Have you heard that you can bottle butter at home to store for later, without refrigeration?
The first time I heard about it was from my aunt a few years ago. Then I kept hearing about it, here and there and everywhere!
It sounded kind of strange. And scary-- what about botulism? So I did some research.
The FDA discourages canning butter, as do the USU Extension offices around the country, because of the risk of botulism growth in canned butter. HOWEVER, it looks to me that this is a case of erring on the safe side. They, as government entities, are very averse to any kind of risk. Botulism has about a 10-17% death rate in those who get it, though with the low incidence of this kind of food poisoning, it translates to 2-4 deaths in the US per year. Lightening kills way more people (about 55-75/yr).Botulism does not grow if the water "activity level" is below .94; salted
butter has a water activity rate of .91-.93.
The added salt helps 'tie up' the water, making it unavailable. That should be in the perfectly safe range, but is apparently too close to comfort for the FDA, who require a water activity rate of .85 in commercially-sold foods
. I would not
butter; its water activity rate is .99
or higher. Another option is to make the butter into ghee before canning, well-made ghee has no water remaining in it. I wasn't able to find what the water activity rate of ghee is, but logic leads me to believe it is under even the FDA comfort range. I've canned both salted butter and ghee. I'm more comfortable with the ghee.
If you'd like to read more about it to decide if canning butter or ghee is okay with you, here are some of the sources I learned from:http://www.ecolab.com/our-story/our-company/our-vision/safe-food/microbial-risks/c-botulinum http://books.google.com/books?id=ylWey_KBv7UC&pg=PA337&lpg=PA337&dq=%22water+activity%22+of+%22salted+butter%22&source=bl&ots=18uZLS840j&sig=W8RCozWeTS_FcDIa-MkuRJPJu6I&hl=en&sa=X&ei=jeYFUcTWEc6tygHixICQDA&ved=0CEQQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=%22water%20activity%22%20of%20%22salted%20butter%22&f=false http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK50952/
Cool, creamy, and delicious!
This recipe, adapted to use coconut cream concentrate, was also selected for the Tropical Traditions recipe blog
Recipe is at the bottom of this post.
I’ve been cooking with coconut oil for about two years now. I also use vegetable oil, olive oil, and butter, but not shortening. The coconut oil has replaced shortening for me. It works beautifully in pie crusts, although not so well in frosting, due to its low melting point.
If you’re worried about what you’ve heard about coconut oil, or coconut in general, being a possible health hazard, here’s what I’ve read:
The original studies on the health effects of coconut oil used partially hydrogenated coconut oil, which contains trans fats. Natural coconut oil does not contain any trans fats. Most of its natural fats are saturated, but don’t shrink in fear quite yet: some of these saturated fats are in the form of lauric acid, which raises HDL (“good”) cholesterol. In addition to this, saturated fats in general can be broken into at least two subcategories: medium-chain fatty acids, and long-chain fatty acids. Though they’re both solid at room temperature, they are very different from each other. Medium-chain fatty acids serve to increase metabolism
, and they seem to not recombine easily as fat in the body. In addition to this, coconut oil helps increase thyroid function.
Several government-run nutrition bureaus strongly recommend against using large amounts of coconut oil, due to the high saturated fat content and fears that it would thus increase heart disease. In response to this, studies done in high-coconut-oil-use populations actually show more heart disease occurring as they REDUCE the amount of coconut consumption. The fears seem to be unfounded.
Coconut is also an excellent source of fiber. One ounce unsweetened dried coconut (about a handful) has 5 grams of fiber (Four times as much fiber per serving than oat bran!) About ¾ of the total carbohydrates in coconut are fiber. Most of this is insoluble fiber, the stuff that helps prevent blood-sugar spikes, slows down your digestion (helping your body extract more nutrients from it, and helping you feel full longer, reducing cravings), helping scrub your intestines, lowering your risk of cancer and several diseases, and providing a good environment for beneficial bacteria (probiotics). Coconut fiber lowers the glycemic index of the food it’s in. Some people swear by eating two coconut macaroons a day to treat Crohn’s disease, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
- a list of the latest research on coconut and coconut oilhttp://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3107/2
- nutrition for several forms of coconut http://www.livestrong.com/article/98083-coconut-fiber-diabetics/#ixzz1jrVJQkrr-
effects of coconut fiber on blood sugarhttp://www.earthincommon.com/coconut_02-article.html
coconut macaroons to treat IBS and Crohn’s! Plus, traditional use of coconut to expel parasitic worms; for this, see also http://www.thevirgincoconutoil.com/articleitem.php?articleid=269
http://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Product-Categories/Fibers-and-carbohydrates/Fiber-may-boost-pancreatic-health-Study/?c=JXuXZ2C%2B3ccDH1LSCcVFdFR3NQxnAszG&utm_source=Newsletter_Product&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Newsletter%2BProduct - report on the latest findings on fiber in general and its effect in preventing pancreatic cancer.
Coco-cocoa Velvet Dessert
1 1/2 c. coconut milk, divided
1 packet unflavored gelatin (2 1/2 tsp.)
1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 c. honey
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 drops of orange essential oil, optional
(use food grade or better!)- OR use 1 drop lavender oil
1/2 tray's worth ice cubes (7-8 ice cubes, should be 4 oz.)
Pour 1/2 cup of the milk into a blender. Add the gelatin, and let sit to soften. Meanwhile, heat the remaining milk to boiling in a saucepan or microwave. Pour the hot milk over the gelatin mixture; turn on low
to mix and dissolve. Add cocoa powder, honey, salt, vanilla, and essential oil. Increase blender speed to high. While motor is running, drop in ice cubes, one at a time. Blend until smooth. Pour into four or five (6-oz) ramekins, or in one (2-cup) mold. Refrigerate until set, 3-4 hours. Serve in the containers, or dip the bottoms in hot water for 20 seconds, then invert to unmold.
If you want to unmold it, I recommend you double the amount of gelatin; I like it extra-firm anyway.
The recipe will work if you use regular milk instead; that's how I grew up eating it, but the version above is great for dairy-intolerant people. Plus it tastes great! You can also use chocolate chips instead of cocoa; use 1 cup of chips, and reduce honey to 3 Tbsp.
Chocolate and lavender taste very good together, as long as you use a very light hand with the lavender!
Once the dough is mixed, if you use a greased/sprayed 1/4 measuring cup to scoop the dough, you'll get a more traditionally-shaped biscuit.
Yum. Tender and light on the inside, crunchy on the outside. This batch was made with 1 cup whole wheat flour.
How much will your year’s supply cost you? I just got an emergency supply store’s catalog in the mail; they advertised a year’s supply of food for ‘just’ $3649.95. For one person. Is it really that much money to get a year’s supply?Adding up all the essentials, a month’s worth of food for one person is $16.23 A year’s worth for one person is $194.76Figure in that you’re getting your year’s supply after building your three-month supply; that knocks it down to getting nine months’worth; $146.07 per adult. You CAN afford to get your home storage!
If you really want to spend $3649.95 plus tax, you could buy a year’s supply for not just one person, but for NINETEEN people. Yes, basic storage is different food than that ‘gourmet’ version, but here’s the counsel we’ve been given: "We encourage members world-wide to prepare for adversity in life by having a basic supply of food and water and some money in savings.” “For longer-term needs….gradually build a supply of food that will last a long time and that you can use to stay alive” (fromAll is Safely Gathered In, First Presidency pamphlet)
Here is the cost breakdown:Grains, 300 lbs- if you get just wheat and oats, at the cannery they cost between $5.80 and $8.15 for 25 lbs. depending on if you get white or red wheat, quick or regular oats. If you average this out, it will cost you $6.98 per person, per month. $83.70 per year’s worth.Milk, 16 lbs is $1.40/lb at the cannery, which is $1.87 per month, $22.40 per year.Sugar, 60 lbs is $ .56/lb there, $2.80 per month, $33.60 per year.Oil, 10 qts –this isn’t sold at the cannery, but the price at Macey’s last week was $2.50 for 1 ½ quarts (48 oz.) At that price, after tax, it’s $1.43 per month, $17.17 per year. It’s only $14.38 if you buy it at Sam’s Club ($6.98 + tax for 5 qts.)Salt, 8 lbs- 4# box at Costco or Sam’s Club is a dollar; $ .16 per month, $2 per year.Legumes, 60 lbs– the cannery sells black beans, pinto, and white, from $14.10 to $16.30 for 25 lbs. Averaging the prices, it’s $2.99 a month, $35.92 per year.Water, 14/gal/person- You can store this for free by using 2- and 3- liter pop bottles, or juice containers (not milk jugs- they break down). Or use the 5-gallons square jugs or big blue barrels; they’ll run you about $1 per gallon of storage. When you’re done storing these items, you might decide to add a few ‘gourmet’ items- but that’s just extra stuff.Notice that the costs were just for food, not containers to store them in. Most of my storage containers cost nothing. You CAN get buckets for free, with a little effort- most bakeries give them away; all their frostings and fillings come in those buckets. Plan on washing them at home. There are two main sizes; 5 gallon and 2 1/2 gallon. I keep packages of dried fruit in the smaller buckets, also cornmeal or other things that I don’t use as much. They are a great size for a pantry, too. Some of the buckets have gaskets, some don’t. The ones that don’t seal well are still good for storing sugar. If you want all your wheat, powdered milk, sugar, and legumes in #10 cans from the cannery, it will cost you $85.83 more to get a full year’s worth, $65 to do 9 months' worth.Here’s the year’s worth breakdown and quantities: 51 cans of wheat $137.80, 11 cans of beans $48.95, 10 cans of sugar $46.50, 4 cans of powdered milk $28.20. I don’t can my wheat, sugar, or beans because we go through large quantities; one batch of bread would use a whole can. Pretty silly storage for me. Besides, it’s easier for me to find space for 10 buckets than 60 #10 cans; they hold about the same amount of food. Best Drop Biscuits
adapted from Cooks CountryMakes 12 1 cube butter, melted and cooled a few minutes- set aside 1 Tbsp. of this.1 cup cold buttermilk or sour milk (1-2 Tbsp. vinegar in 1 cup regular milk)2 c. flour2 tsp. baking powder½ tsp. baking soda½ tsp. salt (3/4 tsp. if you used unsalted butter)1 tsp. sugar Heat oven to 475 degrees, no, that’s not a typo. Mix together the butter (except reserved) and buttermilk; stir until the butter forms clumps. (This is a faster way of getting the same results as ‘cutting in’ the butter.) Mix all the dry ingredients together, then pour in buttermilk mixture. Stir until just mixed in and dough pulls from side of bowl. Drop onto greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet. A greased ¼ c. measuring cup makes the perfect size scoop. Brush with reserved butter. Bake until tops are crisp and golden, about 12-14 minutes. Serve warm. These also reheat well the next day (10 minutes at 300 degrees) and freeze well, too.You can use powdered milk in this: mix in 3 Tbsp dry milk powder when you’re stirring together the dry ingredients. Use ice water and 1-2 Tbsp. vinegar to make 1 cup, stir with the melted butter.
Hi,Remember this?"We encourage members world-wide to prepare for adversity in life by having a basic supply of food and water and some money in savings.” “For longer-term needs….gradually build a supply of food that will last a long time and that you can use to stay alive” (from All is Safely Gathered In, First Presidency pamphlet)
Here is what a basic supply of food includes: it will provide about 2200 calories a day, which means you’ll probably get 1800 and your husband will get 2600. This is less than most people are used to, especially if you're suddenly living a 'more active' lifestyle, but it will keep you alive!300 lbs grains- includes Wheat, Rice, Rolled Oats, Dried Corn, Popcorn, Flour, Pasta Products, Dried Potatoes. Some lists say 400 lbs per person, but the current Church site says 300. Take your pick, according to what you can handle. Storage-wise or hunger-wise; that extra 100 lbs provides an extra 435 calories per day.16 lbs. powdered milk- this is just enough for cooking, about ¾ cup per day. You can store instant, regular powder, and canned milk. It takes about 5 (12-oz) cans to equal one pound of powdered milk 60 lbs sugar- this includes white sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, honey, molasses, jam/jelly, corn syrup, fruit drink mix, gelatin. If you have honey that crystallizes, set the bottle in the sun on a warm day, or put it in a pan of water on lowest heat overnight. It will become liquid again. You will want more sugar than 60 lbs. if you can your own fruit.10 quarts cooking oil (2 ½ gallons)- yes, YOU NEED FAT. Your brain is made mostly of fat. Guess what happens if you don’t get any fat in your diet? Plus, it’s a lot of calories for very little storage space. The darker & cooler you keep it, the longer it lasts. Fats include shortening, cooking oil, butter/margarine, mayonnaise, peanut butter.8 lbs salt per person- this is the cheapest of them all! In addition to the round canisters, you can buy salt in 4-lb rectangular boxes; these stack together more efficiently. At Sams’ Club, these boxes are just under $1. Woo-hoo! Two bucks and you have your personal salt for the year!60 lbs. legumes, dried- includes soybeans, pinto beans, white beans, kidney beans, lima beans, anything that ends with ‘bean’ (unless it begins with ‘jelly’), black-eyed peas, split peas, and lentils. These are a great, inexpensive source of protein. Store the same as wheat- dry, clean, dark and cool if possible. It takes 4 ½ (15 oz) cans to equal one pound of dry beans.14 gallons water per person. This is just 2 weeks’ supply, for drinking and a tiny bit for washing; the minimum our church leaders have counseled. You may also want a way to purify water for longer-term use. To purify, you can boil water for 2 minutes, or use chlorine bleach (plain only, not scented!) If the water is clear, use ½ tsp. per 5 gallons of water. If the water is cloudy, use double; 1 tsp. per 5 gallons of water.Children do not need a full adult’s portion. For them, figure age 3 and under= 50%, ages 4-6= 70%, ages 7-10= 90%, ages 11 and up= 100%. Obviously, kids' ages are always changing, so when I calculate what to have on hand ( I inventory every Conference), I project out six months to a year. For instance, if someone is 6 years old, I count that child as 7 years. That way I'm not always slightly behind when it's time to replenish. * * * * *Recipes today are for a whole meal….Roast Chicken FromLiving On a Dime, Jan 2010.
Here is a very basic but yummy recipe. You can also put this in a crock pot to slow cook all day.1 (3 lb.) whole chickenSalt and pepper to taste1 Tsp. onion powder1/4 cup butter or margarine ( You may use lite margarine)1 stalk celery, leaves removedSeason the whole chicken inside and out with salt, pepper and onion powder. Place breast side down in pan placing margarine and celery into cavity. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until internal temperature is 180° (82° C). You can baste with juices or melted margarine once or twice. Remove from oven and cover with foil for 30 minutes and let it rest before cutting.You can easily adapt this recipe to your own likes and dislikes. For example, you might use garlic powder instead of the onion powder, you could slide slices of lemons or garlic cloves or even onion slices under the skin. Try other seasonings, too.The main thing that makes this recipe great is cooking it breast side down, which makes it extra juicy.Cheesy Peas and Rice2 1/4 cups rice, cooked 1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen peas, thawed1 (6 oz.) can of mushrooms, drained 6 oz. Velveeta, cubed*Combine all the ingredients in a greased 1 1/2 qt. baking dish. Cover and bake at 350° for 20 minutes. I didn't used to buy Velveeta because it used to be more expensive than other cheeses, but it is the same price or less than cheddar now, so I buy it more often.Apple Butterscotch CrispThis recipe is good served with ice cream or, for something different, try a slice of cheese or a dollop of sour cream. 5 large (7 small) apples, sliced and peeled 1 tsp. cinnamon1 cup brown sugar, depending on your apples 1/2 cup flour1/2 cup quick cooking oatmeal 1/2 cup butter or margarine, cold 1 pkg. (3 1/2 oz.) cook and serve
butterscotch puddingPlace apples in a greased 9x13 pan. Mix everything else in a bowl, cutting in the butter until it resembles coarse crumbs.* Sprinkle over apples. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until apples are tender.*Whenever a recipe says to cut in something, that means to take a pastry cutter and mix the butter, margarine or shortening in with the dry ingredients until the mix gets crumbly looking. (I just use my fingers. It is easier for me to wash them than a pastry cutter.)Roast Chicken Leftovers:Chicken Spaghetti Bake- Make your favorite spaghetti, mixing noodles and sauce. Instead of adding hamburger to it or leaving it without meat, add some cubed leftover chicken. Put it in a 9x13 greased pan sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and grated Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350° until heated through and cheese is melted.Make Chicken Soup with leftovers- see the recipe for turkey soup. Use ¼ the amount of water and spices for chicken because it’s so much smaller!Leftover Leftovers- If you have any of this soup left, thicken it with a little cornstarch or flour mixed in water. Make a batch of biscuits or use any leftover biscuits you have and pour the thickened soup (now like gravy) over it.