Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"You made that with BUTTER? That's why it tastes so good!"

I get this comment a lot, like butter is this decadant ingredient, like it's bad for you or something. We can't eat that all the time, else we get fat and our cholesterol will go up.

When I was trying to go lower fat, I did buy margerine for awhile, though I went for either the Smart Balance or Earth Balance. I often was making vegan dishes, and these were the only alternatives that I knew about. Plus, they don't have hydrogenated oils, so I thought they were okay. And maybe they are...but I'd rather enjoy my butter. It has health benefits that the others just don't, unless these nutrients are added synthetically, which I don't think works as well, honestly.

Good pastured butter (I usually buy Kerrygold or Organic Valley pastured, though I wish I could get local raw butter, which would be even better) is yellow for a reason: Vitamin A. It also will have K2 in it, which helps us utilize vitamins A and D properly. It has CLA, an optimal ratio of Omega3s to just goes on and on. Does it have saturated fat? Yes, but as I've said before, I'm convinced that saturated fat is not a demon. On the contrary, our bodies need it for so many functions, not least of which helping us metabolize fat-soluble vitamins like A and D.

I still cook vegan food from time to time, but instead of using margerine, I use coconut oil, grapeseed oil, or olive oil, though I'm not a fan of heating the latter that much. Being a monounsaturated fat, I don't want to destroy it by heating it too much, which would ruin the oil by turning it unwittingly into a trans fat. Coconut oil is much more stable and can take the heat, as it were.

So yes, I will continue to use butter in many of my foods. And not only will it taste really delicious, the butter is actually a health food, so it's not something to be feared or thought of as sinful. (Unless of course, you have dairy intolerances, in which case, ghee might work for you! But that's another post.)

I'm joining Kelly the Kitchen Kop's Real Food Wednesdays! You can see it here: