Grass fed, organic, grain fed, salted or salt free? Last night I ate two pieces of sourdough toast with gobs of butter. Not just any butter, mind you – I ate salt free organic pasture butter. Although I love the taste of butter and do not feel it is “bad” for me, it is not often that I get into a butter frenzy. Gosh it was good. I let the toast cool a bit before lavishly covering it in butter. This way it stayed somewhat firm, but not hard. It was divine.
Did you know that your vegetables are much healthier for you when they are accompanied with a little saturated fat from butter? It is true. That’s all you really need on veggies to be in heaven. I am not sure why people don’t know what to do with vegetables. All you need to do is cook them, put butter on them and top with a dose of salt. That’s it.
Many of you reading this may think that butter is the forbidden food and that it is fattening, or that it clogs arteries. I used to think that until I started educating myself about more of the traditional diets and culinary practices. To inspire you, I decided to do some research. I could make this article long and footnote many facts, but instead, I am going to simplify it and provide you with the highlights l think are important.
Here is what I found:
- We need a good source of saturated fat. This is why coconut oil is back on the scene, and butter is coming back from the grave that margarine put it in. Being that margarine is made in a factory, and often with less than excellent ingredients, it is no longer the hero of butter replacements.
- Grass fed or pasture butter has more nutrients than butter from grain fed cows. This is because the cow ate grass instead of grain, which is a far better source of food for a cow and quite possibly a human too.
- Grain fed cows from conventional feedlots are fed grain and corn that is predominately GMO. In addition the cow holds toxins like dioxin (a pesticide) in the fat tissue. So, if you are consuming non-organic grain fed dairy products, they are probably high in toxicity from pesticides and herbicides from the feed.
- Cows fed organically grown grains are still compromised by the fact that they were not meant to eat grains, but at least the grains are not GMO. The feed is grown organically, which means less toxicity - better for you and better for the soil.
- Pasture butter is higher in nutrients, but can also be high in toxicity if pesticides, etc. have poisoned the soil that the grass is grown in. If the grass is organically grown in clean soil, then it could be your best choice all around. But, if the cow has grazed in grass from toxic soil then, although it has more nutritional nutrients, it could have a lot of pesticide chemicals from the grass and soil.
So, what does all this mean? I prefer organic pasture butter. If it is not available, then go for organic all the way.
Oh gosh, we haven’t even talked about salt yet. If any of you have my DVD series, you know that I am a girl that is all about salt. “Salt on top, never in” is my motto. Many chefs advocate, “always in, never on top”.
Here is why I don’t like to cook with it, and prefer it to be used after cooking. I love to preserve the taste of the food without salt. There are exceptions of course with soups, stocks and some sauces, yet most food is so tasty in the buff. When the addition of an excellent salt is added just before consumption, you get both flavors on the palate. This is what makes an Orgasmic bite. Of course, iodized salt, stripped of its natural nutrients does not deliver the big O. Orgasmic bites come from excellent salts dried in the sun in clay beds, with all the minerals the sea gave it still in tact. Celtic Sea Salt is my favorite. Trust me, there is a difference.
When I go to a great restaurant and a huge basket of bread is delivered I am excited to no end. Often though, my delight is blown away when I dip into the butter and find it soft, warm and salty. Dang, I want salt free rich butter that tastes like “butter” when I have warm fresh bread. When this happens to me, I ask for a small bowl of olive oil. At least then I get to enjoy some of the bread.
So, I probably do not need to go any further about salt and butter. Salt free is the way to go to get the most delicious butter. And, if it is pasture grazed, then all the better. The color will excite you, the texture will please you, and the lingering flavor will devour you. Yum.
How about you? Do you love butter? What is your favorite kind?