Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I Can't Believe It's Not Butter- Used in Every Day Cooking

My addiction
I have an addiction to bread and butter.  I have tried to cut it out of my life- I've tried to go cold turkey.  I've tried to phase it out.  But nothing works.  I love it.  There is just nothing better than a fresh piece of perfect French bread (you know the kind- soft and chewy on the inside, crunchy and crackly on the out) spread with sweet creamy butter.  I think it must be the simplicity of it and the way that each ingredient makes the other shine.  There is just nothing better.  Of course, there are MANY things that are better FOR you.  Lets face it, butter, while delicious, is just not so kind to the body- inside or out!  However, there are alternatives out there, and this past weekend I was introduced, up close and personal, to I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, the leading butter substitute.  

I Can't Believe It's Not Butter contains 70% less saturated fats than real butter, 0 grams of cholesterol and is gluten free- a few things that make I Can't Believe It's Not Butter the healthier choice.  Now, I know what you're thinking- most of these types of products, especially in the butter substitute arena don't taste very good (I've had several that taste distinctly like yogurt-yuck), or are rock hard and won't spread, or they don't melt.  How terrible is a lovely piece of toast if the spread just sits on top, white and gloopy?  Or how about steaming mashed potatoes topped with a hunk of "butter" that just stares back at you from the plate?  No thank you.  I Can't Believe It's Not Butter both spreads and melts- and actually tastes like butter!  Sure it may not be the same as fresh from the farm sweet cream butter, and yes, it does contain some of those hard to pronounce preserving chemicals, but it's flavor is darn close- and has some great nutritional value to it as well.  For example- did you know that it contained Omega-3's?

Chef Susannah Locketti
To take a closer look at how the butter would work in every day cooking, a few local bloggers and food lovers were brought on a tour of the Charles Square Farmers Market over the weekend, and then to the Cambridge Center for Adult Education to do a little cooking.  We were led by chef Susanna Locketti through the market, finding treasures to explore in the kitchen.  We loaded up on eggplant, squash, apples, tomatoes, swiss chard, breads and a humongous scallion.  

Back at the kitchen, we divided into teams and made beautiful compound butters to dress the fresh produce with.  I was on the sweet team (a selection I had no problem with) and we were charge of peeling and dicing apples, and creating a butter using, of course the the spreadable I Cant Believe It's Not Butter, combined with brown sugar, walnuts, orange zest and pumpkin pie seasoning.  The butter was pretty lethal when done-I sorta wanted to just slather it on everything.  We actually ended up using a tablespoon of the butter in a hot pan to melt it, and then sauteed the apple chunks in it with a few raisins and some fresh squeezed orange juice.  The result was bright and flavorful, the butter flavor subtle in the background, and the spices taking center stage.

The other butters made were a delicious curry butter that was used to enhance an open faced sandwich chock full of eggplant, swiss chard, tomatoes and fontina cheese (delicious) and a was used in the roasting and sauteing of those ingredients for half the sandwiches, and the other half were seasoned with an Italian butter.  Finally we used the giant scallion to make a scallion butter- and that was just tasty on its own-or with a sweet potato chip dipped in.

Whether roasting, sauteing, spreading or just enjoying, each of the butters were very tasty, and we all remarked that the use of the I Can't Believe It's Not Butter simply enhanced the great flavors of the fresh produce, and didn't mask any delicate nugget.  We did also note that the product is salted, so when using in cooking be sparse with any additional salt-you could easily over season your product.

I Can't Believe It's Not Butter is a product that I have been familiar with for ages, especially since they have always had...catchy commercials.  Now however, I don't know them just for their jingles or for their use of Fabio, now I know them for a delicious alternative to almighty stick of butter.

Mmmm now I MUST go find myself a crusty piece of bread... the craving has hit


Emily said...

Great recap -- it's totally different from the others that I read, which is awesome! I could go for one of those open face sandwiches right now! Nice to meet you on Sunday :)

Megan said...

Now I want to find a hunk of bread too! So nice to cook with you this weekend!


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