Does Bulletproof Coffee Have to Have Grass-Fed Butter?


Bulletproof coffee is a high-calorie coffee drink popular among low-carb, keto, and paleo dieters intended to replace breakfast. But I’ve wondered does Bulletproof coffee have to have grass-fed butter?

Here’s what I discovered:

No. You can still get most of the benefits of Bulletproof coffee without using grass-fed butter. Grass-fed butter is preferred because it is higher in vitamin B, K2, and omega-3 fats. It also has higher amounts of beta carotene. But regular butter or ghee works just fine, and heavy cream can be substituted as well.

But that only scratches the surface of Bulletproof coffee and why some swear by it. So let’s dig in further.

Typically, Bulletproof coffee consists of coffee, grass-fed, unsalted butter, and MCT oil. But what if you don’t have any grass-fed butter on hand. Is it OK to use regular butter? And does it have to be unsalted?

If the only thing you have on hand is regular, salted butter you may be tempted to use it instead of going on a special shopping trip for grass-fed unsalted butter. Will your bulletproof coffee come out the same?

Just keep reading to find out!

Don’t want to go to all the trouble to make your own Bulletproof Coffee?

Dave Asprey, the creator of Bulletproof coffee, makes his own packaged cold brew version which doesn’t require refrigeration.  Multiple flavors and options are available too.

They also make ground, K-Cup, whole bean versions, and decaff too. It’s also worth noting that most of his products are indeed organically-grown.

CLICK HERE to see the Bulletproof line on Amazon.

What is Bulletproof coffee and how do you make it?

Bulletproof coffee is also known as butter coffee. It was originally promoted by Dave Asprey, the creator of the Bulletproof Diet.

It is made by blending together brewed coffee, MCT oil, and grass-fed butter.

It’s not going to come out very well if you just try to stir it together like you would cream and sugar. Instead of being well-blended and frothy, it’s going to be greasy. That’s not appetizing at all. So it’s best to use an immersion or stick blender.

It is said to be a “powerhouse beverage” aimed towards ketogenic dieters and those that practice intermittent fasting. It helps drinkers feel satiated, alert, and focused. source

If you want to make bulletproof coffee and don’t have a blender, check out my ultimate resource page where I list all my favorite blenders & mixers in low, medium, and higher price points. Only the good stuff with at least 4-star ratings.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Do you have to use grass-fed butter for Bulletproof coffee?

The original Bulletproof coffee recipe as designed by Dave Asprey, calls for unsalted grass-fed butter or ghee.

However, you don’t have to use grass-fed butter.

If you follow a strict keto or paleo diet, you may want grass-fed just because it’s cleaner than conventional butter. But it’s not absolutely necessary.

Grass-fed cows simply refer to cows that are allowed to roam free to graze for their own food.

Unlike grain-fed animals, who are often fed corn, oats, and barley, cows that roam free and eat grass are consuming more of what they would eat naturally in the wild.

Grass-fed also typically means more omega 3 fatty acids, and fewer calories and fat. So overall healthier cows and healthier for us to consume. So grass-fed is definitely healthier, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get good results on Bulletproof coffee without it.

Ghee, on the other hand, is clarified butter.

Clarified butter is butter that has been simmered and strained to remove all the water. It is cooked over low heat until the milk solids start to brown slightly. This creates a slightly nutty, caramelized flavor.

The good thing about using ghee instead of butter is that the clarifying process removes the lactose, making it an ideal choice for those who have a sensitivity to dairy.

Additionally, ghee is shelf-stable, meaning that it doesn’t need to be refrigerated for extended periods.

However, ghee can be made from ANY type of butter. So just because it says ghee on the label doesn’t necessarily mean it is from grass-fed cows.

Why is grass-fed butter better for Bulletproof Coffee?

We got into this a little bit already above.

What cows eat can affect the nutritional value of the milk they produce and the butter made from that milk. All butter is high in fat and calories, and rich in vitamin A.

However, grass-fed butter is said to be more nutritious than regular butter. source

Compared to regular butter, grass-fed butter is higher in vitamin B, K2, and omega-3 fats. It also has higher amounts of beta carotene than regular butter.

The taste and texture of grass-fed butter and regular butter are nearly identical.

So if you don’t have any grass-fed butter on hand, using regular butter won’t change the taste of your Bulletproof coffee.

It may be less nutrient-dense, but the flavor will be the same.

Can you use salted butter in Bulletproof coffee?

Sure you can.

Whether you use salted butter or unsalted butter is really just a taste preference. In fact, I like to add a little salt to my coffee grounds before I brew my coffee. It helps to take some of the bitterness out.

The original recipe calls for 1-2 tablespoons of unsalted butter. However, if you prefer to use salted butter, then use it. If you find that your coffee is too salty, then switch to unsalted butter.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with your Bulletproof coffee.

A fast and simple way to make the coffee you use in your Bulletproof coffee would be with a French press.

In a recent article, I get into all the pros and cons of them, including my solution for ensuring my coffee doesn’t get too cold too quickly (as it would normally).

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Do I have to add butter to Bulletproof coffee?

If you don’t use butter, you can substitute heavy cream.

Butter is rich in omega-3s, antioxidants, and a variety of vitamins. It is probably the most important ingredient in Bulletproof coffee, besides the coffee.

Butter keeps you full longer and reduces jitters and crashes. It also provides more sustained energy with less crash.

If you are lactose intolerant, ghee is an excellent alternative to butter or heavy cream. The main idea of Bulletproof coffee is to get healthy fat. Healthy fats are a major source of energy and help with the absorption of some vitamins and minerals.

It is essential for blood clotting, muscle movement, and prevention of inflammation.

According to this article from Harvard Health Publishing, omega-3 fatty acids, like those found in fatty fish, may help prevent heart disease and stroke. It can reduce blood pressure and increase good cholesterol, which can prevent fatal heart problems.

Just as important as the butter, is the quality of coffee you use in your Bulletproof coffee.

You may be tempted to use organic coffee. However, you should know that organic coffee isn’t necessarily any better than conventional coffee.

Just read this recent article to find out if organic coffee has any additional health benefits over conventional coffee.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Can I use cream instead of butter in Bulletproof coffee?

Yes.

Using heavy whipping cream, particularly a grass-fed one, will provide similar benefits of grass-fed butter. If you don’t have a blender or don’t want to purchase one, it’s a great alternative. Just make sure to mix it really well.

If you are are keto, you should be aware that heavy cream has about 0.4g net carbs per tablespoon. Butter has zero carbs.

Using heavy cream instead of butter in your Bulletproof coffee is also acceptable if you just don’t like the taste of butter in your coffee.

In fact, you could even do both heavy cream and butter. It sounds crazy, but one tablespoon of butter along with two tablespoons of heavy cream can be delicious.

If butter in your coffee just isn’t your thing, you can try it in tea or Chai.

Did I answer everything you wanted to know about Bulletproof coffee?

Bulletproof coffee can be a great addition to intermittent fasting or a ketogenic diet.

In this article, we talked about what Bulletproof coffee is and how you make it. We talked about why grass-fed butter is better and whether it is okay to use salted butter.

We also talked about whether you can use heavy cream instead of butter in your Bulletproof coffee. If you don’t like butter in your coffee or don’t have a blender, heavy cream is a great alternative to butter.

The recipe generally calls for using unsalted grass-fed butter. It is what gives bulletproof coffee its creamy consistency and provides quality fats that you may not get from conventional butter.

If you like, you can use the same recipe to make a “Bulletproof tea.” Have you ever had Bulletproof coffee? Are you going to try it?

Another thing you want to think about when you make your bulletproof coffee is the coffee itself.

The best-tasting coffee is made with filtered water, but not distilled water. Distilled water is made by boiling water and recondensing it. This process removes vital minerals, making the water fairly tasteless.

Just read this recent article on my site to find out why.

Don’t want to go to all the trouble to make your own Bulletproof Coffee?

Dave Asprey, the creator of Bulletproof coffee, makes his own packaged cold brew version which doesn’t require refrigeration.  Multiple flavors and options are available too.

They also make ground, K-Cup, whole bean versions, and decaff too. It’s also worth noting that most of his products are indeed organically-grown.

CLICK HERE to see the Bulletproof line on Amazon.


Photos which require attribution:

Bulletproof Coffee with MCT Oil and Butter by Marco Verch Professional Photographer and Speaker is licensed under CC2.0

Jeff Campbell

Jeff was a leader for Whole Foods Market for over 2 decades and is now a recovering foodie. When he's not spending time in the kitchen, he can usually be found with his wife & 3 daughters, he can usually be found practicing martial arts, making music, or blogging on his other sites. Click to learn more about me

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