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I almost can't believe it's not butter!

I almost can’t believe it’s not butter!

Something really simple for all you food-lovers this week.   Amazingly, this good-for-you buttery spread looks and tastes great.   Spread it on bread, toast, crackers.  I love to eat toast smothered with this spread alongside baked beans for breakfast from time to time.  It’s not a good idea to cook or bake with this spread as the delicate flax oil (like all polyunsaturated nut and seed oils) generates (nasty) trans fats when cooked.  Pure coconut oil would be fine to cook with, though, as it can’t produce trans fats.

The spread keeps in the fridge for at least a month.  Adding a little natural salt changes this from something that tastes “worthy” to something delicious.

3 parts virgin coconut oil (warm it slightly by placing near a radiator or sitting the jar in hot water so the oil is easier to get out of the jar or tub)
1 part virgin cold-pressed flax (linseed) oil
A pinch of Atlantic Sea Salt or Himalayan Salt (from health shops and delis)
Or (if you can get it) a pinch of onion salt which gives a fantastic flavour.

Sourcing and Storage:
Buy the oils from health stores and make sure the flax oil has been kept refrigerated in the shop.  Biona, FMD and Viridian are three high-quality brands of flax oil.  Flax oil must be kept refrigerated in order to maintain its health benefits.
See “larder & shopping” for stockists

  1. Blitz the ingredients together in a small food processor or spice grinder.  If you don’t have a gadget and want to do this by hand, make sure the coconut oil is a little softened by placing the jar in hot water for a while before whisking the coconut oil along with the flax oil (never heat flax oil).
  2. Pour into a small ceramic or glass (not plastic) bowl.  It will be a bit runny but will firm up in the fridge.

Variation:
If you prefer your spread softer, then use slightly more flaxseed oil in the mix.  Bear in mind that it will firm up in the fridge.

Why this is great for you:
Virgin coconut oil is a rich source of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs).  MCTs are used by your body as an almost instant source of energy but are not stored as fat.  Good news if you want to boost energy AND lose weight.  Coconut oil is also anti-fungal so helps keep overgrowth of yeast in your gut in check.  Virgin flax oil contains omega 3 oils which are also good for you, helping keep your blood thin and your immune system healthy.  Virgin cold-pressed oils, provided you keep them in the fridge in an airtight container, are great for you and free from toxic -trans fats.  Trans fats are found in all heated or refined polyunsaturated oils.  Refined oils are any NON cold-pressed nut/seed/vegetable oil or one that has been heated by you to a high temperature by frying.  Coconut oil is not polyunsaturated and so cant generate trans fats.  Olive oil is monounsaturated so can be damaged by heat but not as much as the nut/seed oils.  All well-known margarine brands are made from refined vegetable oils which contain harmful trans fats.   Make sure not to put this or any other fat-rich foods in plastic containers.  This is because plastic contains bisphenol-A (BPA).  BPA is used to lend flexibility to plastic and it is a hormone-disrupter.  BPS leeches out of the plastic into the fats in contact with it.  Scientific studies link BPA to hormonal imbalance, hormonal cancers, osteoporosis, weight gain, diabetes and more.  If you can buy polyethylene “PET” containers instead of plastic, these are free from BPA.