Frugal tip: make your own spreadable butter!

Reader Julie sent me an email last night about how she’s created her own spreadable butter.

She writes:

I put an end to buttery spreads in our home recently because they don’t get cheap enough and I can’t pronounce half the ingredients included. Then after 2 weeks I was really wishing there was some middle ground on it all because I kept mangling my son’s morning toasttrying to spread stick butter on it. So, I did a little experiment andso far it looks and tastes just fine!

Here is her recipe:

:: 2 sticks of unsalted butter
:: 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
:: 1/4 cup of water
:: Salt

She then softened the butter in the microwave and put all the ingredients in the food processor. You could also use a blender or mixer. Then she whipped the mixture together for a few minutes, poured it into a container, and placed it in the fridge.

Julie writes that it solidified but was very spreadable.

What a smart idea, Julie! Thank you for sharing. What convenience food items have you made from scratch?


  1. says

    That’s a nice recipe and it probably healthier with the oil added to it, since liquid fats are healthier than saturated fats.

    But I don’t really understand the need. Butter – real butter – doesn’t require refrigeration. It is perfectly safe to leave butter at room temperature. Just store it in a butter dish in your cupboard, then it will always be soft. You can easily store a single stick of butter at room temp for a month or more with no problem, but I assume with most families, a stick of butter wouldn’t last the week before being consumed.

    If you’re super concerned about food safety (even though there is no harm leaving butter in a simple dish) you could always get a butter crock or butter boat or a butter keeper, which uses water to seal out air.

    You can be sure that our ancestors never stored butter in a fridge and it seems that only Americans are trained to do so. Or if you have a wine fridge, you could keep the butter in there – it’s not as cold as a regular fridge.

  2. Julie says

    I read up on it once and don’t remember where I found the information but learned that salted butter is OK to leave out at room temperature because the salt acts as a preservative but that unsalted butter should be kept in a refrigerator. Since the stick butter I buy is mostly for baking, I buy unsalted and didn’t trust that my new spreadable butter was appropriately salted in order to be preserved, it was more for flavor. We actually don’t use a whole lot of butter anyway except for baking so it could easily take us at least a month to go through a stick of butter.

  3. Carol says

    We use unsalted butter and leave it out on the counter. We’ve done it for years, ever since my food-safety-paranoid, registered-dietician mother-in-law said that SHE does it! It’s so much nicer and we’ve never had a problem.

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