AHH the holidays… AHH butter!!!

By Michelle Plummer, MS, RD, CD

Learning, Teaching and Cooking for more than 20 years Michelle is comfortable cooking in the kitchen or on stage.  When I first began giving cooking classes I was the self proclaimed Queen of high fat, high sugar and high alcohol.  Over the past many years I have met with moderation and balance and as all great chefs conclude less is really more!  Food and education has been my mantra: to provide a better comfort in the kitchen and with food to achieve balance in both.  After becoming a Registered Dietitian, balance and moderation became more evident.  There is still no substitution for real food done well.  Please enjoy learning about dairy from a cook’s prospective with a dietitian’s knowledge.

AHH the holidays…AHH butter!!!

Both of these statements send fear and happiness to your ears (or mouths).  Either enjoying the holiday gatherings in the little black dress and those delicious little nibbles OR trying to get into that little black dress for the gatherings and staying away from those delicious little nibblers (You have to love those ‘devils in disguise’– appetizers)!

As a Dietitian I have read the science about cholesterol, trans fat, saturated fats, water added, salt added, salt removed http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/butter-vs-margarine .  Where do I stand?  For the next couple of months I support the moderation side of delicious!  If you currently use margarine at home fine, but yes enjoy butter for the special occasions!  If you use butter at home be mindful when eating when you go to those special events with more ‘special’ temptations!  OK enough about what you eat  let’s have some fun.

Cooking with butter, in moderation, can make almost any meal delectable.

I love cooking with butter year round.  Butter gives a flavor, and texture that margarine simply cannot provide.  To thicken a sauce, a tablespoon of butter swirled in will heighten the flavor but the texture becomes more velvety.  From appetizers to desserts butter is versatile.  In keeping with the moderation though, look at the recipe and see if some of the butter could be reduced.  Think about the sweet potato casserole….does it really need two sticks of butter and all the sugar and cream?  Can the milk be changed to skim, the sugar reduced by one forth and the butter to one stick?  I said yes to this many years ago and WOW, it tastes great and I can still have dessert….my brother-in-law uses this as his dessert!

Make butter the condiment.  Blend one stick of butter and ¼ cup of herbs, zest and ground nuts together to form a compound spread.  Roll into a log, slice it or place in pastry bag and pipe it into rosettes for a memorable and tasty spread for rolls or vegetables.

Great websites for new and tasty recipes:  www.butterisbest.com (the apple spice caramels are delicious!), http://www.eatwisconsincheese.com

My suggestion, start getting ready for that little black dress now, enjoy moderation and balance and the delicious flavor butter offers.  The holidays are just that DAYS not months.  Continue working out, healthful eating and mindful nibbles.   Enjoy each day of the holiday season and that little black dress!

One Response

  1. Love this little “ode” to butter! Definitely in moderation, and sometimes moderation is all you need for butter to truly shine!

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