As my husband and I share with people how important good butter is in the diet and how essential it is to eat lots of it daily, we inevitably hear this question: How do you eat butter when you don't eat bread? Granted, we are beginning to eat some homemade sourdough breads of late, but it isn't a regular occurrence; and we were grain-free for two years on the GAPS healing regimen. So the question remains...how do you eat lots of butter when you don't eat lots of grain-based foods?
I thought I'd enlist my kids to help spread the butter love and share how we eat our butter, hopefully inspiring others to eat more butter without thinking it has to be on bread. The response I got was funny...my oldest son looked at me, head cocked, eyebrows raised and asked, "What do you mean, people don't know how to eat butter? You just put it on everything." I love it! He is properly butter indoctrinated.
Basically, we just put butter on all our food. Whatever the meal is that I've prepared, we just top it with butter. Eggs for breakfast? Butter them...and the pastured bacon that goes with them. Steak? Finish it with a pat of butter. The accompanying roasted root veggies get buttered, too. Salmon with carmelized onions and asparagus? Butter, please! Roast duck with butternut squash and pureed cauliflower? How could you not drench with butter?! We even put butter in our soups...it melts, and it's delicious.
We all know it's important to eat healthy vegetables with our main meals, so if you aren't doing a raw salad, try veggie sautes. It's a regular standby here, and so easy, nutritious and delicious...just saute onions, garlic, carrots, fennel, summer or winter squash, kale or chard, whatever you have on hand! When you plate the meal, just add butter! Steamed veggies? Of course they love butter. Oh, how scrumptious veggies are with butter! If you are eating any form of cooked vegetables, you have a butter vehicle just waiting to be adorned.
I make a lot of one-pot meals with meats (lamb, pork, beef) and veggies...I like fewer pots to clean. So whether it's Shepherd's Pie or No-Noodle Lasagna or just plain old beef and veggie stir fry, top it off with a spoonful of butter! Many cultures drizzle all their dishes with olive oil. We do that, too. And we also dollop with butter...same concept.
Baked winter squash, baked sweet potatoes, baked all-other-kind-of potatoes, absolutely beg for butter. And pureed cauliflower spiked with lots of butter (aka GAPS mashed potatoes) is a surefire crowd pleaser.
My kids butter their cheese sometimes. And when I bake cookies (gluten free at this point), we butter those, too. My husband likes to eat pick-me-up spoonfuls of butter drizzled with raw honey. The kids love "chocolate treats," basically butter/cacao mousse.
If you eat grains, all the better to add more butter...rice, quinoa, millet, morning oats...whether plain or pilaf, accompanying grains are always better topped with butter. Tortillas? Top with butter, cheese, avocado, salsa, what have you. Crackers? Butter them. Organic popcorn? Come on, that's an easy one!
So, how do we eat our butter? Well, I think the better question is how do we not? (We have yet to dip cold raw veggies in plain butter...though celery sticks with butter and raisins are good.) The key in my mind is that we are creating meals with Real Food from scratch...and good food begs to be accompanied by good butter. And olive oil, too...I certainly don't mean to discriminate. My passion for butter doesn't blind me to the other good fats, we use them all...coconut, lard, duck fat...they all have their place in the kitchen, some for prep, some for finishing.
But around here, butter reigns supreme. So grab some grass-fed butter and drip, dollop, scoop, smother...you'll wonder how your meals ever made it to your stomach without butter.
Recipe: GAPS Mashed Potatoes...Pureed Cauliflower(Super easy, super delicious. After 6 months on the GAPS protocol, you can barely tell the difference in flavor between this and mashed potatoes...well, we couldn't. And we took this recipe with us after GAPS, along with many others, because it is just so delicious and nutritious! It's not really a "GAPS" recipe as much as it's just another way to eat great food.)
Steam a head or two (depending on size) of cauliflower in water. When fork tender, put the cauliflower and 1/2 cup of the cooking water into your blender. Add 1/2 cup butter and some real salt to taste. Blend until smooth. You can adjust the amount of liquid to suit the consistency to your taste.
For post-GAPS folks, blend the cauliflower with raw grass-fed milk rather than the cooking liquid, and don't forget lots of butter!...this version is even creamier. Yum!