Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

How to Find Butter That’s Better

July 12th, 2012 · 48 Comments · Food for Thought, What to Buy

butterbell (3) (500x375)

I got a Costco membership just for the butter.

Hundreds of dollars later, I still haven’t found the butter I was aiming for, which is sort of ironic.

What is my magic bullet butter, you ask?

I thought Kerrygold was my only option for grassfed butter that I could trust.

Why? Other people trusted it.

I had tasted it on a trip to Florida and knew it was a deep yellow and quite delicious. I was excited to finally upgrade our butter.

Then on my first trip to Costco, I couldn’t find regular Kerrygold sticks, only this new “softer” butter:

Butter in a tub made me wonder…so I just bought one to test it out and do a little research. Here’s what I think about the new Kerrygold “softer” butter.

Ironically, again, just weeks after paying for that membership, I discovered a new source for not only grassfed butter, but organic and made in the U.S. as well.

What to Look for in Quality Butter

Up until just a few months ago, I was buying butter wherever it was on sale, preferably at $1.99/lb. Occasionally I would spring for some local butter (Cedar Crest) that our milk farm resold at $3.75/lb., but it was only a small upgrade, in my opinion, from conventional butter for almost double the cost.

It’s one of those things that’s made me squirm for a while, since I know the hormones, pesticides, and other chemicals likely concentrate in the fat of the animal, and butter from consciously raised animals should have been high on my priority list because of it.

We go through a good deal of butter around here, though, and I wasn’t yet ready to spend triple the price for organic butter at the local health food store. I wasn’t sure what the cost of the Kerrygold would be at Costco, but I was finally ready to pay more for what I was pretty sure was the only pastured butter I could find.

As I did with quality cheese yesterday, I’d like to offer my checklist, in order of importance, when looking for quality, traditional, nourishing butter:

  1. No hormones
  2. No antibiotics
  3. Grassfed/pastured – the CLA, Vitamins A&D, and high omega 3s from truly grassfed cattle can’t be beat!
  4. Organic
  5. Cultured
  6. Raw
  7. From May/June milk; even higher in Vitamins A&D and more!
  8. Locally sourced; small farmers

For more info on meat, fish, and cheese, check out all the posts in the Sourcing Quality Animal Products series…

Raw, Cultured Butter from May/June Cows

You can’t buy it in stores.

Sigh.

Federal regulations prohibit the sale of raw butter, so the only way to get what I feel is the best butter in the world is to make it yourself. For the past few years, I have faithfully skimmed about half the cream off each gallon of May/June raw milk from Jersey and Guernsey cows, which still left plenty of cream in the milk. I freeze it as I go then make one big batch of butter after culturing with buttermilk for 24 hours.

I freeze the few pounds I make and pull it out starting in October to help my family benefit from the Vitamin D boost in the dark winter months. We only use it raw on things like toast (a rare occurrence nowadays) or baked potatoes or steamed vegetables. My stash usually lasts until spring one way or another.

Sadly, this year, with our new farm’s mix of many breeds, I just didn’t feel like the cream was abundant enough to be sneaking any out for butter, so I didn’t make any this year. Sad smile

If you’d like to learn to make your own, it really is quite easy and fun, but be ready for a big mess and about 1-2 hours of work to process a few gallons of cream. Here are my old picture tutorials:

May/June butter has so many extra nutrients, like omega 3s and Vitamins A&D, because the cows are on fast-growing grass from the spring rains. This butter will be markedly yellow in color (see picture above at right), truly different from butter made from the same cows in the winter on hay, and not even a comparison to store butter made from grainfed cattle.

Here’s an old photo (sorry about the lighting) comparing my own homemade butter from winter/early spring to May/June butter:

May vs June grassfed butter

Can you guess which is which? Same cows, same process, only different time of year.

If you can’t make your own butter – even if I owned cows, I probably couldn’t keep up with what I’d want for my family – here are some other options for purchasing quality butter.

Grassfed: Kerrygold

new Kerrygold softer butter (8) (500x375)

As I mentioned in today’s other post about Kerrygold, Kerrygold has its place and is a good butter to buy, especially if it’s the only “better butter” you can find.

Pros:

  • grassfed
  • small farmers
  • no hormones
  • summer milk/cream

Cons:

  • imported (think about your carbon footprint)
  • not organic
  • not cultured

You can find out more about Kerrygold butter at their website.

100% Grassfed, Organic, Small Farmers: Kalona Super Natural

Just after I bought Kerrygold for the first time, Tropical Traditions announced they would start carrying Kalona Super Natural grassfed butter. I can’t even begin to tell you how yellow, creamy and delicious this butter is!

butter comparisons Kolona Super Natural (1) (500x375)

That white butter on top is Meijer butter, and no, it’s not the flash making it such a different color. If anything, the Kalona underneath is yellower in person than when I’m snapping a quick photo before dinner! The beautiful top photo with the glistening yellow butter is also Kalona.

butter comparisons Kolona Super Natural (3) (500x375)

My son, who isn’t usually much of a butter lover, went ga-ga over Kalona’s butter. He immediately remarked about the yellow color, and asks to make sure he’s getting “the good stuff.” I do not kid you when I say it’s probably the best butter I’ve ever tasted, but it definitely comes at a price. Brace yourself when you click over

Pros:

  • grassfed
  • small farmers, conscientiously raised animals
  • slow-churned/hand-churned
  • organic
  • high in omega 3s and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)

Cons

  • carbon footprint from shipping
  • price: about $45-50 for 6 pounds, plus shipping (it’s worth playing around with the quantities…for example, 3 pounds ships for $10 to me but 18 pounds is only $12)

I’d rather buy local butter, but as I mentioned above, I really haven’t found the perfect source yet. I don’t know that I could stomach paying full price for Kalona either, but Tropical Traditions has a referral program from which I earn gift certificates for food for sharing the products.

If you get anything from TT (the organic tomatoes in glass jars and coconut flour are actually a good deal over most health food stores when you wait for free shipping deals), I highly recommend looking into it – you do NOT have to have a blog to earn! You can post the free shipping on Facebook or send an email to like-minded friends.

Every time someone makes any first-time purchase, you earn a $25 gift certificate that can be used at TT for anything but shipping. Check out the program HERE. (Note: Although I will earn gift certificates if you buy something using my link for the first time – thanks! – I don’t benefit from sharing the referral program. I just think it’s so fun to earn free food, and I know many of you can benefit from this. Buy better butter…for free!)

May/June Grassfed, Organic: Organic Valley Pastured

When I mentioned that for some odd reason, I’ve never really tried Organic Valley cheese (or butter) in yesterday’s post, readers chimed in with lots of great information. Upon a quick visit to Organic Valley’s website, I was tickled to find that they sell special “pastured butter” seasonally. It’s made from cows grazing only on grass at the “height of the season,” defined as May through September. It’s likely (but still not totally guaranteed) that the cows are on pasture 100% of the time.

This special butter (which may be a bit hard to find if I’m assuming correctly) is also cultured.

One reader who emailed says that Organic Valley butter “definitely has that “grass-fed” cow taste to it.” Great news! I’ll be on the lookout for a taste test at our health food stores in town…

Cultured: Ilios Greek Yogurt Butter and Organic Valley Cultured

image

I just got a sample of Ilios Greek Yogurt Butter yesterday, and I had to crack it open at breakfast and find something to put it on. It was pretty good on a cracker, but it’s no bright yellow, grassfed Kerrygold or Kalona.

However, Ilios did hit upon something that’s kind of a cool idea: mixing yogurt with butter. For those of us who appreciate our probiotics, we get cultured butter. For the rest of society that’s afraid of fat, they get some of the fat replaced with protein (30 calories less per Tbs. than regular butter and 1g protein). I wasn’t able to find a price for this product, however, and I wonder if it’s a premium. For me, that wouldn’t be worth it.

Pros:

  • real butter
  • cultured/probiotics (5 active strains including acidophilus)
  • small farmers
  • rBST free

Cons:

  • what the cows eat: unknown – might be partially grassfed since it’s at least small farms, but I figure if the company isn’t shouting the good stuff from the rooftops, they probably don’t know enough to do the good stuff.
  • not organic – pesticides and antibiotics probable
  • in plastic tubs – a negative from the environmental standpoint and that it’s harder to measure for recipes (although I see they do have sticks, I think, in that picture)

Ilios says it bakes just like butter, but I haven’t tried that yet. What do you think? A product worth grabbing, or just an interesting new marketing twist capitalizing on the country’s apparent love for Greek yogurt? Winking smile

Organic Valley also has a cultured butter which I would love to try to compare to my homemade. It seems to get good reviews from customers at their website. Of course, the cultured, pastured butter would be better…

UPDATE: a reader alerted me that the Kerrygold UNsalted butter is cultured, too! I think I have some in my fridge; I’ll have to try it and let you know – what great news!

Other Butters

I tried to figure out where Sjmor might be found in my area after reading this butter tasting story, but I had no luck. It sounds great and is another brand to keep an eye out for. Here’s another fun butter tasting story from the East Coast…

Storing Butter: the Butter Bell

butterbell (1) (500x375)

I’ve often been asked by readers if I have heard of the Butter Bell, but until last month, I had never seen one. Here in Michigan, you really have to leave butter on the counter for quite a long time before it molds or goes rancid. I’ve only seen it happen twice.

The idea of a butter bell crock is that it will keep the butter preserved but still soft and spreadable, so you can keep it on the countertop without worry. You have to let a stick of butter or 1/2 cup soften, then pack it into the bowl part, then flip that bowl with butter upside down into a crock which has 1/3 cup cold water in the bottom. The water forms a seal so air and odors can’t touch the butter.

In the photo above, we set the bowl part on top of the crock to serve. To store, you’d flip over the whole bowl and the lid/handle comes out of the crock an ends up on top. Here are some visuals and tutorials for how it works.

Pros:

  • very cute
  • easy to use
  • traditional French style of storing butter…I just like that!
  • definitely keeps butter soft – although I’d love to try it in the winter when the house is 64F to compare as well

Cons:

  • have to remember to change the water every 3 days
  • the top of the butter gets wet when the dish is full – that seems odd to me (?)
  • I didn’t pack the butter in perfectly and it fell out into the water once… user error!

How do you store your butter? Do you have any recommendations for quality butters? (And have your kids been trained that yellow butter is better butter?) Winking smile

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Disclosure: I received samples from Kerrygold (but haven’t opened them yet), Butter Bell, and Ilios, but my opinion –clearly – remains my own. No money changed hands for this post, just fat. See my full disclosure statement here.

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48 Comments so far ↓

  • Karen

    I’ve never seen Kerrygold at our Costco. I’m going in search today! I’m far too lazy to make butter with my raw milk and too cheap for our co-op’s prices on organic so I just buy Kirkland’s regular ol’ butter…

    I have 2 butter bells (family of 6). We have huge temperature shifts here in Montana and I like that it keeps the butter nice and soft, but not “too” soft regardless. I don’t change the water every three days on the dot. Just when I think of it. Water doesn’t mix with butter so it’s not as weird as you’d imagine to have it touch the butter and it’s only when it’s full to capacity!

    I prefer the bell to a butter dish. It stays cleaner and it takes up less space on my already-too-small counter, not to mention it really does keep the butter more spreadable & fresher!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Kathleen K

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the butter bell.

    The ONLY time I’ve ever had butter mold was when, for whatever reason, we didn’t eat any for about a week.

    It kept it soft in mid-west winters with a household temp of 65, it keeps it fresh in southern summers with a household temp of 78-82.

    It is one of those kitchen tools that, if it broke, I’d replace immediately.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Katie G.

    At my Costco (SoCal) they only have Kerrygold right before St Patrick’s Day…. And I missed it this year! I’m still looking for a good butter, and like you, I don’t like to pay a bunch more money for something that’s only a little bit better. For now I just get organic.

    I have a tip for you about Costco: read their magazine they send you, or at least look for any articles about the meat they sell, and if the Lamb is imported from Australia its most likely grassfed. I just bought a leg of lamb roast and oh my goodness it was amazing. Unfortunately it was boneless, so I didn’t get any stock from it, but it was still the best roast I’d ever had. Ever.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Elizabeth

    I read these posts and end up more confused sometimes than I was to begin with :/
    I’ve been working with our food budget and want to make the jump to buying better butter and cheese but I don’t know what to buy. The prices seem overwhelming. I can get store-brand organic storebrand butter for $4.99/lb or Kerrygold for $12/lb. Is organic okay even if it isn’t grass-fed? I may have some other options at the Amish market but I don’t know how much they cost and how often I’d be able to get there. What’s a good price point on good butter? We go through about 3lbs of butter/week.
    As for cheese, are they any other more readily available brands that are okay to buy? I’m not familiar with any of the brands listed on the other post. I’m in MD if that makes a difference and mainly shop at Harris Teeter or Trader Joes.
    Thanks for the help!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Elizabeth,
    Wow, that’s a big price jump! If I were you, I’d start by researching the store brand. Find a number to call; if you learn it’s grassfed (or even mostly!), how wonderful! I don’t think I’d personally pay $12/lb for Kerrygold since it doesn’t meet all my criteria. I paid about $6. For me, that’s a good price point, BUT if I’ve learned anything about food shopping, it’s that it’s markedly different in diff. areas, and you’re in a pricey one.

    I’m thinking Trader Joe’s has to have some good cheeses – use the checklist and see what you can find. There were also some comments, I think, at the cheese post yesterday abt TJ’s cheese. I found grassfed cheese at my market just by accident, so reading labels is a great idea.

    The nice thing about butter is that it freezes so well, so the Amish mkt may be an option, or another smaller health food store.

    Good luck!
    :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Taylor Reply:

    Trader joes organic butter is mostly grass fed! ! It’s delicious, decently priced, and barely a compromise at all. :)

    [Reply to this comment]

    Melissa Reply:

    Hi Taylor,
    What does mostly grassfed mean. It says nothing about it on the packaging?

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Christina

    We don’t go through a ton of butter (only 2 of the 4 people in our house eat it, so maybe a pound a month), so I buy Organic Valley cultured butter for $5.69/lb (I think). It is definitely darker than the Kroger brand I used to buy on sale, and since we don’t eat a lot of butter I want what we do get to pack a nutritional punch :)

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Cristy

    I buy the pastured Organic Valley from Azure Standard. It’s $3.95 for 8 oz. It’s our “special butter” that is room temperature and only used for toast and veggies. I cook and bake with butter that is less expensive.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Melanie

    Hi Katie! I am loving this series on sourcing animal products — thank you! I grabbed some of Organic Valley’s special grass-fed butter at Whole Foods the other day, but I haven’t tried it yet. I do love buttery, yellow butter, and my one-year-old loves it to, especially when I mash it into his broccoli :). A quick note/question about Kerrygold — on their website, they claim their unsalted butter is cultured…?

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Holy cow, how did I miss that? thank you! I’ll update the post…
    :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Melanie Reply:

    They definitely don’t seem to advertise it on the package, so it would be easy to miss…and I could be misreading it since I didn’t even know there was cultured vs. uncultured butter a few weeks ago :). Anyway, here is the link: http://kerrygoldusa.com/products/butter/bid/62964/Unsalted-Butter

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Sarah

    I actually JUST ate some of the Ilios Greek Yogurt butter! It was pretty tasty too. I got it on sale for $2.99 a lb, which I thought was reasonable considering you get the protein and cultures too. I bought it only because it was on sale. The store I bought it at supposedly also sells Kerrygold (looked up yesterday to see where it’s sold), but I haven’t been there yet to check the price. Thanks for all the info! It does seem overwhelming at times but it is good to know all the options and a breakdown of the pros/cons of each :)

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama

    My best butter solution right now is to buy semi-local grass-fed cream (low-temp pasteurized, comes from a farm an hour away) and make my own. That is what I have been doing lately. I wish I had enough money to buy a bunch of cream and make butter to freeze! It works out to around $3 – $4/lb. which is not bad for grass-fed butter. It is sweet and yummy, too.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Amy

    We get our butter, and other staples from a country store 10 miles away from us. The butter(along with several other items) are ordered in from this website http://www.troyercheese.com/index.html
    I’m not sure how many checkmarks it fits… I have checked the website recently just to see and it talks about alot of good things, but is obviously not organic. But irregardless, I feel like it’s ‘real’ butter – more so than what’s available at the grocery store- and tastes better too. Not sure I’m willing to give up enough of the raw milk cream to make my own(or make enough) that it would be worth it. I’ve done it once though. I have a version of the butter bell I got off of Amazon for half the price.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Beth @ Turn 2 the Simple Reply:

    I’ve been buying Troyer cheese from a local market because it is such a great price — about $3/pound when bought by the log. Any idea if it is hormone free, last time I checked the website I wasn’t able to find anything about hormone use, I even emailed the company and got no response.
    Anyone know the answers?

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Beth,
    I often find a phone call is worth 10 emails…

    The website has some nice stuff about old world recipes, hand-crafting, Amish farms…doesn’t always mean well-raised animals, BUT I would be the Amish don’t use hormones. Just guessing though!
    :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Annette

    I have been buying butter from a local farmer who also provides raw milk for about a year now. It is deep yellow and oh so delicious at 8$ a pound…….it’s a budget killer….but worth it

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Katie M

    We buy our butter from Trader Joes, its the Trader Joes Organic Butter – Sweet Organic Cream. According to the box it is grass fed, with no hormones, antibiotics, or chemicals. Ingredients are organic pasteurized sweet cream and salt. It tastes good, and if I remember right its $4 something a pound. (Trader Joe’s is a drive for us, so we stock up when we go and freeze it, and its been about a months since we’ve been so I don’t remember the exact price.)

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Kris

    I usually make my own butter – and it is great! If I need quite a bit for baking or what have you, I often get the one carried at the Grassfields farm store in Coopersville – it is 4.75/lb and is organic, grass field, and local. =)

    And I love my butter bell! And it does work just fine here in West Michigan – we have a chilly house in the winter, but my butter is soft and creamy!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Kris,
    Awright…what’s the brand? Organic, grassfed local butter? Maybe I can get Smart Choice Mkt here in BC to carry it… ;) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Kris Reply:

    Uhhmm. I don’t rightly know! I haven’t bought any since the cows started back on pasture and our milk share went up – does yours fluctuate as well? I have been getting a full share to skim the cream off of 2 gallons a week (the rest is used in making cheese – mozzarella!) so I haven’t needed any. I was even there this evening! Of course, it is possible that they don’t carry it now – they have a farm store, and it often changes products. It looks like we here in West Michigan could really benefit for a butter maker. All us readers should go into business.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Sara

    FYI, Costco will refund the cost of your membership at any time for any reason!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • lisa

    I just got some amazing butter from Azure. It is darker than anything organic I’ve bought in the store, and it tastes UH-MAZE-ING! :) It is not raw or cultured, although. It is $4.40/lb.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Nicole Reply:

    I believe I bought the same butter this last month. Rumiano. It is grass fed. I bought 10lbs and it was only $3.90, which is really close to Costco’s organic butter. Delicious!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Mary Jo

    Love, love, love Kalona brand! The sour cream is amazing as well as the cottage cheese.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Dawn

    I bought Kalona through my buying club back in February. It was a new product, and out of Iowa (so fairly local for me in Wis.). My cost was about $5.50 / lb. for 8 lbs. after our discount and adding shipping. Normally I buy Trader Joe’s brand organic butter. By comparison, the Kalona was almost white, so I wouldn’t buy it in the winter. Kerrygold is about the same price as Kalona at Trader Joe’s, $5.60, and is darker yellow and softer (so I assume higher fat). Probably the better choice for me. Local organic, grass-fed raw butter runs about $11 / lb. around here!

    All of you east of the Mississippi might consider joining a buying club through UNFI (United Natural Foods Inc.). Their web site is unfi.com and you could contact them to see if there is a club locally. Our club is about five years old and we order every four weeks, then meet a semi-truck to unload and pay our club leader. A discount is given depending upon the club order size — currently we get 13% off, which is usually cheaper than Whole Foods and mail order. UNFI is a distributor of natural and organic packaged, refrigerated and frozen foods, but not produce.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Cheryl

    Thanks for this post, Katie! It’s been really helpful. Thanks for the whole series on “bests”. :)
    I live in CO, and for my budget, any good butter running under $5/lb is an *excellent* price.

    I can get Organic Valley Cultured butter for $5.50/lb at my local natural food store right now. Sometimes it’ll be on sale for $4.50. They also sell Organic Valley Pastured for about $3.60/half lb (8 oz).

    They used to sell Kalona for about $7/lb and I would *definitely* stock up at that price (need to ask the buyer why they stopped carrying it!). By the way, Kalona’s whole cream-top milk is the *best* non-raw milk option out there, for my money; it’s only vat pasteurized (lower temps). Their sour cream, and cottage cheese are excellent without anything “extra” added! I also ONLY buy their eggs [Farmer's Fresh] since I don’t have access to local pastured eggs.

    My local Whole Foods sells Kerrygold for somewhere between $7-8/half lb (so the Kalona was a huge deal, compared).

    I’ve tried Costco’s brand of organic butter – and canNOT stand it!! I don’t know what they do to it, but the chemical taste in it is overwhelming; even when used in baking. It’s a nice price, but not worth it to me. My Costco has never carried Kerrygold, tho’. :(

    In order of preference, I’d buy: Kalona, Kerrygold (on sale and only for eating fresh, unless it was on sale at Costco :)), Organic Valley Pastured (only for eating fresh), Organic Valley Cultured.

    Just a tip: my budget can’t handle more than 4 lbs/month (just me), so I usually go half-and-half butter and raw unprocessed coconut oil, especially when using it for cooking and baking. This actually works out nicely in terms of my baked goods and the whole high altitude thing as well. :)

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  • Rachel B

    The Super Natural butter that you found that’s so good is the same brand as the cottage cheese that I get locally. It’s from grass-fed, pastured cows and I can tell it’s alive as soon as I open the lid and it’s delicious. I’m so happy that I found it.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Heather

    This post got me curious so I put my softer Kerrygold next to my cultured Organic Valley. The Kerrygold is definitely darker, but the OV is still quite yellow. In tasting both I like the Kerrygold better but still enjoy the OV while my husband and son don’t notice any difference (but they also both eat and enjoy margarine when eating outside of our home so their taste buds aren’t as sensitive) In my area there is about a little over a $1/lb price difference- the Kerrygold running $3.69 for a half pound and the OV $6.29 for a pound. Both have been back up butter when I run out of local butter ($10/lb yikes!) or simply don’t have the budget for it. Now that I’m looking at it a little more logically it makes more sense to stick to the OV, both because it’s a little cheaper, and although it’s a little less yellow it is organic and not shipped across an ocean. There is one more brand I would like to find out if their organic butter is grassfed and that is Publix. I’ll have to call and ask. If it is I might do a side by side comparison to see how it compares.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Heather Reply:

    Crud. Just realized that the OV butter available in my area is their regular cultured butter, not the pastured. Guess that changes the equation, though they still claim pasture-based so I’m not sure what that all means in the grands scheme of things. This is turning out to be a lot of thinking for back up butter. ;)

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Jessica Moore

    I’ve talked to the Organic Valley people and I have good news if it’s true!
    Last summer I called them and asked about what the cows were fed whose milk is used in the regular butter, not the Pasture Butter. The lady I talked to, of course I can’t remember her name now, said that all their cows are 100% pastured-fed in the summer time. So the milk used to make the Pasture Butter is only from those months. BUT the other butter, not in the green pasture packages, that was made during those months is ALSO from 100% pasture. Sooo, then the next step was to find out when the cheaper (still expensive) OV butter was made. She said to look at the expiration date. The butter I was buying expired in March. For last year, this meant that it was 100% pasture.
    Is that confusing… or can you make sense of that? ;)

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Jessica,
    Makes perfect sense to me! I wonder if one has to make a call every fall to find out what the new “summer cows” expiration date is, or if it’s safe to assume anything you buy in the late summer or fall is pastured? Great investigative work! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Rachel B Reply:

    I was at the store yesterday and bought Organic Valley pastured butter and it said on the label that it was only available from May through September. Normally, I only use Purity Organic Grass-Fed Ghee which I buy online where it’s cheaper than my store and we totally love it, plus it doesn’t have to be refrigerated! But I thought I’d try this regular butter to see what the taste difference is as it was reasonably priced.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Megan

    I was buying butter from our local dairy delivery and I thought it tasted fine, but my kids did not like the taste and it’s not organic. I then discovered that the Costco brand, Kirkland has an organic variety in addition to the regular. I think it’s around $6 for 2 lbs. I’ve been buying that for a while and we all like the taste. I don’t know if the cows are grass fed or not, so I need to do some research.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Soccy

    What are your thoughts on the Natural By Nature brand. They claim organic, grassfed and from Lancaster county, pa which may mean Amish.

    Any thoughts? They are fairly local so I can make a special trip to load up. But just wondering what you or your readers know about them. Thanks

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Soccy,
    I wouldn’t have known what to say except that Trop Traditions just started carrying this brand, too! They stats are awesome, so definitely a good butter, but I did notice that it’s “whipped” which means you’re paying for air in there. But…if you can get sticks or blocks OR if it’s still a decent price for you, and local, that’s fantastic.

    Hope that helps! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Char

    In addition to using real organic butter, I just started using USDA Organic:-) Olivio Coconut Spread. It’s definitely not butter – dairy free and pure white …but it’s so tasty and is quite affordable. I get it at Meijers right in with the rest of the spreads. Three 8oz tubs for 5.00 -and sometimes get coupons for it too. Blue/white container.

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  • Why We Switched to Organic Chicken, Butter and Eggs « Don't Waste the Crumbs!Don't Waste the Crumbs!

    [...] And then I read that hormones, pesticides and whatever else is given to animals is likely concentrated in the fat of the … [...]

  • Lauren

    My family has been using cultured butter from grass fed cows from an Amish farm. I got connected with them through the Weston Price Foundation local chapters. The butter is much more yellow during the summer months compared to the fall/winter. I’m not sure color is 100% an indicator of the quality as season can affect it. If you’re lucky enough, knowing your farmer is always ideal. It’s $12 l/b but to us it’s worth it.

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  • Amanda Yoder

    I love Kerrygold and we’ve been able to get it for $2.99 for 8oz, which I can work with although expensive–no other butter in their price range comes close in flavor and it is at least grass fed! I’m glad to know the unsalted is cultured, we’ll use that raw to keep it mixed up

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  • Brighid

    I just found this post and I have to thank you. The farmer who sells us our raw milk also sells raw cream. (Can you imagine how amazing it is? We usually only get it for special celebrations.) I think I’ll be buying some and trying my hand at making butter. :)

    Doesn’t your farmer have a cream separator? Ours sells whole (top of the tank), skim (lower down on the tank) and the most amazing ice cream made with their milk.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Not yet, but she’s working on it… :) Katie

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  • Casey

    Hello! I read your blog and loved this particular article. I wanted to correct you on just one teeeeeny little thing. Someone may have already commented on this, but I don’t know, the comments are too many. Federal regulations do prohibit the sale of pure raw butter in stores, but it can be sold on the farm’s premises.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Midarie

    Wonderful site – thank you. Is there a non-dairy alternative to butter that is not margarine? My son needs to be strict with his dairy/gluten free diet and I struggle with a replacement for butter as a sandwich spread (infrequent) and for baking. When a recipe call for a liquid fat, I usually split it 1/3 cup applesauce and remainder oil. I don’t think this will work for other baking that calls for butter. I have checked a number of areas of the website – perhaps I missed something. Any gluten free info is also welcomed.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Helen @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Hi Midarie,

    My son is dairy-free (and egg white and peanut!). I use coconut oil for most applications (baking quick breads, waffles, muffins, etc.). I have also used some Earth Balance products. As a sandwich spread I use this: http://earthbalancenatural.com/product/soy-free-buttery-spread/ they do list GF so that should work for you! I believe my MIL has used it in baking. I have also used this one: http://earthbalancenatural.com/product/organic-coconut-butter/ in brownies and it was SO GOOD! I hope that helps you.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Helen @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    oh, looks like they have bars of their ‘butter’ as well, which I haven’t bought! But it is listed on their site :)

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  • zack

    I work at California dairies and its all the same. Challenge, Kirkland, great value, wholesome farms, All the same. Comes from the same churn and all.

    [Reply to this comment]

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Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

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