In today’s eating culture, butter is few people’s best friend. But it should be. This delicious, warming fat that makes anything and everything taste amazing should be tomorrow’s wonder-food.
Butter is rich in vitamins A, E, K and D. The saturated fat in butter, far from being enemy no.1, is actually essential for hormone health and strong bones. If you are feeling run down, then spread your bread with a thick layer of butter as it plays a vital part in a healthy immunity. It is also anti-viral and anti-microbial.
If you are fat phobic – it is very worth bearing in mind that fat does not make us fat. Sugar does. And trans fatty acids (found in margerine and spread) do.
Instead, fat is a vital part of a balanced diet. I am not suggested that you eat pounds of the stuff a day. However using butter as it was traditionally used: spread on bread, to fry an egg, to fry your onions when making a soup or stew, melted over vegetables, will not only make the food you eat tastes amazing. It will enhance the nutrient absorption of what you eat. Fat helps you absorb fat-soluble vitamins (A, K and D). If you don’t eat the fat, you don’t get the vitamins!
What is real butter?
Everyday adverts and hearsay tells us that butter is bad and spread is good. However margerine, in any form, is hydrogenated. No hydrogenated fat is healthy.
Even spreadable butter is not recommended. Instead head to the dairy section of the supermarket or a dairy stall in Borough market and buy the real thing: organic butter from grass fed cow that goes hard in the fridge and soft in the sun.
Buttery Recipe: Date & Oat Slice
This recipe is based on one from Rose Carrarini’s cookbook “Rose Bakery: Breakfast Lunch and Tea”
150g unsalted butter
500g medjool dates
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
150g wholemeal flour
pinch sea salt
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 tablespoons wheat germ
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon molasses
Preheat the oven to 180°C
Butter 20/28 cm baking tray and line it with parchment paper.
Put the dates in a saucepan with 200ml water and cook over a low heat, until the dates are soft and have absorbed the water. Stir in the vanilla extract and set aside.
In a bowl, mix the flour with the salt, oats, wheatgerm and bicarbonate of soda. Put the butter, molasses and maple in another saucepan and cook over a low heat, stir. Once melted, pour over the oat mixture. Mix until crumbly.
Press ½ the oat the mixture into the base of the tin. Spread the dates evenly over the top and sprinkle the rest of the oat mixture on top. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden.
Serve with a lovely cup of herbal tea.