Butter is hot right now. Just as hot in the health arena as any other kale, quinoa, or tofu out there. And for good reason. The once demonized, tossed in the trash, left for mold, is just starting to be recognized as a healthy component of any meal (and/or snack!).
The Good News: Butter is rich in fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, & K. Not only is it rich in these vitamins, but also, its fatty acid content actually helps your body to absorb the vitamins and put them to use. Butter contains significant amounts of short and medium-chain saturated fatty acids. (That’s right saturated fat is in the good news section!) Short and medium chain fatty acids help with metabolism, thyroid function, and hormonal regulation. Lauric acid is one of the specific medium-chain fatty acids that has actually been linked to aiding weight loss.
The Bad News: All butter is not created equally. Cows that are primarily GRASS-FED contain the best and most appropriate fatty acid composition for our bodies. When cows are fed corn, soy, or other foreign dietary elements, the cow’s milk changes to reflect a much lower quality of ingredient. Also, hormones, steroids, and antibiotics that were given to the cow can be passed through their milk, and thus be placed in your butter. So, the TYPE of butter you buy matters.
The Choice: Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter. Kerrygold is my recommendation for consistently great quality and amazing favor. This butter is comes from grass-fed cows, free of growth hormones, and preservatives. The favor is mild for sauteing veggies or frying eggs. The high buttermilk content is also perfect for baking.
Butter Meal Ideas:
Simple French Omelet – Whisk 2 eggs in a small bowl while heating a small sauce pan with 1 tablespoon of butter over medium to low heat. Pour in the eggs and allow to set for approximately 1 – 2 minutes. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and herbs of choice at this point. (Recommended: herbs be Provence, rosemary, or parsley.) Gently push the coagulated sections to the center of the pan as you let the liquids run to the outer parts of the pan. Let sit for another minute. Gently fold 1/3 of the omelet to the center. Fold the other 1/3 to overlap. Sprinkle with additional herbs and pepper.
Garlic Shrimp – Lay 1 pound of peeled and deveined large shrimp on a plate. Pat dry and season with salt, pepper, and Old Bay. (Any seasoning of choice can be used here.) Heat 1 1/2 tablespoon of quality extra virgin olive oil in sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of minced garlic to pan and cook for 30 seconds to season oil. Place shrimp in pan and cook for 1 – 2 minutes per side. Add juice of half of a lemon to the pan. Once complete, turn heat down to a simmer and add 3 tablespoons of butter. Allow to melt and simmer for 3 minutes. Sprinkle with additional fresh herbs before serving.
Vegetable Pasta in Butter Sauce – Cook 2 cups of vegetable pasta, such as red lentil or black bean, according to package directions. In sauce pan, heat 2 – 3 tablespoons of butter and allow to brown for 2 – 3 minutes. Toss the cooked pasta in the browned butter along with 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Season as desired and enjoy. How easy is that!
Image courtesy of http://www.kerrygoldusa.com.