WORKING FOR YOUR BREAKFAST

This morning for breakfast we are enjoying homemade banana bread topped with homemade butter served with a cup of Green Tea with Ginseng. The tea not only supports your immune system but aids digestion and boosts your metabolism.

The banana bread was pulled from the freezer yesterday from a batch we had made last month. We try to make several loaves when the market has ripened bananas for $0.99 a bag.

The butter was made fresh this morning by our 10-year-old. Instead of her regular morning yoga class, I handed her a large mason jar 1/3 full of store-bought organic cream. *If I could get my hands on a cow if would be raw cream* For about 5 minutes she held the jar at chest level with elbows out (imagine a 115 degree obtuse triangle between elbow points and jar) and shook with all her might. The cream transforms into whipping cream about half way through. NOTE: This doubles as a wonderful science experiment because you can literally watch the cream progress through the different stages: liquid, semi-liquid, solid with liquid separation. She always gets a kick out of the final stage when the buttermilk separates from the cream turned butter. It happens in a split second and is a very rewarding experience for the now fatigued shaker. Trust me when I say this is an excellent upper body work out!

Our butter adventures started because it allows us a means to control exactly what is in our food. We research the cream we purchase and know the sources from which it comes. Secondly, if provides a life-skill to our children and preserves a way of life in which we cherish. The educational aspect is an added bonus. Preparing our food from scratch provides an oppotunity to teach our children on several levels. As parents we are also learning skills that reach beyond our upbringing. A lost art if you will.

What we didn’t realize at first was the economic benefit from making our own butter. If you have ventured down the organic section of your super market you may have noted the cost of these items. It’s enough to make a grown man cry. Organic butter from grass-fed cows runs $6.50 plus for 16 ounces. Organic heavy whipping cream is around $6.50 for 24 ounces. Take into account that you will end up with approximately  8 ounces of buttermilk after you have processed your butter. With the cost of organic buttermilk running $4.oo plus per 8 ounces the math explains itself.  TIP: Be sure to use manufacture coupons to make this even more cost-effective. If you cannot find coupons, try emailing the company and requesting them.

I’ve included the recipes for the banana bread and butter below. Enjoy!

Moist Banana Bread

  • 3-4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/3 C. melted or freshly made butter (see below)
  • 1/2 C. organic agave
  • 1 organic free-range egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract (make your own, see HERE)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • pinch of Kosher sea salt
  • 1 1/2 C. flour (can use: whole wheat, 50/50, unbleached white, semolina or almond flour)

Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl mash 3-4 ripe bananas. Mix in agave. In separate bowl mix together sugar edit note: sugar has been substituted for agave, egg and vanilla. Add to banana mixture. Sprinkle baking soda, salt and flour in that order into mixture, combine well. Pour into lightly buttered bread pan and bake for one hour. Cool and store as needed. Double recipe as needed. TIP: Use wooden spoons and kid-power to make this recipe. No electricity required, only fun family time!

Homemade Whipping Cream/Butter Recipe

You can use:

  • Cream, organic from grass-fed cows
  • Raw Cream, if you are lucky enough to own cows or have access to fresh cream
  • Breastmilk (great way to use up the surplus if you are lucky enough to have one)

Seasonings (optional):

  • kosher sea salt
  • garlic
  • herbs (rosemary)
  • honey (honey butter) – best to add into butter AFTER it is finished

In blender, food processor, stand mixer or even a good ole’ fashion mason jar pour raw cream about 1/3 full. Be careful not to over fill because the cream will double as explained below. If you are making straight raw butter this is all you need. If you would like to have more ‘gourmet’ butter you may add a few pinches kosher sea salt, garlic, herbs, etc.

If you are using breastmilk be aware that you will not yield as much butter as there is very little cream in human milk, however, still very do-able and there are TONS of rave reviews on breastmilk butter. 1 oz of breastmilk with yield you about 1 TBSP of butter. You can always use the buttermilk in smoothies, mac-n-cheese, etc. Don’t waste it!

Mix on high for about 2 minutes. At this point it is whipping cream. If you stop here, you will want to add raw sugar, agave or honey to sweeten it and mix for about 1 minute more to get a good fluff out of it. Viola, whipping cream. NOTE: If you are making whipping cream, do not add salt.

For butter, continue whipping for about 3-5 minutes. It will go through a ‘feta cheese’ looking stage as it begins to clump. When the butter has formed one big dough and the buttermilk separates it is done. You cannot miss this stage, when they separate the buttermilk will splash the sides of the container. If you are mixing by hand via mason jar your will feel a ‘thump’ when the butter forms into a ball and the buttermilk separates. It will happen very quickly and may startle you the first time 🙂

At this point you will need two clean glass containers. One for the buttermilk, which can be used to make bread, pancakes or added to a smoothie…the important thing is not to waste it. If you need ideas on what to do with it, google it. I would suggest a mason jar and a medium bowl. You will want to gather up all the butter and simply squeeze out the buttermilk. This can be done in a cheese cloth or with clean hands. Once this is finished you can then flatten your butter into a size appropriate bowl, shape, freeze or keep in a ball if you’re feeling fancy.

Homemade butter can be frozen for up to 1 year, keeps in the fridge for up to six months or can be stored on the counter for up to 3 months. If you are blessed with hand-me-downs from your elders you might have on hand a butter bell or likewise to store you butter. This is not necessary, but it sure does make it seem special 🙂

I have been told that storing your butter on the counter for a length of time will cause it to develop a cheese type smell. This do not mean that it is rotten. I’m told it is still safe to consume. Butter would never last that long at our house, so I wouldn’t know.

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