Until recently, butter was commonly considered a bad boy of nutrition, blamed for heart disease, weight gain, and general ill health. But thanks to an exhaustive new analysis by a team of international scientists that found no evidence eating saturated fat increased heart attacks and other cardiac events, butter — organic, grass-fed butter — is being welcomed back to the table.
The research, published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, is not a rallying cry to load up our plates with foods high in saturated fat, but rather a call to embrace real food and leave the high sugar and processed food diets in the dust.
Other studies show that not only is good quality butter not detrimental to our health, it is vital to our well-being.
The Better Butter
Quality is the key. When eating butter, choose the best you can find. Organic, raw, grass-fed — all these things give butter its health-giving properties.
Butter sourced from cows fed on organic grass can protect against cancer, increase skin health and brain function, help the body store muscle instead of fat, fight against arthritis and stiff joints, support the immune system, and is a great source for minerals such as manganese, chromium, zinc, copper, and selenium.
It is rich in the most easily absorbable form of Vitamin A necessary for thyroid and adrenal health, contains lauric acid — which is important in treating fungal infections and candida, and has a perfect balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fats.
Butter My Biscuits
There are many ways to incorporate good butter into your diet, from spreading it on sandwiches and drizzling it over steaks and vegetables to more creative uses like butter mints, coffee, and tea.
Lauren Geertsen, a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, makes butter mints, powerhouse bites made of butter, raw honey, peppermint essential oil, and a pinch of salt. She has found that they are brilliant little morsels for stopping sugar and junk food cravings, and they support weight loss by providing profound satiation. In other words, you feel full and satisfied, so you don’t crave any of the things that can make you fat and unhealthy.
Dave Asprey, Founder and CEO of The Bulletproof Executive, starts every morning with his own special brew, bulletproof coffee. He starts with a brew of highest quality, lowest toxin coffee and blends it with butter and a special extract of coconut oil that improves brain energy until it is frothy like a latte. Those who drink it say it gives six hours of sustained energy, eliminating hunger pangs and cravings, allowing you to go from breakfast to lunch without even the desire to snack.
Adding butter to hot drinks has been practiced in other cultures for ages. Tibetans make a butter tea, a savory drink made with strong black tea, salt, butter, and milk. It is warming and nourishing, particularly in cooler weather.
Will you be adding more butter to your diet?
- 1 cup butter
- 10-12 drops therapeutic grade peppermint essential oil OR 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoons peppermint extract. Taste and adjust amount as necessary.
- 3-4 tablespoons raw honey
- Small pinch of unrefined salt
Have the butter at room temperature. Stir together all ingredients, then scoop it into a disposable pastry bag or zip-top bag. You can use a metal pastry tip like I did; I just stuck the metal tip into the end of a zip-top bag and then cut off a corner of the bag (see picture above). If you don’t want to use a tip, just snip of the corner of the bag.
Squeeze bite-sized buttons onto a baking sheet lined with unbleached parchment paper. Place in the fridge until firm, about 2 hours, then transfer to a storage container and store in the fridge.
Tibetan Butter Tea
- 4 cups of water
- 2 heaping teaspoons of loose black tea
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup half and half or milk
Bring water to a boil and add tea. Let it boil for a couple of minutes.
Stir in the salt and strain out the tea leaves.
Add the milk and remove from heat. Pour mixture into blender and blend until frothy.
Photos are courtesy of the author.