Ask Our Experts: Low-Cal Butter, Corn Earworms and Washing Mountain Parkas

MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers receive guidance on creating a low-cal version of butter, eliminating corn earworms from crops and methods to wash a mountain parka.

| May/June 1988


Handpick larvae by pulling back the corn tips and removing the worms. Do this only after the silks begin to brown, indicating pollination has occurred.


MOTHER's column gives MOTHER EARTH NEWs readers a chance to ask our experts about a variety of homesteading problems that are in need of a good answer. 

Ask Our Experts: Low-Cal Butter, Corn Earworms and Washing Mountain Parkas

I suppose I should cut back on my intake of saturated fat and cholesterol, but I love the taste of butter and am simply unwilling to give it up. Do you have any good suggestions for a low-cal butter spread? 

Well, a modest one. Soften a stick of butter to room temperature, and add ¼ cup of an oil that's high in polyunsaturated fats and low in saturated ones—safflower, sunflower, corn, vegetable. Whip the oil and butter together with an electric mixer until you've got a light, fluffy low-cal butter spread, and chill it until it's firm enough to use.

Obviously, this isn't a perfect solution, but it does reduce the saturated fats on your morning muffin. I find the buttery flavor virtually unchanged, except that it's less salty than the "lightly salted" product that dominates the supermarket shelves. This spread is also good for sautéing: The added oil raises the temperature at which butter smokes and burns.

One word of caution: Don't melt the butter over heat and then mix it with the oil for a low-cal butter spread. Neither the texture nor taste of the resultant spread will be right.

—Carol Taylor 

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