is a natural ingredient. It is a fiber from the seed of the guar plant (a legume) and is used as a thickener, binder or stabilizer in foods like pudding or ice cream. If you choose to avoid the guar gum, you will likely be able to find an option that is all cream – no other ingredients.
I use my food processor and for a helpful video, watch Gemma of Bigger Bold Baking. You could also use a stand mixer (which I don’t have) and there are lots of Youtube videos showing how to make butter that way.
The world is a little crazy right now – with a pandemic and a presidential election in the U.S. and whatever else is going on in our lives (like maybe being out of work) – so I know it can feel like we don’t have control over much. This little thing of making butter makes me feel like I gained a little control back. It’s the little things. And trust me, you can do this too!
Now, this may not be a money saver. In fact, in the end, it probably costs us a little more. I use a pint of cream at a time for 1 ¾ cups of butter and ⅔ cup buttermilk. This amount of butter lasts my family about a week unless I am baking and need a lot for a recipe.
Even if in the long run you like your store-bought butter better, try it once. I promise it will make you feel good just to know you can!
- For good butter, you want heavy cream with lots of fat in it.
- If you don’t get 100% of the buttermilk out, the butter will not last as long. However, if you consume it within a week to 10 days, it should be fine.
- According to the USDA, buttermilk can be stored in an airtight container for about two weeks in the refrigerator or it can be frozen for about three months. Just be sure to note the date on your container. (I also find it helpful to measure it before storing and note that as well. Then I know how much I have if I am going to use it for a recipe.) To thaw buttermilk from the freezer, either leave in the refrigerator overnight then stir before use, or put the sealed container in warm water for 20-30 minutes.
- Bonus: Since I am making my own butter, I stock up on heavy cream. If dessert inspiration strikes and I want to make a little whipped cream, I am ready! And whipped cream is the same process, just a lot shorter. Gemma also has a video on that.
- Food processor or mixer
- Large spatula (I like to use a silicone spatula)
- Mesh strainer
- Medium-sized Bowl
- Storage containers for butter and buttermilk