I must confess: I use margarine. I grew up on it. I’m used to the way it handles, melting easier & faster than butter & baking more evenly. My husband even prefers the taste of margarine to butter at times.
HOWEVER. As we all have come to know, natural fats are better than processed ones. And margarine is definitely a processed fat. Natural fats, in moderation, are key to a healthy diet. Crazy. I love learning about the chemistry & alchemy related to cooking & food in relationship with our bodies and how we process it all.
I have a dessert recipe I make pretty often that calls for margarine AND butter. You’re supposed to use the margarine in the crust part and butter in the fudgy filling part. Lately I’ve been doing this, whereas I always just used to use margarine for it all. Frankly, I can’t taste a difference at all. And the butter melts SO. MUCH. SLOWER than the margarine did. So it’s annoying.
I have to say that melted butter on my popcorn is preferable to melted margarine, though. I make my own popcorn, instead of buying the bags of prepackaged stuff. I usually pop ¼ cup of popcorn (measured unpopped) and melt 2 tablespoons of butter to pour over it (slowly, as I stir & salt the popcorn). Again, the butter takes infinitely longer to melt but it’s decidedly worth it.
I had been slowly working real butter into my cooking more & more. But now, with Jake’s new low fat, low cholesterol diet, we’re going to be using Blue Bonnet Light margarine for just about all our needs. It’s also dairy-free. However, I'm trying to make more things without any butter/margarine at all now. And more good fats like olive oil, avocados and nuts are being incorporated into our diet.
My younger brother’s recent declaration was, “If you have real butter, use it!” (Perhaps paraphrased a bit.) What’s your take?