Butter's popularity is spreading! A potential explanation: "Studies show that a diet rich in fats and low in carbs is more effective than low-fat diets for weight loss, possibly in part because of fat's satiating effects," says Nina Teicholz, author of The Big Fat Surprise. Learn which kind of butter is best for every kitchen task.



This butter spreads easily when cold because it's infused with nitrogen. It contains about half the calories of other kinds of butter.

Use it on toast, or dip whole radishes in it, then sprinkle them with sea salt.



Because the amount of salt in salted butter varies by brand, this option is best for baking, allowing you to control the salt in your treats.

Use it as a base for buttercream frosting: Beat 2 softened sticks with 3 cups confectioners' sugar, 2 tbsp. milk and a small pinch of salt.



This popular variety is the type you're most likely to have on hand.

Use it to make flavored butter: mix a softened stick with minced garlic and chopped fresh herbs. Serve on steak or vegetables.



This type has a slightly higher fat content (82 percent and up vs. 80 and up for salted). It's often fermented, giving it a tang.

Use it for pie dough. The tang balances a sweet filling; the high fat creates an extra-flaky crust.

By Beth Janes and Shay Spence

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