The butter vs. margarine debate is one that has been around for years. Which is better? Which am I supposed to eat for optimal health? It’s really up to you to make your own decision but I am of the “Butter is Better” camp and I’ll tell you why.
Butter is a natural product. This means that it is not created in a laboratory or by a mad scientist. Butter has been around for literally thousands of years, beginning with the domestication of animals and has not really changed much since then.
The ingredients in butter are:
Heavy cream, salt (optional)
Margarine was created in 1870 in response to an offer by the Emperor Louis Napoleon III for the production of a satisfactory substitute for butter. It is a synthetic, man-made chemical, alien to our bodies. Hard stick margarine is loaded with trans-fats (increases the risk of coronary heart disease). Hydrogen is forced into vegetable oil to turn it into a saturated fat, solid at room temperature. Trans-fats are also created anytime fats are heated.
The ingredients in margarine are:
Canola and sunflower oils 74%, water, modified palm and palm kernel oils 6%, salt 1.8%, whey protein concentrate 1.4%, soy lecithin 0.2%, vegetable monoglycerides, potassium sorbate, vegetable colour, artificial flavour, citric acid, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D3, alpha-tocopherol acetate (vitamin E).
This grosses me out.
Why the bad rap?
You’ve probably heard many people speaking about butter in a negative way and this is probably why. Butter is a fatty substance. You can’t really get around that. Fat of any kind needs to be eaten in moderation. It is a natural fat though, unprocessed and something that you can make yourself.
Your body needs fat. Period. But there is a big difference in “good” fat and “bad” fat. Good fat: avocado, olive oil, raw organic butter. Bad fats: French fries, junk food, processed crap.
Did you know…
Even though butter consumption has decreased drastically incidents of obesity, diabetes, and heart diseases have dramatically increased? What the hell! Makes you think, right?
- Butter is rich in the most easily absorbable form of Vitamin A necessary for thyroid and adrenal health.
- Contains anti-oxidants that protect against free radical damage.
- Has anti-oxidants that protect against weakening arteries.
- Is a great source of Vitamins E and K.
- Saturated fats in butter have strong anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties.
- Vitamin D found in butter is essential to absorption of calcium.
- Cholesterol found in butterfat is essential to children’s brain and nervous system development.
- Pour heavy cream into a cold, sterilised mixing bowl. If it’s homogenized, it will still whip, but not as well.
- Whisk the cream at a medium speed in a food mixer until it is thick. First it will be softly whipped, then stiffly whipped. Continue until the whipped cream collapses and separates into butterfat globules. The buttermilk will separate from the butter and slosh around the bowl.
- Place the mixture into a cold, clean sieve (or cheese cloth) and drain well. The butter remains in the sieve while the buttermilk drains into the bowl.
- Put the butter back into a clean bowl and beat with the whisk for a further 30 seconds to 1 minute to expel more buttermilk. Remove and sieve as before.
- Knead the butter to force out as much buttermilk as possible. Use your clean hands to knead the butter to force out as much buttermilk as possible. This is important, as any buttermilk left in the butter will sour and the butter will go off quickly. If you handle the butter too much with warm hands, it will liquefy.
- Drain the water, cover and wash twice more, until the water is totally clear.
- Pat into shape with the wet hands. Wrap in grease proof or waxed paper and keep chilled in a fridge. The butter also freezes well.
- If you want to add salt to your butter do so before you shape it. Spread it thinly on some wax paper and sprinkle evenly with a salt of your choice, I would recommend sea salt.