Ever since I found out my daughter had a mild sensitivity to dairy, butter has been literally off the table. I felt really bad doing so because many times she’s remarked with a big smile on her face that butter is her favorite food. And you might know how parents feel when we hear that…we will conquer the world to make sure she has what she wants. However, in this case, I could not bend. Many nights she’d be up complaining of a stomach ache so I needed to omit this possibility from her life. I tried replacing this love with coconut oil and although she now calls it “butter” it just never elicited the same reaction.
After reading the research though, I swiftly threw it on a plate and placed in right in front of her googling eyes. Yay, Mommy! So why the change of heart you may ask? Dairy has the three macronutrients: protein, fat and carbohydrates. Protein, specifically casein, and Carbohydrates, specifically lactose, are usually he culprits when it comes to sensitivities and allergies. Rarely is the fat portion of a concern. Milk has a hefty portion of casein and lactose (although you can find lactose-free milk) causing a myriad of issues in those sensitive to one or both. Butter, with it’s high fat content, is usually safe for those with sensitivities because it lacks the protein and carb aggravators. However, if you are extremely sensitive, please be safe and stay away from butter. For us, butter, specifically GRASS-FED BUTTER, is back on the table for these reasons:
- Dave Asprey in Headstrong: The Bulletproof Plan to Activate Untapped Brain Energy to Work Smarter and Think Faster-in Just Two Weeks writes that in 1 Tablespoon of Grass-Fed Butter there is only 0.1 grams of milk protein with nearly 0% lactose; in grass-fed butter there is less; and in ghee there is virtually none if prepared correctly.(1) Ghee is also welcome plentifully at our table.
- We need butter and other healthy fats such as extra virgin olive oil to absorb all those amazing nutrients in veggies. Carotenoids, Vitamins A, D, E and K, and phenols are ushered into cells when good fats are eaten along with veggies. In fact, if you don’t have fat with veggies, carotenoid absorption is low.(2)
- I don’t subscribe to the notion that too much fat, specifically saturated fat, is bad for the body. The opposite is true: We need fat to support cell membranes and serve as the starting point for hormones. Fat is good but fat in combination with too much sugar…that’s definitely a bad thing. This combo creates inflammation in the body and causes cognitive problems as well as creating a temporary state of insulin resistance.(3)
- Grass-fed butter is stable for cooking in high heats. Cooking with Omega 6 and Omega 3 oils damages their molecular structure making them unwelcome from a brain or body cell’s point of view.
- Grass-fed Cows eat what nature intended rather than grains that are often too high in Omega 6 fats which have been implicated in heart disease and other chronic disease conditions.(4, 5, 6) Grass-fed cows have higher amounts of Omega 3, CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid), important for protection against cancer, (7) and butryric acid which helps to heal the gut and reduce brain inflammation.(8) Butyric acid has been shown in studies to even help with inflammation in the intestines of people with Crohn’s disease. (9)
After attempting a few grain and dairy free butter cookie recipes, I finally created a culinary-nutrition approved version with the best fats (grass-fed butter), the most nutrient-dense sugar (coconut sugar) and the most tasty non-flour base (almond flour). These cookies are delicious and deliver lots of stable brain-building fat. One more reason to make my little “cookie monster” smile!!
Grass-Fed Butter Cookies
When the butter you put in your cookies helps little brain cells be stronger then it's easy to approve 2 or 3. Grass-fed butter has an extremely low amount of casein and lactose so more than likely stomachs that need to be dairy-free can tolerate it. If you're vigilant, you can always go with ghee which has virtually no offending molecules.
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 T arrowroot starch
- 1/8 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 2 T coconut sugar
- 2 T grass-fed butter or ghee, melted
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- Step 1 Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
- Step 2 Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- Step 3 In a medium bowl, sift flour, arrowroot, basking soda and sea salt to thoroughly combine
- Step 4 In a food processor add egg, sugar, butter, vanilla and cardamom and mix
- Step 5 Pour flour mix into processor and blend again
- Step 6 Scoop a heaping tablespoon onto the baking sheet and flatten slightly. Repeat with the rest of the batter
- Step 7 Bake for 10 minutes, remove from the oven and cool
- Step 8 Serve with love, freshly made almond milk sprinkled with cinnamon or cardamom and enjoy!
- “Head Strong by Dave Asprey – A New York Times Bestseller.” Head Strong, orderheadstrong.com/.