In our house we prefer butter. Not margarine, or vegetable spread, or whatever else looks like butter...but real butter. But those hard sticks of butter can be a pain when you just want to smear some on a piece of toast. Sometimes soft butter is just easier to use. If you look closely, you can find spreadable real butter but they are usually made with genetically modified canola oil with potential health risks. Even the ones that tout that they are made with a healthier oil, like olive oil, may reveal in the ingredient list that canola oil is actually at the top of the list and olive oil at the end (meaning they use mostly canola and a little of the healthier oil). Or, they may be using an adulterated olive oil with very little taste or health benefits. And then there's the cost savings. The tub of soft butter I made today cost me about 75 cents I used store brand real butter on sale).
Spreadable butter or "tub butter" is nothing more than butter with oil whipped in. So all you really need to make your own is a stick of real butter and your choice of oil. There are many possibilities including extra virgin olive oil, light olive oil, hemp seed, flax seed, grape seed, or other cold-pressed, unrefined oil that's good for your heart. The only oil that won't work is coconut oil since it is solid at room temperature. Some find regular olive oil flavor too powerful and prefer to use a light olive oil. You can experiment if you like by trying a couple of drops of whatever oil you have with some butter on a small piece of bread to see if you have a preference.
So here is what you will do:
Take out 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter and slice it up. Let it soften at room temperature. Resist the urge to melt it to speed things up. Your end product could be grainy and even separate once chilled.
Once the butter is soft you will mix with 1/3 cup of oil. A word of caution here, try to mix together a bit with a fork or whisk before you start to beat with a mixer or you may end up with bits of oil and butter flying around. I have also seen people use a blender or food processor for this, but my little hand beater works great and is less clean up.
Spoon into a container and refrigerate. That's it!
Want to take it up a notch? Try one of these ideas.
- Add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon good quality sea salt
- Add fresh minced herbs. Try chervil, thyme, sage, chives, parsley, tarragon, dill, or combination of these. Or use a stronger herb like rosemary or oregano but use less. Add some sea salt and freshly ground pepper if you wish.
- Use 1/4 cup honey instead of the oil for a wonderful honey butter spread. (I really like this one.)