As more of us join the homesteading world, we’re making investments in better quality and longer lasting items for our homes. I know I’d rather stir a soup made with my homegrown veggies with a non-toxic, sustainable wooden spoon than a plastic, throw-away item.
This also means that many of us are learning how to take care of natural products for the first time. And wood naturally dries out over time, so we must do something to keep it from cracking.
Enter spoon butter, the simple mixture of oil and beeswax to help condition and seal our wooden kitchen tools and cutting boards. While this recipe has just two ingredients, both those ingredients need to be top quality!
Ingredient 1: Wax
I love using local beeswax for this and usually have some extra around for making herbal salves and body butters.
Beeswax is an inert substance on its own, so it doesn’t have any specific benefits when consumed directly. Beeswax is produced by specialized glands on honeybees. They mix it with their saliva and other enzymes. This process creates an antibacterial, adhesive substance that not only holds together bee hives but is the perfect thickener for so many safe and healthy homemade products.
You can also use carnauba wax, which comes from the leaves of a type of palm tree, if you want to keep a vegan kitchen. Just make sure it is pure wax with no additives.
Ingredient 2: Oil
There are a few different oils that do well as conditioners. The main thing is to keep them 100 percent pure and organic. You’ll also want to stay away from mineral oils as they tend to be processed in a way that can leech toxins over time.
I have used both coconut and sunflower oil for this recipe. I prefer coconut oil for the smell and way it leaves the spoons and cutting boards. I have also seen flaxseed oil recommended for this project. Always look for unrefined options if possible.
Use one part beeswax to three parts coconut oil (or 2.5 parts sunflower oil).
Heat the beeswax in a double boiler until just melted. I make my double boiler from a Pyrex measuring cup hung over the edge of a pot, just make sure at least half the measuring cup is under water to heat well. Keeping the melting process low and slow helps keep the intrinsic benefits of the raw beeswax.
Once warmed and melted, mix together. This recipe will cool to a paste-like consistency. Wait until fully cooled to the place lid on.
You can slather on a thick layer and let it set overnight, wiping off any excess in the morning. I keep my jar of spoon butter handy and use it on utensils as needed. But I also try to condition all my wood pieces at least once every winter.
Store the jar of spoon butter in a cool, dark place (I keep mine in my pantry) and it will last 12 or more months.
Enjoy! I love being able to use this natural product to keep my homestead kitchen running smoothly.
Forks in the Dirt