Healthier Spreadable Butter

By Ann Fulton

Healthier Spreadable Butter-Soft, spreadable butter is easy to make, and thanks to a healthy dose of Omega-3s, so much healthier, too
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Soft, spreadable butter is easy to make and contains a dose of heart healthy Omega-3s!


Why pay a premium for soft, spreadable butter when you can make it healthier and tastier at home?

Even if you think ahead and soften butter before using (or simply manage with firm butter-yes, there are bigger challenges in life!) there’s merit to the following recipe.

To celebrate its 30th anniversary, Barlean’s, a company known for its natural supplements and functional foods that, as they say, “feed the mind and body,” recently issued a recipe challenge showcasing their very first product: flax.

Specifically, the request was to use their flax oil in a dressing or sauce. The recipe could be savory or sweet-anything from an energizing hummus spread to a drizzle topping for a favorite dessert. Ideally though, the recipe would be made healthier thanks to the benefits of flax.

With its neutral flavor profile fresh, unrefined flax oil can be easily exchanged with other types of oils in salad dressings, dips and sauces. It can be added to a smoothie or yogurt or drizzled over oatmeal.

But why, you may be asking, would you want to do this?

For starters, flax oil is high in heart healthy Omega-3s, and studies have indicated that it may reduce inflammation, improve heart health, help reduce cancer cell growth, elevate skin health and improve both constipation and diarrhea.

It’s worth noting that flaxseed oil should not be used for baking, sautéing, etc., as it has a relatively low smoke point of 225℉.

Yet another unique feature of flax oil makes it well suited for the recipe I’m sharing today. The heart-healthy oil happens to retains its liquid state when refrigerated-unlike coconut oil for example (which becomes solid below 76℉) , or olive oil, which becomes semi-solid or congeals around 50℉).

Like bacon, butter has long been touted for making everything taste better. But like bacon, it’s not exactly health food, thanks to high levels of saturated fat.

However, whipping a measure of heart healthy flax oil into softened butter replaces some of the saturated fat with heart-healthy ALA Omega-3 fatty acids (7,640mg per tablespoon, to be precise). The brilliance of this addition is that the flax oil softens the chilled butter, making it easier to spread with negligible impact on the buttery flavor so many of us enjoy.

Healthier Spreadable Butter-Soft, spreadable butter is easy to make, and thanks to a healthy dose of Omega-3s, so much healthier, too

My younger son eats a lot of toast. He also adores fresh rolls from a nearby baker (Thom’s at Central Market for locals), which I slice and warm in the toaster oven. He enjoys all forms of bread with butter-and we all know the challenge of spreading cold butter on any form of bread.

When I first tried the butter/flax oil mix, I wondered if my family would detect a difference in the flavor. Would the spread taste less buttery?

Not only did they enjoy the flax butter every bit as much, they preferred it for its spreadability.

Now, instead of reaching for the stick of regular butter that’s always available, they reach for the ramekin filled with flax butter. No more tearing bread in an attempt to spread a thin layer of butter-or in my husband’s case, settling for too-big chunks of butter for the sake of speed!

Healthier Spreadable Butter-Soft, spreadable butter is easy to make, and thanks to a healthy dose of Omega-3s, so much healthier, tooHelpful hint: To bring butter to room temperature more quickly, cut it into slices or small cubes. The smaller the pieces the more quickly it will soften.

After beating the oil into the softened butter, the mixture will be on the soupy side. Simply transfer to a covered container and refrigerate, and it will reach a firm but spreadable consistency.Healthier Spreadable Butter-Soft, spreadable butter is easy to make, and thanks to a healthy dose of Omega-3s, so much healthier, too

Once chilled, the flax butter will be easier to spread than stick butter-and healthier, too. I use a basic ramekin for storage.Healthier Spreadable Butter-Soft, spreadable butter is easy to make, and thanks to a healthy dose of Omega-3s, so much healthier, too

Healthier Spreadable Butter
Yield: ¾ cup
This easy-to-make condiment adds spreadable convenience and a dose of heart healthy Omega-3s to good old butter! Spread it on toast, muffins, baked potatoes and more.
  • 8 tablespoons (½ cup/1 stick) butter
  • ¼ cup (60ml) flaxseed oil*
  • Salt**
  1. Soften the butter at room temperature. (To expedite this process, you can chop or slice the butter into small pieces.)
  2. Blend the butter and oil at medium speed until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed, and then beat at high speed for a minute or so to ensure the mixture is smooth and creamy. (A hand mixer works well for this job. In a pinch you could briskly beat with a fork or small whisk.)
  3. Salt to taste. (See notes for details.)
  4. At this point, the mixture will seem a little runny. Refrigerate until it reaches a spreadable consistency. Flax butter should be stored, covered, in the refrigerator where it will maintain its freshness for several months.

*You could substitute olive oil, although the mixture will be somewhat firmer once refrigerated as olive oil becomes semi-hard when refrigerated. A coconut oil/butter mixture may sound appealing, but coconut oil hardens when cold so the finished product would not be spreadable.
**You may start with salted or unsalted butter and add salt accordingly to mimic salted butter if desired. (Or totally omit it if preferred.) A pound of salted butter typically contains 1¼ teaspoon of salt, or a little over ¼ teaspoon per stick. So for this spread, when I start with a stick of salted butter and a quarter cup of oil, I add a lightly rounded ⅛ teaspoon of salt to mimic salted butter. You can certainly adjust to taste, using kosher, sea or table salt as desired. When spreading on toast, I especially enjoy the flavor of this spread when salted.


A few more details...

If you’d like an even softer butter than this recipe creates, you may add additional oil up to equal parts oil and butter. Note that the flavor will change slightly as more oil is added. The mixture will also be soupier when blended but will firm up when refrigerated. Also remember to adjust the salt in this case.

Last but not least, I avoid unfiltered flaxseed oil in this recipe as it has a stronger taste.

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The Fountain Avenue Kitchen

Barlean’s pure and unrefined flax oil is…

  • High in ALA Omega-3 fatty acid: 7,640mg per Tbsp
  • USDA Organic, Non-GMO verified, Gluten Free, Kosher
  • Fresh, cold-pressed and protected from air and light

Bursting with health appeal, flavor, and convenience, Maple Flax Breakfast Cakes are a twist on a reader-favorite mug muffin—and a personal go-to breakfast!You may also enjoy this recipe, which uses flaxseed meal, as opposed to the oil, to make a wholesome mug muffin or breakfast “cake.”







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  1. Madolyn

    I purchased the Barleans fresh flax oil as you recommended. I called the company and it is not filtered. What flax oil is filtered?

    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Madolyn, There is unrefined and unfiltered flax oil, and the latter has a stronger flavor. Barleans offers both. You can see them if you click on the link I’ve included below, and I have a photo of the unrefined bottle in this post. Your oil should work well. You may simply notice more of a flax flavor. If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

  2. Lilac Pulst

    Sorry I wanted to tell my story and it doesn’t allow me. It says it’s a duplicate. I have never commented. This is my first time. I didn’t even know about this site until now.

    1. Ann Post author

      No problem, Lilac! The way these sites are set up, I have to click on a first-time comment from my end (it’s a spam control mechanism). Occasionally, when someone’s comment doesn’t appear, they enter again and that message appears. If you comment again (and I hope you do), all should be well!

  3. Lilac Pulst

    I use Land o lakes light butter with canola oil. Both grocery stores in my city were out so I went online and found your recipe. I just finished making it and can’t wait for morning to come to try it out. Thanks. I hope it works out and I will never be running to the store for butter again

    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Lilac, I’m so glad you found this and hope it becomes your new go-to! My family actually likes this better than regular butter, and I like that you can control how soft it is by adjusting from between half to equal parts flax oil.

  4. Carolyn Post author

    I made this last night to use on toast this morning. There was no loss in buttery taste (I added salt as you did and thought the small amount bolstered flavor) and it was definitely easier to spread. Love that it’s 50% healthier too!

  5. jane link

    Very interesting! I usually use Smart Balance for toast, sandwiches etc and only use “real butter”, as my family calls it, for baking and when we have soup or Italian dishes. That is when we have good rolls or crusty bread. I will have to try this healthy butter! Sneak it in on my daughter and son-in-law who “detect something different”! (as the sweet potato in my chocolate frosting).

    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Jane, It will be fun to see if they detect something different. And funny you should mention the sweet potato frosting, as I was randomly thinking about your mention of that the other day. If inclined, feel free to share your tried-and-true method!