04 Jan Better Butter for a Better You in the New Year
For many and perhaps for you, January jumps into view on the calendar with a rush of resolutions to be made, en route to an improved version of you. At the top of most lists is getting healthier in the New Year, and what better way to do that than by decreasing the amount of saturated fat in your diet?
That’s right, move over, cube of butter in the fridge. Make room for buttery spreads, like the one made with canola oil, which reduces the saturated fat content without sacrificing flavor.
A tablespoon of sweet cream butter contains 7 grams of saturated fat while a tablespoon of butter with canola oil has 4 grams. Land O Lakes makes All Natural Butter with Canola Oil, which can be found near the real butter in the refrigerated butter case at most local grocery stores.
We’ve been using the butter with canola oil on toast for awhile now at our house and enjoy the softer consistency for spreading. So why not try it in sauces and for baking? I thought.
Turns out it worked just fine in the Light and Lemony Shrimp Scampi and for sautéing the onions in the Quinoa with Cranberries, Thyme and Toasted Walnuts.
The true test for the butter with canola oil came when using it for baking. Because it has a softer, more spreadable consistency, the oatmeal cookie recipe required more flour than a batch made with real butter, but other than that worked beautifully. (I ended up using a little less than twice as much flour as a recipe for cookies made with real butter.)
Ring in the New Year with a roundup of recipe resolutions using a better butter for sauces, sautéing and baking. This week’s Special of the day: Better Butter for a Better You in the New Year and recipes for Light and Lemony Shrimp Scampi, Quinoa with Cranberries, Thyme and Toasted Walnuts and Oatmeal-Cherry-Chocolate Chip Cookies. Happy New Year!
Light and Lemony Shrimp Scampi (serves 4 as an entree) 4 tablespoons butter with canola oil 4 tablespoons olive oil 2 cloves garlic, minced 20 large EZ-peel shrimp (seafood freezer department at Albertsons) 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice Splash of white wine 4 green onions, thinly sliced Dash of salt
Thaw shrimp in colander in sink under cold running water until thoroughly thawed, about 10 minutes. Pull tails and shells off and discard. Let shrimp dry on paper towels. Heat butter and olive oil in medium sauté pan over medium high heat until butter is melted. Add garlic and shrimp and cook shrimp just until pink on one side and turn. Cook other side until pink. Add lemon juice, wine, green onions and salt, stirring to combine. Serve hot over buttered pasta or rice. Enjoy!
Quinoa with Cranberries, Thyme and Toasted Walnuts (Serves four as a side dish)
1 ½ cup chicken stock 1 cup quinoa 1/3 cup sweet onion, chopped finely 1 tablespoon butter with canola oil ½ cups walnuts, chopped 2/3 fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped 1 teaspoon dried thyme Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, cook quinoa and chicken stock until quinoa has absorbed all of the liquid, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat. Meanwhile, toast the walnuts on a baking sheet at 325 degrees for about 8 minutes, until lightly toasted and Saute the onion in 1 tablespoon butter over medium high heat until softened. Add sautéed onion to cooked quinoa and stir to combine. Add remaining ingredients. Stir to combine. Serve hot as an accompaniment to roasted chicken or beef. *Note: a nice variation on this dish would be to omit the cranberries and add ½ cup chopped mushrooms when sautéing the onions to create a nutty wild-rice-like dish. Oatmeal-Cherry-Chocolate Chip Cookies (makes about 4 dozen 2-inch cookies)
½ cup butter with canola ¾ cup brown sugar 1 egg 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 ½ cups flour ½ teaspoon baking soda ¼ teaspoon salt 1 ½ cups oatmeal 1 cup dried cherries 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using electric mixer, cream butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until light and fluffy. Sift dry ingredients and mix into butter mixture. Stir in oatmeal, cherries and chocolate chips until incorporated. Drop by rounded teaspoon-full onto parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing cookies about 2 inches apart. Bake for about 8 minutes until lightly browned on edges. Remove from oven and let cool briefly on cooling rack to set before shuffling off of baking sheet. Enjoy!
Sydne George is a food journalist specializing in recipe development, food writing and food photography. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org . Sydne’s recipes from “Special of the day” are archived at http://sydnegeorge.com/blog/.