Tag Archives: butter

The Great Butter Debate…

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always bought skimmed milk, wholewheat bread, wholemeal pasta, fat free yoghurts and olive spread. Have I been getting it wrong all along?

The Great Butter Debate

The Great Butter Debate

I’ve recently brought our butter dish back out of the cupboard.

The last time it was in use, was when my daughter was very young & the advice was to give full fat dairy products, such as whole milk & butter. I’ve always shied away from the butter dish for myself. Growing up thinking that butter was a near equivalent to downing shots of bleach, or chewing down arsenic sandwiches – you know, it *will* kill you.

Butter is fat. Fat is bad. Fat will kill you.

I follow A LOT of fitness experts, food bloggers, nutritionists, sports enthusiasts, personal trainers and hobby gym go-ers. Most of these guys are incredibly careful about what they put in to their bodies. Some are clean eaters, some are veggie, some are high protein-ists, some are paleo, some are strictly alkaline. All are about eating the most pure form of foods, the best that they can find, the unadulterated. Those of them that eat dairy, almost all eat ‘real’ butter. It has left me wondering why I do usually opt for the reduced fat spreads. I’d never really given it a thought…

The thing that started me down my route of questioning the norm, was whilst I was making a cake for a birthday party. I had bought proper butter to make the cake, but didn’t quite have enough. I reached for the pot of ‘light olive spread’ & it proclaimed that it couldn’t be used for baking, frying or cooking. Weird, I thought, I wonder why… Then I looked at the ingredients, trying to figure why it wasn’t suitable for baking, and this is what I found:

Water, Vegetable Oils in varying proportions (22%) (Rapeseed, Palm, Sunflower), Olive Oil (16%), Modified Corn Starch, Salt, Buttermilk, Emulsifiers (Mono- and Diglycerides of Fatty Acids, Sunflower Lecithin), Preservative (Potassium Sorbate), Citric Acid, Natural Flavouring, Vitamins A and D, Colour (Carotenes)

I flipped my butter pack over, ingredients:

Jersey Cream

I kind of stood in my kitchen, thinking “hmmmm, hmmmmmm, ahhhh, hmmmm”, tapping my head a bit, re-reading both packs and then thinking “hmmmmmmm”.

I feel like I’ve been sidelined in to this ‘healthy eating’ brainwash: “Butter = Bad. Low fat spread = Good.”

Reading, what can only be described as a chemical cocktail, I’m no longer convinced that low fat spreads are the way forward, certainly not for me & my family. Whilst the overall fat content of these low fat spreads may sound more appealing, I think that it makes sense to use real butter, but perhaps more sparingly. I’m not about to start eating a block a day, because, good or bad, it is still a source of saturated fat. But a little bit here and there will be better that a bunch of chemical junk any day.

I have shunned my previous favourite spread to the very back of the top shelf of the fridge – I don’t know why, I’m not planning on ever eating it again, maybe it is there for an emergency, you know, when I really feel the urge to spread some Potassium Sorbate on my toast (ick!)

By dropping ‘butter vs low fat spread’ in to the interweb search box, heaps of articles pop up, some pro butter, some very anti butter. I’m sure that there are pros and cons to each side, as there always is with any choice or debate. I’m gonna go ahead and stick myself firmly on the pro butter side.

What do you think?

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Prosecco Apple Butter – The Recipe

I made a pretty bloomin’ good apple butter the other day (even if I may say so myself…!) Anywho, if you are in to apples, or prosecco, or jam making, or happen to have a truck-load of apples kicking about, then this, my friends, is for you!

photo 3We have an ancient apple tree in the garden, it chucks out fruit by the barrow-load every year. So, each year, I know that I’ll need to think up some new ideas for apples – and here it is:

Prosecco. Apple. Butter.

photo 1 (5)

Ingredients:

  • Approx. 1.5kg Peeled, cored, chopped apples (I used cooking apples as they are what grow in the garden, but also, they cook down really well)
  • 1 x 75cl bottle of prosecco – no, you can’t have a glass!
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon (or ginger would be awesome too!)
  • Sugar (you’ll work out how much you’ll need later)
  • 500ml water

Method:

  1. Put all the apple chunks in to a biiiiiiig saucepan, bung in the prosecco & also, about 500ml water.
  2. Bring gently to the boil & allow to simmer until the apples are soft, mushy & starting to break up.
  3. Mash the apple mix (or use a stick blender) until you have a smooth consistency.
  4. Grab a measuring jug & pour the apple mix in to it. Now work out how much sugar you think you’ll need – approx 350g sugar for every 600ml of apple-y mix, give or take…
  5. chuck all the apple mix back in to your very big pan & add in the sugar & cinnamon (or ginger).
  6. Bring up to the boil, keep stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil the mix quite fast until it starts to change colour, thicken & get glossy – any where between 20mins & an hour. Give it a stir every few minutes to stop the apple butter sticking to the bottom of the pan & burning.
  7. When you think it is ready, drop a bit on a plate & check it for set after a few minutes (also the perfect opportunity to give it a taste!)
  8. When you are happy with the taste & texture, get that delicious stuff dropped in to sterilised jars & seal up straight away – you can see how i sterilise my jars here.
  9. Allow to cool, label & stash away until Christmas.

This apple butter, whilst super delicious, will only keep for around 9-12months. Once you’ve cracked the seal on a jar, keep it in the fridge & use as fast as is socially acceptable to do so (no eating it from the fridge, with your hands!)

Use this golden yum yum on toast, crispbreads, crackers, scones & croissants. Serve alongside a face-meltingly mature cheddar. Fill cakes, pastries & tarts with it. Dollop it on top of hot porridge or rice pudding. Or, grab a spoon & just eat it! 😉 I suppose, if you really like your friends, you could give them a jar for Christmas, but, you know, make sure you really like them first!

Enjoy!

 

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