Subscribe to our Mailing List

Get the news right in your inbox!

Grass Fed Homemade Butter

devon 1 Comment

This post contains affiliate links meaning that I may make a small commission based off of your purchase at no additional cost to you.

finished butter

Grass Fed Homemade Butter

Devon 1 Comment

Grass fed homemade butter is a remarkable treat made from spring cream. Butter loaded with nutrients and flavor, makes “churning” your own worth the effort!

I must admit that this spring has been pretty good for the garden and pastures. Long, grey drizzling stretches, punctuated by spells bright, sunny and warm days.  Okay, a few days were like “whoa, overkill” – triple digit heat on the first weekend of June in my corner of the world is not normal.  Alas, the weather is to return to a more seasonally “normal” mid 60s and drizzle for next week or so. This weather pattern has provided our pastures with knee deep grass in places and the livestock are in hog heaven.  Kate the milk cow has been delivering the goods by way of copious amounts of super creamy milk. Springs like this provide rare opportunity to make such an under appreciated treat:  fresh, raw, organic, grass fed homemade butter.

I have a little theory about whole milk, low fat milk and butter…  I wonder if the movement towards low fat milk was precipitated less about concern for the relative consumer waistline, but more for the production of high monetary value food stuffs like sour cream and butter.  Consider this – the average Jersey cow produces milk that is about 4.6% fat.  That translates to about 5.9 ounces of fat in a gallon (128 ounces) of whole milk.  Seeing as butter is almost entirely a fat, it takes a LOT of milk to make one pound of butter.  Consumer wants milk and butter, but big Ag doesn’t want to lose profits from the now de-fatted milk – ergo, the establishment of the low fat and skim milk market.  Essentially, the butter is cheap and low fat/skim milk is expensive if you look at it this way.

spring pasture

I have a different relationship with my beloved butter, because I understand the I am sacrificing my precious whole milk to make it.  With my imperfect (read messy and inefficient) skimming techniques, it takes me about 3.5-4 gallons of raw milk to produce about a pound and a little over of butter.  In fact,  a gallon of skimmed cream from four(ish) gallons of milk typically gives me one pound and five ounces of butter.  Now I am sure there are some of you out there that have more skills than I do and could skim a little better – but this is where I land most of the time…

As we are a grass based farm, I am only able to reliably produce butter when the grass is green and growing quickly. This is the time of the highest nutritional and caloric content for the cow and she will produce in excess of five gallons a day.  So I have to get while the “getting” is good.  I try to make butter as often as possible when there is an excess of milk.  I then freeze this golden bounty for dishes and desserts where the butter is a breakout star – think shortbread, Hollandaise sauce (on your free range eggs Benedict), and even just on toast.  Why the fuss about humble butter?  Because raw, grass fed homemade butter is a whole different experience that you are used to.

churned grass fed homemade butter
Butter after the initial “churning”

Raw, grass fed, home butter is just butterier.  The aroma of butter is derived from a compound called diacetyl present in standard grocery store butters, but SUPER CHARGED in raw, grass fed homemade butters.  It is also intensely yellow, owing to the beta carotene content in milk from grass fed cows.  Additionally, milk, cream, butter and cheeses produced from grass fed cows are higher in vitamins E and K2, omega 3’s and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).

Here is where I offer a confession – lest you think that I am churning my butter by hand like my mother so fondly recalls doing as a child at great Granny’s house… I employ the horsepower of my stand mixer and blender for the task.  I am sure that the good folks at Kitchenaid and Ninja (serious, a Vitamix or Blendtec sponsorship for this blog would be spectacular – just leaving that here) did not engineer their tools for such a job, but I am all about making the best of what I got.  Please don’t blame me if you burn out a motor…  Not that I have…  I have… Actually.

On a side note, I am using RAW cream from my own cow.  You may choose to use pasteurized cream (do avoid ultra pasteurized milk though).  I do not intend this blog post to be a debate about the relative benefits and risks of raw milk.  I encourage you to do your own research and decide what is best for your family.  Raw is a choice that is right for MY family, and your choice is just that – yours.  But, do look for cream from pasture based, grass fed dairies – your butter will be a thing of wonder…

Grass fed homemade butter is a true treat and worth the effort.  Plus licking a little fresh butter from your fingers is just, just…  yummy.

finished grass fed homemade butter
Finished butter

Grass Fed Homemade Butter Recipe

How to Make Homemade Butter

Grass fed homemade butter is truly a special treat and is a far cry from you dairy case finds... 
Cook Time20 mins
Servings: 1 pound


  • 1 gallong cream from grass fed cows
  • pinch sea salt


  • In one quart batches, whip (stand mixer) or blend (blender) cream at a high rate of speed (use a splash guard if available).
  • After 10-15 minutes, the fat will separate from the whey into yellow globules. Turn off machine.
  • Line a colander with muslin or a flour sack towel and place over a large bowel.
  • Pour butter and whey through the cloth lined colander, and repeat steps 1-4 until all cream is processed. Drain until the butter looks relatively "dry".
  • Twist cloth up into a bundle, squeezing extra whey from the butter, and occasionally rinse the butter bundle under ice cold running water. Continue to squeeze and work the butter until no whey seeps through the cloth.
  • Transfer worked and rinse butter into a bowl and add a inch of sea salt and combine thoroughly.
  • Divide butter into four ounce "logs" and wrap in wax or parchment paper. Freeze until use.

Homemade Butter



Devon is a writer and author on subjects of holistic and sustainable living. She has a degree in Complementary and Alternative Medicine from the American College of Healthcare Sciences, and her first book, The Backyard Herbal Apothecary, was published by Page Street Publishing in Spring 2019. Devon's work outside of can be seen at,,, and in the magazine The Backwoods Home. Devon's second book, The Herbalist's Healing Kitchen, will be published Fall 2019.

All posts

1 Comment

  • […] for a few tips and tricks for fantastic, tender shortbread…  If you read my previous blog post on homemade butter – now is the time to break out the good stuff.  Shortbread is basically a delivery system […]

  • Leave a Reply

    About Me

    About Me

    Meet the Nitty Gritty Mama, Devon!

    I am an herbalist, farmer, cook, and forager. I get my hands dirty and am not afraid to do things the "hard way". Sharing my Nitty Gritty Life with you! Read More



    Subscribe to our Mailing List

    Get the news right in your inbox!

    Popular Links


    • 💕Still finding my footing after losing the best friend anybody could ever ask for.
My dear beloved grandmother passed from this world last Friday.  I had the great honor to be at her bedside, to feel the last hummingbird-like flutter of her pulse, to observe her final wishes as she flew from this world to the next - undoubtedly with the same compassion, dignity and boundless optimism that she blessed our world with.
This picture of hers, mine, and my youngest daughter’s hands was taken a couple weeks ago now... a treasure of time spent together before renal failure claimed her ability to speak, while she could still nibble on a cookie and enjoy her beloved black coffee.  After this picture, we entered the strange yet surprising dignified “hospice time.” For those of you who have taken part in the hospice care of a loved one - you know this indescribable separation of hospice time and “real time.” There is a fixed end point, yet nobody knows when it is - and so you live each moment, hoping that it is, in fact, not your last, while also wishing that your loved one would pass peacefully and painlessly from these earthly bounds.
I do not post this looking for an outpouring of sympathy - those that know me well know that I rather bristle at the attention.  I write this post to thank all of the dedicated hospice care workers and as a knowing hug to all those loved ones left behind who have felt the mixed emotions that this time of great grief.
Sending love out into the world tonight. 💕
#grief #hospice #hospicecare
    • During these early fall days when the first freeze is never far off, I scurry to put up the last bits of the garden. This fermented hot sauce two ways are a perfect pair of recipes for the last remaining peppers and the nasturtiums that are usually abundant at this time.
Tap link in bio for link to recipe.
#hotsauce #peppers #nasturtiums #fermentation #lactofermentation #preservation #foodpreservation #edibleflowers
    • Now well into October, I am observing the ruby glow of hawthorn berries and rose hips.
Right now is this time to make this delicious mead.  It will ferment and age just perfectly for holiday toasts and herbal libations.
Tap link in bio for link to recipe.
#mead #hawthorn #rosehips #homemead #meadmaking #makingmead #herbs #herbalist #herbalism #medicinalherbs #fermentation
    • I LOVE baking bread.  I love the tactile nature of kneading and forming the dough, and, most of all, I love the aroma that fills my home as loaves bake in the oven. 
Here is a savory sourdough recipe speckled with sauteed greens, garlic and smoked cheddar.  It is unbelievably good.  Baked in a dutch oven it develops a irresistible crust and the scent is to die for.
Tap link in bio for link to recipe.
#breadbaking #bread #sourdough #homestead #homesteading #homesteader #baking #cookingfromscratch
    • It hardly feels real.
A year ago, I had just sent the manuscript for my first book off to the printer when my publisher offered me a contract on a second book.  It didn't seem such a crazy, far out, thing to do at the time -- this committing to write and photograph two entire books in one year.
It was.
Crazy and far out, for sure.
The last year has been a flurry of publishing activity, but I am so happy to announce that my second book, The Herbalist's Healing Kitchen is almost ready to make its debut! 
The Herbalist's Healing Kitchen is dedicated to the concept of food as medicine, and is my guide to rethinking everyday foods and culinary herbs to cook our way to better health!
"Kitchen" officially publishes October 29th, but you can reserve your copy from me or any one of the major book sellers in the link below.  ANDDDD, as  thank you for pre-ordering, I would love to send you my Companion Guide to Culinary Herbs ebook as my gift to you!
Tap link in bio to head to my book page!

#author #newbook #book #naturalliving #herbs #herbalist #herbalmedicine #herbalism #healthyliving #foodenergetics #flavorprofiles #pagestreetpublishing #theherbalistshealingkitchen #kitchenapothecary
    • Pears and apples are the fruits of fall. 
One of my favorite flavors from my youth was my grandmother's spiced apple butter.  I've replicated that flavor and punched up the acidity with a recipe that calls for apple cider vinegar (as opposed to lemon juice) -- giving this fruit butter an amazing depth of flavor.
Tap link in bio for link to recipe.
#apples #pears #applebutter #pearbutter #canning #canningseason #homestead #homesteading #homesteader #homesteadlife #homesteadlifestyle
    • Absolutely amazing weekend with some even more amazing women that I am positively HONORED to call colleagues - and even more importantly friends.
A weekend spent about Salt Lake City, speaking at #gardencomm2019, touring @melonmonologues gardens and being led on a tour of her favorite mountain places, a walking tour of some gorgeous botanical gardens, and a sight see at the temple - cuz when in SLC...
So... @attainablesustainable @melonmonologues @the_happy_herban @tenthacrefarm @homestead_honey and  @brownthumbmama  you are AMAZING LADIES!
#utah #getoutside #garden #mountains #nature
    • With the weather finally cooling, it is great time to think about planting trees and shrubs in your landscape.  The long cool months ahead are great for establishing a healthy root system!
#herbs #herbalist #herbalmedicine #medicinalherbs #holisticgardening #medicinegarden #herbgarden #medicinaltrees #medicinalshrubs
    • Sweet pickled figs are an amazingly delicious treat.  Believe me whenI tell you this. 
I crafted this recipe around my father's nostalgic recollections of his Scottish grandmother making the most of the bountiful fruits at her Southern Californian home.  While I never tasted Nana's pickled figs, my father thought this recipe did them great justice!
Tap link in bio for link to recipe.
#figs #pickledfigs #foodpreservation #preservation #canning #canningseason #homestead #homesteader #homesteading

    Follow @nittygrittymama