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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Cooking Q & A / Butter..Margarine..Crisco..Hmm?
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    Butter..Margarine..Crisco..Hmm?

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    SueB-SueB
    Fri May 02, 2008 4:18 pm
    Experienced "Head Chef" Poster
    Im a wee bit confused on the issue of these fats!
    I use buter for toast and sandwiches. I can not afford to bake with butter. For 1lb I pay 3.99.
    I usually bake with margarine. Cookies and cakes and the like. My mom gave me pack of crisco so i used it in the bread machine to make the bread and it was fine.
    So, I bought some crisco since I was out of it and noticed on the box that for baking it can be used instead of butter.
    Is there much of a difference between crisco and margarine for baking? taste wise? health wise?whicjh is better?
    I do understand that theyre both FAT..but which is the better fat? icon_confused.gif
    J. Ko
    Fri May 02, 2008 4:35 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Generally speaking, you can use Crisco (vegetable shortening) in place of butter in many baked goods. There will be a different flavour and a definite difference in texture.

    Health-wise I stay away from Crisco/shortening because it is a hydrogenated oil (a.k.a trans-fat) and has been linked to a multitude of health problems: mainly coronary artery disease; high cholesterol; and possibly cancer, diabetes, obesity, liver dysfunction, and infertility.

    My first choice in baking is butter. Non-hydrogenated (easily spreadable right out of the fridge) margarines are not recommended for baking because their high water content will adversely affect the finished product. I will only use shortening in a pinch and only if a small amount is called for ie: in bread.

    Where in BC are you from? I live in Campbell River on Vancouver Island. Superstore is generally where I shop and I can get butter for $3.50/lb. I know it's not much of a savings, but it's better than nothing. I usually bake with butter, but I try to ration out the cookies, so they don't go too quickly. For muffins and quick breads I usually use canola oil and replace half of it with yogurt or fruit puree to cut down on the fat. No one even notices the difference.
    Dee514
    Fri May 02, 2008 4:43 pm
    Forum Host
    From the Crisco web site:

    Crisco shortening has 50% less saturated fat than butter and 0g trans fat per serving. It is excellent for frying, and great for baking giving you higher, lighter-textured baked goods. Crisco Butter Flavor Shortening performs the same as Crisco All-Vegetable Shortening, but adds a rich buttery flavor to foods. For your convenience, Crisco shortening is also available in easy-to-measure sticks in both original and butter flavor.


    Last edited by Dee514 on Fri May 02, 2008 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total
    SueB-SueB
    Fri May 02, 2008 4:44 pm
    Experienced "Head Chef" Poster
    Thanks for the info. I do use Non-hydrogenated margarine for baking and havent noticed any issues. But I have not been looking for specific things.Is there a healthy Marg?
    I did notice that we live on the same island which I thought was neat. its a small world after all.
    SueB-SueB
    Fri May 02, 2008 4:47 pm
    Experienced "Head Chef" Poster
    I stand corrected.
    We dont only live on the same island, we live in the same town!
    I pay 3.99 for butter at Quality Foods and have just found that with all the prices going up that butter will be next.
    Bubz McGee
    Fri May 02, 2008 4:50 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    The best unsalted butter I have tried (and I have tried many butters) can be found in trader's joe and it is called Plugra. It less tan 4.0 dls the pound. It is really worth it.
    J. Ko
    Fri May 02, 2008 5:08 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Dee514 wrote:
    From the Crisco web site:

    Crisco shortening has 50% less saturated fat than butter and 0g trans fat per serving. It is excellent for frying, and great for baking giving you higher, lighter-textured baked goods. Crisco Butter Flavor Shortening performs the same as Crisco All-Vegetable Shortening, but adds a rich buttery flavor to foods. For your convenience, Crisco shortening is also available in easy-to-measure sticks in both original and butter flavor.


    I checked out the web-site. The hydrogenated oils are what you have to look out for. They are trans fats! Crisco contains fully hydrogenated palm oil, and partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oils, depending upon which product you purchase. Their claim that their product contains no trans fats is totally false!

    Definitions of Trans Fats found on the internet:

    Processed fats that are solid at room temperature and include partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated vegetable oils and shortening. ...
    www.mercksource.com/ppdocs/us/cns/harvard-health-reports/MerckSHR-healthyliving092906/sections/glossary.htm

    Fats that are artificially created through a chemical process of the hydrogenation of oils. This solidifies the oil and limits the body's ability to regulate cholesterol. These fats are considered to be the most harmful to one's health. ...
    www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/teach/diet/worksheet_pre2.html

    found in most margarines and many fast foods and commercially baked products, may be even more unhealthy than saturated fats because they may boost LDL cholesterol and triglycerides (another form of blood fat), and they may make blood platelets stickier than usual, encouraging the formation of ...
    www.realsimple.com/realsimple/content/0,21770,1110936,00.html

    a type of fat formed from hydrogenation, a chemical process that changes a liquid oil into a solid fat. Trans fats are found in processed foods, such as snack foods, cookies, fast foods, and some stick or solid margarines. ...
    www.unionmemorial.org/npt.cfm
    J. Ko
    Fri May 02, 2008 5:10 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    SueB-SueB wrote:
    I stand corrected.
    We dont only live on the same island, we live in the same town!
    I pay 3.99 for butter at Quality Foods and have just found that with all the prices going up that butter will be next.


    The same town? Imagine that! icon_eek.gif What area do you live in? I live in Willow Point, near Penfield School. We just moved here at the end of February.
    Holly Mercer
    Fri May 02, 2008 5:17 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    For baking I generally use a margarine that contains very little trans fat. It's easy to work with because it's fairly soft even when cold and doesn't have a sharp melting point, and I like the taste.

    Tub margarines usually have little or no hydrogenated oil. They may or may not have a high water content but even the ones that are mostly fat are still rather soft, and in my experience most taste quite salty. I've been too reluctant to try them for baking for these reasons.

    I don't use shortening at all. Crisco may have changed its formula, but the last can I bought still had a waxy texture because of its relatively high melting point.

    Taste is subjective and is one of the reasons I avoid butter (yes, taste is subjective!). It's also costlier and a bit tricky to work with because it's hard when cool and has a sharp melting point. I do use it in frostings, where I think an unsalted fat is preferable, even a rather bland one.
    SueB-SueB
    Fri May 02, 2008 5:20 pm
    Experienced "Head Chef" Poster
    Wow! Lots to compute! I was pretty sure Non-hydrogenated margarines were 'the better' choice.
    So much info with good/bad levels of everything. I have always prefered butter just because the taste and its more natural. Just pricey.
    I live very close to Quality Foods--and thats why I shop there I guess. Moved here in 1989.
    Secret Agent
    Fri May 02, 2008 5:25 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    SueB-SueB wrote:
    Im a wee bit confused on the issue of these fats!
    I use buter for toast and sandwiches. I can not afford to bake with butter. For 1lb I pay 3.99.
    I usually bake with margarine. Cookies and cakes and the like. My mom gave me pack of crisco so i used it in the bread machine to make the bread and it was fine.
    So, I bought some crisco since I was out of it and noticed on the box that for baking it can be used instead of butter.
    Is there much of a difference between crisco and margarine for baking? taste wise? health wise?whicjh is better?
    I do understand that theyre both FAT..but which is the better fat? icon_confused.gif


    My aunt was a Wilton baker and she used 1/2 Crisco and half butter in all of her cookie recipes. Also, Crisco took out the transfats some time ago. For cakes you can use any fat that gives you a yummy result. I stock up on unsalted sweet butter when it goes on sale and freeze it. For a pie crust (try Linda's Fantabulous Food Processor Pie Crust) you can do half butter and half Crisco for a delicious and flaky crust. The rule my aunt went by was that oil gave you moisture, butter gave you tenderness and flavor, Crisco gave you crispness and flakiness.
    Hope this helps!
    SA icon_cool.gif
    Holly Mercer
    Fri May 02, 2008 5:26 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    J. Ko wrote:
    I checked out the web-site. The hydrogenated oils are what you have to look out for. They are trans fats! Crisco contains fully hydrogenated palm oil, and partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oils, depending upon which product you purchase. Their claim that their product contains no trans fats is totally false!

    Actually, what I've usually heard is that fully hydrogenated oil does not form trans fat. Trans refers to the configuration of a fat molecule with some hydrogen atoms.

    In most naturally occurring unsaturated fatty acids, the hydrogen atoms are on the same side of the double bonds of the carbon chain (cis configuration meaning "on the same side" in Latin). However, partial hydrogenation reconfigures most of the double bonds that do not become chemically saturated, twisting them so that the hydrogen atoms end up on different sides of the chain. This type of configuration is called trans, which means "across" in Latin.
    Trans fat - Wikipedia

    Full hydrogenation, however, packs the fat molecule with hydrogen atoms so that what you have is saturated fat.

    However, this itself doesn't automatically make new Crisco healthier.

    Many nutritionists are already warning that Crisco's formula change may be little more than a marketing move. They argue that fully hydrogenated oil may not be any healthier than trans-fat containing partially hydrogenated oil.
    Crisco - Wikipedia

    I'm waiting on new information but since I don't use shortening myself, I'm not worried about it.
    Secret Agent
    Fri May 02, 2008 5:30 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Bubz McGee wrote:
    The best unsalted butter I have tried (and I have tried many butters) can be found in trader's joe and it is called Plugra. It less tan 4.0 dls the pound. It is really worth it.


    Plugra is the best butter in the world. Mmmmmmmmmmmm!
    SueB-SueB
    Fri May 02, 2008 5:35 pm
    Experienced "Head Chef" Poster
    So then Non-hydrogenated margarine would be the "better" margarine to use.??
    icon_lol.gif
    Holly Mercer
    Fri May 02, 2008 5:36 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    All other things being equal, yes.

    I mean, if it's hard enough and doesn't contain too much water, if it tastes alright, if it doesn't have some other even more unhealthy ingredient, then yes.
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