Butter is good. Clarified butter is better. Nearly everyone can eat clarified butter. It contains no sugar (lactose), no protein (casein or whey), and it is usually tolerated even by those who are allergic to dairy. It can be stored at room temperature and it makes a perfect fat for cooking because it won’t burn, even at frying temperatures. If it is made from the milk of Jersey* cows eating fresh, green grass, it is better yet. I’ve been making my own clarified butter from organic, pasture butter like Kerrygold or Organic Valley since I learned that I was allergic to dairy a few years ago. It is easy to make and although you will lose some volume, it is still less expensive than buying packaged clarified butter or ghee. It also has a special advantage for those of us who love butter in our morning coffee (see recipe for Butter Coffee and Coffee Pods below).
TO MAKE CLARIFIED BUTTER
When the butter is melted, you will see a layer of clear fat on top and a layer of milky whey on the bottom. Pour off as much of the fat as you can without getting any of the whey, but that becomes more difficult as you get closer to the bottom, when you must either leave some of the clarified butter behind or risk getting whey along with it. (Don’t throw away the whey; it is delicious on vegetables and other foods, but don’t eat it you have a dairy allergy.)
Clarified butter has another advantage for those of us who are fond of butter coffee, popularized by Dave Asprey as Bulletproof© Coffee. It will rev you up and keep you burning fat for energy (instead of burning sugar and storing fat) for four hours. If you make it with clarified butter, the foam will hold up, so you can make it in the morning and enjoy a second cup later in the day. (The optional add-ins are my suggestions.)
1 cup brewed coffee
1 to 2 tablespoons MCT oil (start with 1 teaspoon and increase over several days)
1 to 2 tablespoons or more regular or clarified pasture butter* (start with 1 teaspoon and increase over several days)
1/2 teaspoon sugar-free vanilla extract or seeds
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
Sugar substitute of choice equal to 1 to 2 teaspoons sugar or to taste
A pinch of salt (Dave disapproves, but it makes the coffee less bitter.)
Mix with in a blender or with a stick blender for about a minute or until emulsified and foamy. There should be no oil slick on top.
Blending the fats into the coffee makes them more digestible. Start with the smaller amount of fats and increase the amount over a few days time as you become fat adapted.
*Substitute coconut oil for all or part of the butter.
TO MAKE FAT PODS FOR BUTTER COFFEE
Want to simplify your hectic morning routine? Make fat pods and keep them in the fridge. Brew, plop, whirr, and go!
Multiply the ingredients for 1 cup of butter coffee (minus the coffee) by the number of pods you want. Melt the fats together and mix in whatever add-ins you choose. Pour the mixture into muffin tins, silicone if possible, for easy removal. Place in the refrigerator or freeze. Pop one out and drop into a cup of hot coffee before blending.
BUTTER COFFE FOR TRAVEL
For butter coffee to go: Put the pods in a cooler with an ice pack or just take them in a jar and pack a spoon in case they melt. If you don’t have access to a blender at your destination, take a jar or shaker bottle and a wire mixing ball with you. Put in 8 ounces of fresh hot coffee and add one of your pods. Shake until foamy. (Take extra pods so you can share. Everyone will want what you are having!)
Nutrition Data for 1 serving made with 1 tablespoon of clarified butter and 1 tablespon MCT oil:
Calories: 219; Fat: 25g; Protein: 0.1g; Fiber: 0g; Carbohydrate: 0g; Net Carbohydrate: 0g
Optional add-ins not included in counts.
Why not just make ghee? Ghee is the Indian version of clarified butter. It is easier to make because it is cooked until the proteins solidify and can be strained out and the liquid is evaporated. It has a nice toasty taste, but it won’t be as healthful.
The milk from older breeds of dairy cows, like Jerseys and Guernseys, cause fewer allergic reactions than more recent breeds. Holsteins produce more milk so they are usually the preferred breed. Jerseys and Guernseys are tan or brown, Holsteins are black and white.
Below is more information from the Food Intolerance Network: http://fedup.com.au/factsheets/additive-and-natural-chemical-factsheets/a2-milk
“A2 is the name of a milk protein that was in all dairy herds until a natural mutation occurred in the European herd thousands of years ago….Dairy milk usually contains a mixture of A1 and A2 beta casein proteins, but milk from goats, sheep, camels, buffalo, yaks, donkeys is either mostly or completely A2. Some cow breeds such as Jersey and Guernsey cows have traditionally produced A2 milk (although today they have to be tested and certified to be sure) whereas milk from black and white cows such as Holsteins usually produce mostly the A1 protein variant. In the 1970s, when Australian dairy herds switched from using Jersey cows to Holsteins, some of the dairy farmers’ families at that time noticed adverse effects on their health and have reported to us that they kept a Jersey cow for their own use. Any breed of cow can be used in selective breeding to produce A2 milk again. Since 2003, specially produced A2 milk has been available in Australia.”
I’ve been scattering the grounds from my Upgrated Coffee© over the garden and lawn for some time now because it seemed a shame to put such good, organic material in the garbage. A recent story in the Plate Online newsletter suggests another way to reduce the waste products from the coffee-making process. The pulp from the coffee fruit can be used to make low-carb, gluten-free flour that tastes like cherries! A company in Vancouver, BC, dries and mills about four billion pounds of coffee pulp per year and sells it as a nutritious flour. Google uses it to replace 20% of the flour in their pastas, breads, and sweets at their headquarters in Mountain View, California.
Coffee flour information from Plate Online: http://www.plateonline.com/MembersOnly/webNews/details.aspx?item=62919
Coffee flour nutrition data: http://www.coffeeflour.com/#coffee-flour-is-2
Photo of butter in jar by Rainer Z … (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Photos (except as noted) and article © 2016, Judy Barnes Baker