How Many Tablespoons There are in a Stick of Margarine? Precise Info
A large number of households prefer to replace butter with margarine. That’s because margarine is considered a healthier option for people with heart diseases. When it comes to using this butter substitute, you might have wondered how many tablespoons there are in a stick of margarine.
Margarine is usually available in the market in the form of a stick equal to about eight tablespoons. But while cooking with margarine, it’s always easier to measure it by a tablespoon. That way, you can figure out how much of it you’ll need for a particular recipe.
How many tablespoons in a stick of margarine
It has been a while since people have started looking at their food habits, including their fat consumption. Many doctors suggest that butter may not be a good fat if you have heart issues.
The most popular substitute is margarine, made of vegetable oil with traces of whey and lactose.
Since its base is made of vegetable oil with polyunsaturated fats, it is considered better for the heart. That's why margarine now dominates the kitchen and dining table as a replacement for butter.
We often cook with margarine, too - and that is when we prefer to measure.
It is commonly purchased in the form of a stick, which is 4 oz. This gives you about eight tablespoons of margarine or half a cup of it.
So, if you buy yourself a stick of margarine, you will know exactly how much of it you will need in your recipe that calls for a small amount of this fat. We will give the answer how many tablespoons there are in a stick of margarine.
An easy way to handle small measurements would be to refrigerate the stick before cutting.
You should use a sharp knife to cut the stick into eight equal pieces (that's how many tablespoons there are in a stick of margarine) and store the blocks wrapped in separate pieces of foil or cling wrap. That way, you will not have to worry about measurements every time.
However, in most cases, you will not have to do this. That’s because the wrapping usually comes with markings to indicate how much of the stick is a tablespoon.
That way, it will be easier for you to cut a small block off the stick. Remember to refrigerate margarine to make the cutting process smoother.
If you want a slightly larger amount of margarine for a recipe, you can consider each stick as half a cup.
So for 1 cup of margarine, you'll need 2 sticks of margarine. On the other hand, half of the stick will give you a quarter of a cup of margarine. If you cut the stick into 4 parts, each will weigh 1 oz.
When you take these measurements, always make sure that your margarine stick is refrigerated and hardened.
Otherwise, it won't be easy to get the correct measurement. This is especially true when the margarine you're using is whipped. That's because it contains air and has a larger volume.
How to substitute margarine for butter
You already know that margarine is supposed to be a replacement for butter. It is formulated to look and taste like butter. Its texture is similar to butter, and so is its consistency.
This means you can easily replace butter with margarine without worrying about whether the measurement is right.
So a stick of butter and a stick of margarine weigh the same, i.e., 4 oz. For every tablespoon of butter that your recipe needs, you can use the same amount of margarine.
The same goes for every cup and every ounce of butter, which is replaceable by the exact amount of margarine while cooking.
As a well-known ingredient in cooking and baking various dishes, butter is pretty much indispensable. However, if you are trying to avoid it because of health problems, you can use margarine instead. You don’t really need to worry about the quantity to be used in the recipe.
To get a similar taste, texture, and effect without hurting your heart, use the same amount of margarine.
The two are similar by weight as well as volume. So whether the quality is in ounces or tablespoons and cups, you can still make the replacement.
You don’t need copies and calculators for doing this. You just have to follow the original recipe to a tee. Once again, it is always better to use refrigerated butter at the time of dividing a stick but cutting it.
When you cook or bake with margarine, you can hardly tell the difference between the two.
History of Margarine
Margarine was not always consumed as a healthier alternative for butter. It was invented to be a cheaper substitute by the French under the instructions of Napoleon III.
He wanted something that could replace butter for the poor. He threw a challenge to make a butter alternative from beef tallow.
Finally, in 1869, Hippolyte Mège-Mouriès, who worked as a chemist, came up with oleomargarine. It would not have been possible if another chemist named Michel Eugène Chevreul had not discovered margaric acid in 1813.
For commercial use, the name of the product was reduced to margarine.
Later, Hippolyte patented the idea and tried to expand the production of margarine around the country. But he hardly had any success and had to sell off the patent to Jurgens, a Dutch company, in 1871.
The first margarine factory, too, was established that year by a pharmacist, Benedict Klein.
In 1871, Henry W. Bradley of New York replaced beef fat in the original recipe with vegetable oils and animal fats. Eventually, the margarine industry began to spread.
By 1945, the original formula had almost disappeared, as manufacturers switched to vegetable oils completely.
Margarine - Health Benefits and Risks
Today, by definition, margarine is a food product that's neither solid nor liquid and has 80% or more fat content. Most brands formulate their margarine with vegetable oils, water, and salt.
Some contain small amounts of animal products in the form of whey or lactose. It may also have preservatives.
This vegetable oil or animal fat is hydrogenated and turned into a solid state, with salt, milk products, and other additives.
However, nowadays, brands are gradually leaning towards making margarine without animal products so that people who follow vegan or dairy-free lifestyles can consume it.
While margarine is considered safer for the heart, it is still quite high in total fat content and calories. One of the major concerns with margarine is the presence of trans fats.
However, with the banning of trans fats in processed foods in 2015 by the FDA, most margarine varieties available now are safe.
You'll mostly find margarine with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. These are more beneficial for your health. At the time of buying margarine, pick a variety without trans fat and with less than 0.1 oz of saturated fat per serving.
Experts recommend soft margarine instead of sticks.
The amount of unhealthy fats and calories is less in soft margarine compared to the hardened sticks. But you won’t have to compromise on taste and texture. It is also free from cholesterol.
In fact, it might be formulated to absorb and lower LDL cholesterol, leaving you with a healthier heart.
Health Benefits of Margarine
Since margarine is primarily a healthy choice, brands are constantly trying to improve on the quality. They try to infuse their margarine with the best quality products and healthy ingredients.
A regular margarine stick has a lower saturated fat content than butter, and it contains no cholesterol.
On the other hand, the modern, soft margarine variants of margarine have saturated fats, calories, and trans fat content than the hardened sticks. They may contain high levels of polyunsaturated fat, depending on the quantity of vegetable oil used in the production of the particular margarine variety.
Polyunsaturated fat is considered a healthier option with benefits for the heart, especially compared to saturated fat. It has been found that when polyunsaturated fat replaces saturated fat, there is a reduction in the risk of heart problems by about 17%.
Clearly, it has a protective effect on the heart. It is to be noted, though, that no noteworthy drop in the risk of heart problem-induced death has been noticed.
Margarine may also contain phytosterols and stanols derived from plants. Vegetable oil contains such compounds, which are added to margarine. These compounds are very healthy.
Phytosterols not only reduce bad cholesterol for a short period but also boost good cholesterol levels. But studies have not yet been able to prove any direct link between the intake of phytosterol and the decrease in the risk of heart disease.
The best-quality margarine is a healthy option.
Risks Associated with Margarine
While margarine has many good qualities, it might also cause health risks. The process of making margarine may increase trans fat and saturated fat content.
These are not good for our health. Continuous consumption of trans fats in large amounts is associated with many chronic diseases.
Vegetable oil is liquid at room temperature, and trans fats solidify the spread. This happens through hydrogenation, a process through which vegetable oils are exposed to high heat and pressure, hydrogen, and metallic catalysts. The two byproducts of this process are trans fats and saturated fats.
Trans fats are associated with conditions like Type II diabetes, heart attacks, or stroke.
Saturated fats can raise the risk of cholesterol buildup in the arteries. That is why health experts recommend limited consumption of hard margarine and shifting to soft, non-hydrogenated margarine variants.
Though the FDA has banned the use of trans fat in processed foods, producers can still choose to apply for permission in exceptional cases.
Margarine manufacturers now also select an alternative method for the solidification of margarine. This new process is known as interesterification.
In this process, no trans fats are used. But to harden margarine, saturated fats are used in place of unsaturated fats.
Saturated fats, too, are not healthy. So, the best option would be to pick non-solidified margarine. This will ensure that the product has neither trans fats nor saturated fats.
Butter vs. Margarine
You will often see that the terms butter and margarine are used interchangeably. However, you must have understood by now that they are not the same. Both can be used as spreads and fat sources for cooking and baking. They taste similar, too. However, their compositions make them different.
- Source and Main Component - Margarine is made using refined vegetable oil, water, salt, and sometimes animal products and other additives. The process of making it involves chemical extraction and hardening. Butter comes from cream or milk, and it becomes solid because of the churning, with no added chemicals. butter has vitamins A, D, E, and K, but margarine does not. You have to be careful at the time of choosing between the two and check which ingredients or components
- Healthy Fat Content - Both butter and margarine have different types of fats that aren’t good for health, including trans fats and saturated fats. But margarine is better for the heart as it doesn’t have cholesterol or cause its buildup. Modern soft margarine recipes don’t have trans fats, either. Butter contains cholesterol, as well as saturated fats that can lead to higher cholesterol levels. But it doesn’t have trans fats.
So, both have their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to your health. It is best to consult a doctor and a nutritionist and discuss your health conditions and goals. They can advise you regarding which is best for you.
Which is Better for Cooking? Butter or Margarine
As for cooking, butter and margarine can substitute each other. There is no need to get confused about measurements as you can use the same amount of either of the two in your recipe.
But remember that since the two differ in composition, a connoisseur may detect slight differences.
When it comes to baking, we all know that butter plays an essential part in changing the taste and texture. Because of the nature of its fat content, butter can make cookies and pastries heavenly.
While you can replace butter with margarine in baking, the flavor will not be as rich and inviting.
How to Use Margarine in Baking
But if you're still planning on using margarine for baking, it is better to choose one with a high fat content. This will ensure that your baked items, especially cookies and parties, don't end up dry and tough.
You'll find recipes that use butter and margarine together. It helps enhance the texture.
When hydrogenated oils in margarine mix with butter, you can achieve the kind of lightness and airiness that butter alone cannot provide. So, if you’re planning on indulging in some home-baked goodies, it’s a good idea to mix both to create a balance and get a texture that everyone will love.
Another reason to use both in baking is that butter burns quite quickly, as opposed to margarine.
So, using only margarine can slow down the browning process. If you want to use butter solely for its flavor in cooking or baking, it’s a good idea to use a mix of the two to get the best of both.
Breakfast Cookie Recipe (with Margarine)
Here’s a short and quick recipe for breakfast cookies that are made using a mix of margarine and butter. You’ll end up with light-as-air munchies that everyone in your family will fall in love with. Let’s check out this interesting recipe!
- Butter: ½ cup
- Margarine: ½ cup
- Sugar (brown): 1 cup
- Sugar (white): 1 cup
- Eggs: 2
- Salt: 1 tsp
- Cinnamon: 2 tsp
- Flour (self-rising): 1-1½ cups
- Flour (whole wheat): ½ cup
- Oats: 1 cup
- Wheat bran/flaxseed meal: ½ cup
- Cranberries (dried): 1 cup
- Dry fruits like dates/plums/apricots/raisins (chopped): 1 cup
- Walnuts (chopped): 2 cups
- Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a bowl, put margarine, butter, and eggs. Cream them together.
- Add salt and cinnamon and mix everything again.
- Put whole wheat flour, oats, and wheat bran/flaxseed meal into the mix. Add 1 cup of self-rising flour and stir together. If the mixture seems sticky, add another 1/2 cup of self-rising flour and stir again.
- Next, add the fruits and nuts and fold them into the cookie dough.
- Take the baking sheet lined with parchment paper and put scoops of the cookie dough on it. Leave sufficient gaps around each scoop. Put 12 scoops on the sheet, leaving the rest of the dough for the next batch.
- Bake for 10-13 minutes, or until the cookies start turning light brown.
- Remove from the oven and let the freshly baked cookies rest on a cooling rack while you prepare the next batch.
Your light, delicious cookies are ready! They are healthy and filling - and perfect for an indulgent morning - for your kids and you! You can store the leftover cookies in a jar - and wait for them to vanish within a couple of days!
Final Lines on How many tablespoons there are in a stick of margarine
Margarine is formulated to replace butter, and it is quite easy to do so. That's because, by volume and weight, they are identical.
You can simply replace butter with margarine in any recipe with the same amount of margarine. It is also easy to measure every stick of this butter substitute.
A regular stick can be cut into 8 equal portions, each of which is equivalent to a tablespoon of margarine - or butter.
For recipes demanding larger amounts, you will need two sticks to get one whole cup of margarine. For every ounce of this fat source, you will need a quarter of the stick.
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