WORDS BY: JESSICA TALLARICO, CERTIFIED NUTRITIONAL THERAPIST
Why Butter is GOOD for you!
That warming, buttery flavour in your pastries, butter melting on sourdough toast or the sweet smell of the bread basket at the restaurant, there is no denying that delicious smell and taste. I’m sure most can agree that Butter gives food flavour, but did you also know when properly sourced it provides a healthy dose of saturated fat and vitamins scarcely found so concentrated in other foods. On the other side of the coin, butter has a bad reputation and the mention of this source of fat has people running the other way. I want to share with you a few of the reasons why well sourced and properly made butter is actually GOOD for you.
Our bodies need all varieties of fats; all those you have heard about through popular studies (whether positively or negatively portrayed), on food packaging and in the supplement industry; saturated, unsaturated, omega 3, 6, 9. Our bodies need not just one type of fat, but all of them in balance.
Here are a few good things about fats in general:
- it makes food taste good!
- It keeps us satisfied and full
- it is a source of slow burning energy-sustaining us throughout the day
- they make up the cell wall (phospholipid membrane) of each and every cell in our body
- fats are the building blocks of our hormones
- fats aid in the absorption of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K – vitamins that contribute to very important functions in our body and help us utilize the many minerals that we ingest in our daily diet.
Properly sourced grass fed butter, that comes from grass fed cows (a cow’s natural diet) tends to be a rich beautiful yellow colour. Grass fed butter is high in fat soluble vitamins and saturated fats. Quality saturated fat, contributes to 50% of our cell membrane and gives it integrity.
The Vitamin A and D found in butter are vitamins essential to the health of our bones, the development of our nervous system and the brain. Butter is also rich in selenium which is a powerful antioxidant. Lastly, butter is a great source of butyric acid, a short chain fatty acid which contributes to aiding issues and disorders that arise in the gut, such as irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease.
So next time you’re cooking, use a generous spoonful of golden grass fed butter in your pan to sauté your veggies, drop a teaspoon into your morning coffee (grass-fed butter provides a slower, more sustained caffeine high!) or simply slather it over warm toast with a pinch of salt. It is so worth the FAT!
Recipe: Herbed Compound Butter
Compound butter may sound a bit fancy, but in reality, it’s one of the most simple things you can make in your kitchen that, when added to food, seriously pumps up the flavour. Essentially softened butter combined with herbaceous greens and seasonings, it can be melted atop a grilled steak, rubbed underneath the skin of a chicken, or wrapped up in parchment with fresh fish before being baked. I also like to make sweet versions like honeycomb and pecan to top fresh pillow-y ricotta pancakes or maple and bourbon to glaze over crispy bacon strips.
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
½ lb. or 2 sticks of unsalted grass-fed butter, at room temperature (I like Emerald Grasslands!)
1 Tsp lemon zest
1 Tsp kosher salt
½ Tsp ground black pepper
1. In a food processor, add the garlic, rosemary and thyme leaves. Pulse 10-20 times until it is finely chopped.
2. Add the softened butter, pulsing until the mixture comes together. Season with lemon zest, salt and pepper. Pulse again until well combined.
3. Cut a large sheet of cling film and lay it flat on a surface. Using a spatula, scrape the mixture into the center of the cling film. Fold the bottom edge over the butter so it meets the top edge. Gently use your hands to roll the butter inside the cling film into a log. Twist both ends tightly to secure the log and place in the fridge until ready to use.
*Butter can also be frozen for up to 2 months.