IMG_1322.jpg
IMG_1335.jpg

NOTE:  The second version of my Dairy-Free Butter can be found HERE.  It's very similar but coconut-free for those with allergies.

I hope you don't mind the recent influx of nutritional content to my posts.  Cause this one is a doozy.  Ever since starting our Whole30 plus the rounds of blood work I've had done lately, I've become even more impassioned about health and the WHY of all these ingredients and recommendations I make here at Bare Root.  So, on that note, let's learn a little about fat today.  I'd like to compare the health benefits of butter vs virgin coconut oil vs extra virgin olive oil.

Butter is a great natural source for vitamins and minerals, primarily vitamin A, but also fat-solulble vitamins D, E, and K.   It also contains short and medium-chain fatty acids, which are great for our gut health and actually strengthen our metabolism (see this link, scroll to "Butyric Acid).  Butter is a healthy source of cholesterol.  And lastly, it has a near perfect omega6 to omega3 fatty acid ratio of 1:1.

The problem is, all these factors are diminished when eating grain-fed butter, of which most options at the store are (see this great article from Mark's Daily Apple).  Grain-fed cows produce milk (and therefore, butter) with lower amounts of vitamins and minerals and an imbalanced fatty acid ratio, favoring the 6's, which is not something we need excess of in our bodies.  That is, unless you want to encourage pro-inflammatory conditions in your body, like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, asthma, cancer....you get the picture.

So unless you are prepared to spend the money to get grass-fed butter, I'd highly recommend looking for an alternative.  Enter:  my dairy-free butter recipe.  This beautiful concoction came about as a result of my recent IgG allergy test, which showed my body presently has an extreme intolerance to dairy.   Naturally, I thought to use ghee.  I tried making it myself a couple of times, as it's pretty expensive to buy.  But struggled to truly separate the whey and when eating it, still felt a stomach upset that I was not comfortable with enduring on a regular basis.

I've mentioned my frequent consumption of sweet potatoes so you see, having to give up butter seemed pretty painful.  I just don't know how to eat a sweet potato plain.  Maybe if I was more hardcore or had bigger muscles or taste buds of steel, I could've handled it in a more macho fashion.  But I do love my fats and eating a warm sweet potato is not the time to bypass getting some good, healthy fat!  So, moving on to the dairy-free butter ingredients...

Virgin Coconut Oil is not a source of omega 3's but is the worlds best naturally occurring saturated fat, which will give you a healthier heart, immune system, and even improve your skin.  This is due to approximately 50% of the fat in coconut oil being lauric acid.  2/3 of the fat in coconut oil are medium-chain, as listed above with the butter, and will help tremendously in your gut health. 

Extra virgin olive oil, like butter, is a great source of omega 3's and promotes heart health.  The monounsaturated fats in EVOO help lower your cholesterol.  It's a great source of vitamins E and K and the phenols found in EVOO helps combat inflammation in the body and that nasty list of conditions up above.

So all in all, our dairy-free butter recipe is pretty good replacement for the real thing.  Obviously, I think very highly of butter, especially considering that it is an animal fat, and comes with all the benefits inherent in animal foods.   But let's be real here, some of us are on a tight budget and some of us have legitimate dairy allergies.  Whatever your reason, don't skip out on getting good fats in your diet or simply having the satisfaction that is a melty sunny-colored little blob on top of your sweet potato or banana bread.

IMG_1331.jpg

Whipped Dairy-Free Butter

Yields:  approx. 2 c. "butter" 

1 c. organic virgin coconut oil

1 c. organic extra virgin olive oil

1 t. sea salt (optional, use if you enjoy salted butter) 

Directions: 

Combine ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat.  Gently heat, whisking until oils are mixed and salt is melted.   Pour mixture into the bowl of your stand mixer and place the bowl in the fridge.  Cool the mixture until it just begins to harden, about 30 minutes.  (DO NOT let it harden all the way or you won't be able to whip it.)  It's ready to whip when it turns solid in color, rather than translucent.  If you get impatient, you can freeze the bowl for NO LONGER THAN 3-5 minutes.

With your stand mixer on low speed, mix to break up clumps, about 30 seconds.  Turn to high speed (about an 8 on my Kitchenaid) and mix until the mixture doubles in volume, about 1-2 minutes.  Scoop into molds (like these shown above) or just throw it into a container and keep in the fridge.  If left on the counter, the mixture will not stay whipped (unless your house is kept at 70F at all times and being in AZ, mine is definitely not). 

A note on choosing oils to use for this recipe.  If you're thinking of switching them out, keep in mind that you do need at least one oil that's saturated, as it sets up fairly solid at room temperature and therefore whips up really well.  Coconut oil is the best (healthiest) choice for this.  As for the second oil, you could also use 100% pure avocado oil which would allow your "butter" to keep a stronger coconut flavor due to the mildness of avocado oil.    I prefer to use EVOO because of the health benefits but also for the yummy olive flavor.  I feel that the coconut/EVOO blend is best of both worlds when it comes to health and flavor balance and is, therefore, the best combo for this recipe. 

NOTE:  The second version of my Dairy-Free Butter can be found HERE.  It's very similar but coconut-free for those with allergies.