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    The Low Carb Luxury Online Magazine   Low Carb Connoisseur
 
    January 16, 2004    PAGE 4       > About LCL Magazine      > Cover Page      > Inside Cover      Feature Pages:   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12    

  Featured Articles
 Low Carb Kids!
 The Devil Made Me Do It
 Becoming Real
 The Goodness of Butter
 Cosmetic Surgery: Part II
 Nibbles & Noshes
 Idol Thoughts
 Too Much Information?
 Kitchen Knives: A Primer
 Warm Up With Soups!
 You Make The Call
 Snapshot: Don Pablo's


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  The Goodness of Real Butter by Lora Ruffner
                    "Eat butter first, and eat it last,
                          and live till a hundred years be past."
                                                        Old Dutch proverb

   

Butter For many years we were told to use margarine in cooking. First because it was "healthier". Then we used low-fat versions because we believed we should be avoiding all saturated fats. But now that we're low carb, we know better...

We've learned that the transfats in margarine are the real danger and we're back to real butter.

But do we know what the differences are when cooking? Do we know the real benefits of butter? Should we use salted or unsalted when a recipe just says "butter"?

If you haven't had real butter in awhile, you have a treat awaiting you! There's nothing quite like the sweet richness of real dairy butter.

Butter is a natural dairy product made by churning or shaking cream until it reaches a semisolid state. Margarine is made from a single oil, or blend of oils, sometimes including animal and vegetable fats. In order to make it more solid and "act" like butter (either in spreadable form or solid stick), margarine must be hydrogenated making it a transfat. Transfats are known to raise triglyceride levels, have been implicated in cancer growth, and in the case of low-carbers, are known to hinder weight loss in many individuals.

There are many differences between margarine and butter to keep in mind when cooking... First, butter burns more easily than margarine. Butter has a narrow melting range, 82.4°F to 96.8°F, so it will melt quickly even at low temperatures. To avoid burning, melt butter on low temperature settings and watch carefully. For high heat applications, you might want to consider
clarified butter.

clarified butter Clarified butter is a purified, thicker form of butter that's been melted and has had the water and milk solids separated from the clarified or clear part. Because the water has been extracted, clarified butter will not spatter when it cooks, and because the milk solids have been removed, it will not burn at high temperatures, and therefore is most commonly used as a fat for cooking, or as a base for sauces like Hollandaise and Béarnaise (see recipe section.)

You can buy clarified butter in better groceries and specialty stores, or you can make it yourself. To make one pound of clarified butter, you will need about 1 1/4 lbs. of unsalted butter. Melt butter over moderate heat. Stir butter but don’t let it boil; this allows the milk solids to separate from the liquid butter. Upon heating, butter will separate into three distinct layers: foamy milk solids on top, clarified butter in the middle and milk solids on the bottom. As the butter continues to warm, skim froth from the surface and discard. When froth is eliminated, carefully pour off clear, melted clarified butter into another container, leaving the milk solids at the bottom of the saucepan. Discard milk solids. Clarified butter can be used immediately or kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three or four weeks. Re-melt to use.

Butter For standard baking applications, regular butter works great. There is a difference in salted and unsalted butter. Salt acts as a preservative and adds flavor to butter. Lightly salted butter is sometimes called "sweet cream butter," and is best used as a table butter and for general cooking needs. Unsalted butter, too, is "sweet butter," but is used mainly for baking. Although unsalted and salted butter may be specifically recommended for cooking or baking particular items, they can generally be substituted for one another.

Enjoy the richness real butter brings!

                                                                             Lora

Copyright © January 2004  Lora Ruffner and Low Carb Luxury
Title photo Copyright © 2004  Neil Beaty and Low Carb Luxury





       

 
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