Thursday, April 26, 2012

Better Butter

Ryan and I LOVE butter. One could say I have always had a liking for the creamy stuff because when I was young, my mom would catch me eating it straight from the fridge! Even though I am a healthy cook, I actually cook with butter often. However, when I use it, I use REAL butter. Please don't ever substitute margarine! It might be lower in saturated fat and cholesterol, but it not naturally derived! If you are curious about it, here is a great post.

When people think of butter, usually toast or bread comes to mind. Unfortunately, butter isn't always the healthiest condiment, so I would like to share some substitutes that Ryan and I often turn to for toast or bread toppings.

Better Butter

Roasted red peppers, roasted garlic, caramelized onions and mashed avocado can take a piece of bread a very long way! These are very simple and cheap ways to top your toast or add flavor to anything! I often add this as a condiment on a sandwich or wrap. My favorite is to make a breakfast burrito with any or all of the four with eggs.

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During the summer, I always load up on bell peppers at the farmer's market. Super cheap and deliciously fresh and sweet. By roasting the peppers, you are bringing out the natural sweetness even more, which is great to top on bread with a little goat cheese or toss into a salad. Keep reading to learn my easy technique.

During the winter, I like to roast whole garlic bulbs. Ok, let's be honest, I do this year-round! Something about roasting a garlic bulb puts us in garlic heaven! And not to mention it makes your house smell fantastic. Ryan and I always laugh about how we could never marry someone who hates garlic. Who are those people??

Another great topper is caramelized onions, which again is easy and cheap to make. All you need is one chopped onion and a few tablespoons of olive oil or butter. You start with onions that look like this...

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And end with onions that look like this...

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And finally avocados, my honorable mentioned. It has a similar consistency of butter, so spreads very easily. Avocados are high in fat, but GOOD fat and can aid in digestion when paired with certain vegetables, like ones found in a salad. I usually don't eat avocados with meat since they have more protein than milk!

Try replacing butter with one of these substitutions and let me know what you think. I am certainly not advocating the extinction of butter, but think it is good to reduce the amount consumed from time to time, especially if you have cholesterol or heart problems. However, if you really want to go crazy, just add one of these ON TOP of butter! Whoa!

Roasted Red Peppers

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes

Fresh Red Bell Peppers
Organic cooking spray (optional)
Paper bag or Ziploc bag

Place an oven rack on the highest possible location to the burner. Preheat the broiler to high. 

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Cut the peppers into 4 pieces, making sure to remove the seeds. Place the peppers onto a cookie sheet lined with either foil or parchment. (I usually lightly spray the pan with cooking spray before putting the peppers on, but this is not necessary). The peppers should be skin-side up. Broil the peppers until skin is very charred like this...

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Roasted Red Peppers

Don't worry about burning the skin too much because they will be removed.

Once charred, quickly remove the peppers and place in either a Ziplock bag or paper lunch bag and close immediately to steam the peppers. If using a paper bag, place bag on a plate as the juices will often come through the bag. 

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Let the peppers steam for at least 20 minutes or until peppers are cool to the touch to easily remove the skins. And voila - homemade roasted red peppers (or green if preferred)!

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Roasted Garlic

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes

1 garlic bulb
1 teaspoon olive oil (can use melted coconut oil, ghee or butter)
salt and pepper

Optional herb additions:
 - Tuscan herb
 - Melted coconut oil, lime juice, tequila and salt
 - Chili powder
 - Herbs de Provence
 - Melted ghee and curry powder

Preheat an oven to 400F.

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Roasted garlic

Take a whole bulb of garlic and remove the outer paper thin layers on the bulb. Chop off the top so some of the cloves are exposed and pierce each exposed clove with a small sharp knife. Place the bulb in a piece of foil and drizzle with olive oil and spices and seasonings. Fold the foil up to form a packet and roast in the oven for 45 minutes. 

*Note - When I make roasted garlic, I do one bulb per person! Trust me on this!


  1. Oh my these recipes are so good! I just tried the pepper and the garlic roast, yummy! My sister is trying out the military diet and I'm helping her cope as much as I can. The low carb diet is great and she gets to eat fresh fruits, veggies and lean meat. I'm so happy that she lost a couple of pounds! She's very focused right now and I know that she will finally lose a lot of weight because of the 3 Day Military diet. If you want to learn more of this, hop on to this page

  2. Love how wonderfully every word is written with proper balance.
    ghee vs butter