Friday, June 12, 2009

It's Like Buttah

At long last, here's my post about how I churn my own butter. Let me start this by saying that if you know how to turn on a blender, you can make/churn butter. It is super simple and easy. Here's how:

First off, I start with some yummy raw milk. By raw, I mean, unpasteurized, nonhomogenized, straight from the cow's teat milk. Why would I drink raw milk? There are many great reasons. You can go here if you'd like to read them. Our fam has been drinking raw milk for about three months now. I wasn't a believer at first, but now I am. This is the longest period in the girl's lives that we have not been to the doctor for any sick child visits. Our big boy no longer says that his tummy hurts after he drinks a glass of milk. Anyhow, you can make butter from heavy cream bought at K-Roger or any other local grocer, but I've only done it with raw milk. First, I skim the cream off the top of the milk. Forgive me for not having a picture of the milk with the cream separated at the top. I grab a soup ladle and get out as much yummy cream as I can and put it in my trusty blender. Then, I plug my blender in, turn it on high and let it run for 3-5 minutes or until the cream looks like this:

You can see the butter is kind of spongey and it has separated from the buttermilk. Then, I pour the contents of the blender over a fine mesh strainer and give it a few minutes to drain. Next, I take the butter and form it into a ball (or two) using my hands and immerse it in a bowl of ice water. I let it sit there for just a minute till it hardens (this makes it easier to work with) and then I squeeze it till I get out as much of the buttermilk as I can. This takes just a couple minutes. I usually divide the butter in half so that I can squeeze more buttermilk out of each piece more effectively. Here is the result:

Note I've already generously salted my butter pieces with coarsely ground sea salt. I am a huge fan of sea salt. It's all we have around here. It's salt that tastes great and it is actually good for you (loaded with trace minerals and doesn't dehydrate your bod). Then, I stirred the butter and salt together. For this post, I decided to pipe my butter through a pastry bag to make it pretty. It turned out not so pretty and kind of snakey:

On the left is my homemade butter made from free-grazing, mostly grass and grain fed cows. On the right is my regular ole great value butter. Note the difference in the color. The butter I made is more yellow because the cows were eating lots of new, green grass, which is another nutritious benefit. Oh, and are you wondering why butter is better than margarine? Just read this.

Since I am not one to waste anything, I save my buttermilk.

This buttermilk is great in fruit smoothies, recipes that call for buttermilk, or as an agent used to soak grains. I'll get into grain-soaking later. I don't want overwhelm you all with grain-soaking, butter and raw milk all in one post. :)

So, that's how I make butter. We eat it and it's good. It's real good. Don't forget the salt. This kid likes butter, too. He wouldn't eat it till I started making it. :)

If you are wondering where I get my raw milk, leave me a comment and your email address.


  1. okay, i definitely want to try this, but i might need to walk through this with you by phone or something. Very interesting......