We all want to ensure a balanced diet and the first step is to pay attention to what goes into the foods we eat; we need to ensure we’re giving our bodies enough of the good stuff and not too much of the bad.
There are lots of foods we eat every day as part of our regular mealtime or snacking habits, and one of those foods is margarine. We spread it on our morning toast and in our kids’ lunchtime sandwiches; we cook our evening meals using it and we use it for baking our cakes and cookies, so it’s important to be aware of what goes into this popular spread.
So let’s have a look at what margarine is made of:
Margarine Ingredients #1 – Plant oils
Margarine is made from a blend of vegetable oils including rapeseed/canola, sunflower, soybean and linseed.
The oils are full of the good fats we need as part of a healthy, balanced diet (such as omega 3 and 6) and low in the bad saturated fats.
Margarine Ingredients #2 – Water
Yep, plain old H2O forms about a fifth of most margarine recipes, perhaps more in the low fat varieties.
Margarine Ingredients #3 – Emulsifiers
You may have heard that oil and water don’t mix, well in fact they do mix – so long as you use an emulsifier.
An emulsifier helps oil and water to get aquainted with one another and stopping them going their separate ways. It is because of an emulsifier – usually lecithin, naturally found in things like egg yolk – that margarine can be a smooth and spreadable union of natural plant oils and water, not just today, or tomorrow, but for many, many weeks on end.
Margarine Ingredients #4 – Salt and Seasoning
Just a dash of salt is added to margarine recipes for flavour and if you’re making your own margarine at home you can add your own seasoning for a personalised spread; maybe some freshly ground black pepper or some chilli powder. Of course you can easily opt for a salt free blend in your supermarket shop too.
Margarine Ingredients #5 – Vitamins
Since 1925, quality margarine manufacturers have been adding vitamins A, D and E to their recipes to help keep your skin, hair, eyes, teeth and bones in top nick – it’s just an extra healthy boost to our favourite daily spread!
And that’s it – really. Margarine is so simple that you can make it at home yourself. With the facts in hand you can now make an informed choice about what you include in the everyday meals that you and your family enjoy.