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Feature Articles
 New Product to Know!
 I Have a Metabolism?
 Dining at 14,000 Feet
 Diet Secrets of the Stars
 Make it Low Carb!
 Fun with LC Cooking!
 Carb Credit Card?
 Dreamfields Recipes
 The Goodness of Butter
 Beauty of Eyeglasses
 Sweet Freedom!
 Understanding Antioxidants


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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 B?arnaise (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 © August 2005  Lora Ruffner and Low Carb Luxury
Title photo Copyright © 2005  Neil Beaty and Low Carb Luxury




       

 

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