Dairy Free ‘Butter’ Recipe

If you don’t want to read this post and have just come for the recipe – which is fair enough – just scroll down to the bottom.  If you like reading me, then stick around, friend, it’s lovely to have you.

So I’ve pondered whether to be dairy free over the last few years.

I’ve read dairy will make you fat.  I’ve read dairy will boost your weight loss.  I’ve read dairy will protect your bones;  I’ve read dairy will filch calcium from your bones.  I’ve read that dairy is full of hormones that will mess up your system;  I’ve heard dairy will help balance your hormones.

Personally, I love dairy.  I’ve always adored creamy sauces;  melted cheese;  cheese in quiches, sandwiches or even just a block to be nibbled on.  Mozzarella?  Oh my.  Roquefort?  I’m all your’s.  Shall I move on from cheeses?  Okay.  Yoghurt.  Oh Greek yoghurt with honey and nuts;  black cherry yoghurt;  hazelnut yoghurt.  Full fat, low fat, no fat.  Who cares?  Just feed me yoghurt.  And butter.  Oh, butter.  My mother, due to wartime rationing, which had excluded butter and made her childhood a thing of margerine misery, had vowed that from the moment she was able, she would never, ever have margerine in her house again;  and no matter how poor we ever were, she never did.  Butter was queen of our fridge.

Dairy.  I love dairy.

And what, after all, is a baked potato that is not slathered in butter and cheese but a poor imitation of a baked potato?

But somehow over the last few years, I’ve fallen a little out of love with dairy, sufficient to be able to view it more dispassionately.  And actually, for me it’s the ethical problem I have with dairy farming – to me, worse than meat farming – that’s been the decider.  I’ve walked out on dairy, and I’m afraid – although she might not have accepted it yet – it really is over.

So, having experimented with a few recipes, this is my new dairy free butter;  or Bootang, as I affectionately call it, because rather like Wu Tang Clan, it’s a lovely word to say.

As a little aside, it has very few ingredients.  This isn’t because I don’t know my way around a kitchen;  I really do.  However, over the last few years I’ve become so sick of recipe lists that are so long that even I find myself overwhelmed and give up.  I’ve come to think it’s really just showing off;  and although I’m not a Jamie Oliver fan, I do think he’s caught the zeitgeist by bringing out a cookbook where no recipe has more than 5 ingredients.

So here, finally, at last is my unashamedly simple recipe for Bootang.


 

Bootang

Bootang isn’t pretending to be butter;  there can be no real Pretender to the butter crown.  What it’s supposed to do is all the things butter does on, its own merits – bring depth of flavour when frying, add a little creamy saltiness when spreading, bring a little lipsmacking when melted over something.

It is a savoury recipe, although if you wanted, I’m sure you can adapt it for baking.

The nutritional yeast can mean it sticks a little if you fry at too high a heat, but for me it contributes enough to the flavour that it stays in.  Leave out the saffron if you don’t have any, and are feeling a little stoney-broke.  Strangely, TK Maxx has a section of gourmet foods going cheap, and they often have saffron strands.  Just saying.


 

In a microwaveable bowl, combine 1 cup coconut oil and 1/2 cup rapeseed oil.  Microwave on full power for one minute, and then in 30 second bursts until the coconut oil is fully melted.  Combine the oils with a fork, and then add 1/2 tsp salt2 tbsps nutritional yeast1/4 tsp turmeric and a pinch of saffron strands.

Beat lightly with a fork and leave to cool.  When fully cooled, place in the fridge for an hour, then beat again with a fork to ensure elements combined.  Repeat this every half an hour until you have a fully combined mixture with a buttery texture.  You may still be able to see individual nutritional yeast flakes, but I think they’re rather pretty.

If you forget to check and then race to the fridge to find it’s a solid block – don’t worry.  You may still be able to warm it enough by beating it to combine the elements.  If not, leave it out for a little while until just slightly softened and then beat.

If you can be bothered – sometimes I can, sometimes I can’t – whisk the mixture just before it reaches solid.  This adds a delicious lightness.

Store in a lovely glass jar in the fridge and use wherever you would have used salted butter.

Day 2 Defatting, More Fuel to the Calorie Debate & Sundry Scans

So I’ve done 2 days of the diet I devised for myself – Defatting: The Principles (and why your body will always win in the end) – and this morning I weighed myself.

I’ve lost 7lbs.

Now I know there’s a fair amount of water weight etc in there, but all the same.  I did a calorie-careful vegetable-based day (lost 3lbs), and followed it with a calorie-uncounted high protein-high fat day (lost 4lbs).

Yesterday was a big fat fest, and although I actually really can cook, what I felt like was an utterly self-indulgent day and after trying to adhere to the almost-vegetarian Alkaline Diet, that could only mean lots of bacon and eggs.  I can’t be bothered working out my calorie count from yesterday, but this is what I ate:

– 3 eggs fried in 1 tbsp butter + 4 rashers grilled bacon

– 1 salmon fillet + 2 boiled eggs made into egg mayonnaise with 2 tbsps mayonnaise

– 250g chestnut mushrooms fried in 2 tbsps fat + 5 grilled rashers bacon

I only know that it’s way more calories than should result in a weight loss.

Hmmmm.  This is something I’ve seen before – that the calories in/calories out equation isn’t the whole picture.

Of course, whatever, the weight loss will slow very soon but I’ll keep you updated.

Today is a starch-based day, although I freely admit it may go a little awry as I’m going in for an MRI Craniofacial Scan today and they may want to inject dye into me so *ugh*  I’m a little nervous going in and know I will come out with a shocking headache, so I’ll do the best I can in terms of diet but make no concrete promises.

However the scan should shed light on what’s going on with my TMJ/TGN so that’s a good thing. Strangely, yesterday I finally got called for the ultrasound on my shoulder which will happen on Thursday 15th February.  As is so often the way in life, it’s all happening at once.

 

Nutprococo II

Due to a cupboard shortage yesterday, I had to improvise when making my Nutprococo and what a lucky cupboard shortage that turned out to be.  Nutprococo is my go-to when I’m craving not just sweet but satisfaction too – chocolaty chewy crunchy and not too sweet. Low carb, low GI/GL and it’s paleo too if you substitute the tsp sweetener for honey;  and it’s tailored to fit into an alkaline diet too.  Whether it’s low calorie or not depends on how much you eat.

And that I am sharing my new & improved Nutprococo recipe with you is proof that I love you very very much indeed.

Warm & Fragrant Moroccan Chicken

This has such a rich, complex mesh of flavours – fragrant, warm, spicy – but all of them delicious.  This is definitely on my All Time Top Ten favourite dishes.    

If you want to Paleo it, then exclude the chickpeas;  if you want to LowCarb it, then exclude the raisins and if you’re feeling particularly determined, the chickpeas too;  if you want to LowCal it, then go easy on the oil and de-skin the chicken thighs.

This does great on my Starch days.


 

In a wide frying pan, using a tablespoon or three of oil (I prefer rapeseed) and a moderate heat, brown 12 chicken thighs (I prefer to keep them on the bone, but de-skin them first);  this should take between 5 and 10 minutes.  Depending on the width of your frying pan, and if you prefer, brown them in batches – just ensure you’ve returned all the chicken to the pan for the next stage.

Add to the pan 1 onion, sliced and 2 garlic cloves, crushed.  On a low heat, stir together for 5 minutes.  Now add 1 tbsp rose harissa (if you can’t get that, then harissa will do);  a good pinch of saffron (if you’re feeling flush);  1 tsp salt;  1 cinammon stick (or 1/2 tsp cinammon if you don’t have any to hand) and a good few grinds of black pepper.  Add to this 600ml chicken stock, bring to the boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes.

Add 75g raisins and 2 x 410g cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed.  Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.  Remove cinammon stick.

Serve alone or with couscous or flatbread.