I have a good number of wooden cutting boards, wooden knives and wooden spoons in my kitchen, as I am sure most of you do. One of the things that bother me most about care is that almost all products related to this task are based on mineral oil. For example spoons of butter. It is usually a mixture of beeswax and mineral oil. They rub it into cutting boards and spoons to moisten them, avoid cracks, and repel water. The wood takes it beautifully. For years I thought there had to be an alternative to mineral oil-based butter. It is a by-product of oil production and not something I want to include.
Think through an alternative
So the operation of spoon butter is quite simple. You rub it as a moisturizer and conditioner on your wooden spoons, handles, tools and surfaces for preparing food. Finding an alternative solution is a little difficult. You need something to cut the beeswax that is firm, snappy and dense. Mineral oil gives the mixture flowability and allows foaming. Replacing another oil is logical, but not that easy since many of these oils go rancid quickly. Lately I've made a spoonful of butter with a mixture of organic beeswax and extra virgin coconut oil, and I like it! The coconut oil is fairly stable and doesn't go bad quickly, and the wood opens it. A coconut scent lingers, just a hint – actually quite nice.
You can usually buy beeswax in bars or small pearls. The pearls are great because they melt quickly. The bars (above) are roughly cut. I usually cut through a part and then take a break at the cutting line. That seems to be the easiest.
Before & after spoons of butter
Here are the before and after dried spoons on top. And then below, just a few minutes later, after you put the spoonful of butter on. Since coconut oil, like beeswax, is solid at room temperature, it is important to find the right ratio of oil to beeswax. If you have too much beeswax, it is impossible to get the spoon butter out of the jar. Coconut oil melts at 76F degrees, so you scoop a piece of it onto the surface you're working on with a high percentage of it, and it quickly becomes spreadable.
Alternative ideas: Let me know if you have any other ideas on the subject – I'm all ears. A friend who makes beautiful, natural body products recommended that I try broccoli seed oil. And when I poked around, I also noticed watermelon seed oil. Some people in the comments also have rave suggestions, including a number for walnut oil. In the meantime, I'm pretty happy with this version and hope some of you try it! xo -h