When it comes to fat, quality matters even more than quantity. Since fat is something all bodies need – especially our brains – cooking with healthy fats is a simple way to ensure proper nutrition. The bonus: Fat makes food taste better! The three healthy fats that I use are grass-fed cultured butter, avocado oil and MCT oil. These recipes liven up everyday ingredients like cauliflower and lemons, offer great grain-free alternatives for dessert and more.
This neutral cooking oil is an excellent replacement for common choices like canola, vegetable or grape seed. Avocado oil is high in monounsaturated fatty acids, which regulate cholesterol and help combat inflammation.
Standard butter is made from fresh cream, but cultured butter is made with fermented cream. This means that it has probiotics, which you need for a healthy immune system. Because these good guys can get destroyed when cooked, in two of the following recipes I only heat the butter to the point of melting.
Still on the rise in terms of popularity, MCT oil is a concentrated form of coconut oil that is much higher in medium-chain triglycerides (MCT). MCTs bypass the liver for digestion and provide direct fuel for the brain. Because this oil has a low smoke point, I use it in colder applications.
(Photos: Ariane Resnick/LIVESTRONG.COM)
Not only does this cornbread have a big hit of protein by way of cottage cheese and buttermilk, it also has two cups of veggies and no wheat. The end result is incredibly moist and high in protein, and high-fiber coconut flour replaces the binding nature of gluten. I like to bake it in a loaf pan so that I can use it for sandwiches. The avocado oil adds moisture and won’t overpower the yummy corn flavor. I use sprouted corn meal because it’s more nutritious, but unsprouted also works fine. Get the recipe here.
Buffalo cauliflower has been trending for a while now; you simply cook cauliflower florets and add a buffalo sauce. The results bear a resemblance to chicken wings – minus the chicken, of course! Those are great, but they aren’t really filling. With this recipe I add a fun step: making the cauliflower into a tater tot shape. The end result is worth the time it takes because you have a treat reminiscent of childhood, but much better for you. Get the recipe here.
The creaminess of this smoothie bowl belies its nondairy ingredients: It gets its unctuousness from avocado and MCT oil. Quick to prepare, it’s a great breakfast or snack that’s more filling than a standard smoothie bowl. Get the recipe here.
Charred lemon dressing is simple to make and unusual yet familiar in taste – and it works as both a marinade for the steak and a dressing for the salad. Skirt steak is used because it’s a less expensive cut and more appropriate for an everyday meal; the marinade helps soften this otherwise-tough piece of meat. The avocado oil allows the lemony flavor to shine through. Get the recipe here.
There’s no risk of salmonella in these cookie-dough truffles because they don’t contain eggs. They also don’t contain any gluten or grains! They’re a healthier alternative – and a very rich one; one truffle is the perfect serving size. Cultured butter gives the dough its creaminess and keeps the chocolate coating from being too firm to crack your teeth into. The only work here is in the rolling and dipping – no baking involved! Get the recipe here.
By Ariane Resnick