healthy butter board recipe, ghee board

Ghee or Butter Board Recipe: Low Histamine, Low Oxalate, with Low Salicylate Option

I’ve got a low histamine take on a new food trend: butter boards. 

It’s a great party dish if you have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance.  

Have you seen butter boards on social media? They’ve been on Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram.  

They’ve been featured on morning shows and foodie blogs, too.  

If you haven’t heard of the butter board craze yet, I’m going to tell you more about it.  

But I bet you’ve heard of a charcuterie board or cheese boards. 

Basically, these are all types of shareable appetizer platters.  

However, with MCAS or Histamine Intolerance, you can’t dive into a charcuterie board or cheese board. That’s because smoked meats and aged cheeses are higher histamine.  

Even butter boards may pose some issues, depending on where you are with your health.  

But as a foodie, I wanted to try this new trend.  

I want to enjoy party platters without the histamine hangover. I also want my friends and family without food intolerances to enjoy it equally. 

I experimented with some different combos and a butter alternative.  

I’m happy to share this with you because it is such a fun platter to serve up. And simple to make! 

Are you looking for something easy and versatile for your next holiday or dinner party? 

Keep reading Low histamine “butter” board ideas that’s also: 

You’ll read about some of my favorite low histamine ingredient combos for butter board recipes. 

And you’ll read a little about the health benefits herbs and edible flowers can have. 

But first, more on just what exactly a butter board is. 

What Are Butter Boards? 

A butter board is more or less what it sounds like.  

It’s softened butter spread out and served on a board.  

You’ll often see it plated on wooden boards like cutting boards. Then it’s topped with all kinds of flavorful ingredients. 

It’s a similar idea to how charcuterie boards are presented.  

(When you hear about using a wooden cutting board to serve food, do you have concerns? If so, you aren’t alone. I’ll touch on that at the end of the post. So, keep reading!) 

To recap: you start with a board, spread butter on it, then top it with almost anything you’d like. 

Fresh herbs, flaky salt, fruit, edible flowers…you name it. 

It’s as easy to make as that. 

Guests use small butter knives to spread the butter onto crackers or bread. 

You might think of it as a fancy, alternative option to a cream cheese ball or other spreadable appetizer. 

Fun Tip: I love these knives made for spreads. They are inexpensive and absolutely perfect for butter boards. If you are taking this to a party, you can give these butter knives as a hostess gift.  

The Butter Board Trend on Tiktok 

According to USA Today, the butter board craze blew up earlier this year when New York cook, Justine Doiron, posted one on social media. 

But butter boards have been around for a while, it seems. Doiron credits chef Joshua McFadden as her inspiration. 

She says he’s been making them for a decade. 

Now, they are all over the internet. From TikTok to Instagram to Pinterest, everyone seems to have their own take.  

Including me. 😊  

The Low Histamine “Butter Board” 

Butter is ok for some people who are further along in their health journey.  

I’ll let you know about what to do if you can’t do butter in just a bit. 

But first, here’s something to consider when it comes to choosing butter. 

The best choice would be organic AND grass-fed. But that’s hard to find. So if you have to make a choice, choose grass-fed over organic. 

That’s because organic products can still come from cows that are fed inflammatory grains like corn and wheat.

Wheat and corn proteins can then end up in meat or dairy products.   

Some people do ok with this.  

But, I’ve worked with sensitive people who reported reactions after eating meat or dairy that wasn’t grass-fed. They didn’t have these reactions when they ate the same type of food that came from a grass-fed source. 

European butters like Kerrygold are often a good choice. 

But what if you aren’t currently eating butter? 

For example, in phase 1 of the Low Histamine Diet, I suggest eliminating dairy. 

Dairy isn’t high histamine in some cases. However, it contains lactose and casein which can be triggers for those with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance. 

So, how do you make a butter board without butter? 

That’s easy. You use ghee. 

The Ghee Board 

Ghee is clarified butter.

Clarified means that butter has been processed in a way to remove all the water. (This is what makes it shelf-stable, by the way. That’s why it is stored at room temperature.) 

Ghee is technically still dairy. But it has a lower lactose content than butter. 

Lactose can be a trigger for some people with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome

Another trigger in dairy is casein. Casein is a protein found in milk and milk products.  

Ghee is considered casein-free. 

Fun fact: Ghee has a higher smoke point than butter. That makes it great to cook with. 

And here’s a bonus. Ghee has been shown in some studies to have some anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.   

Since you don’t have the water content, you’re getting a more concentrated food with ghee. That means you’ll see just a few more calories, saturated fats, and cholesterol. 

But it’s very comparable to butter. 1 Tablespoon of butter has about 100 calories. 1 Tablespoon of ghee has 120 calories. 

It’s so close that I wouldn’t really worry about this. But I did want to mention it because I get asked this from time to time when I use ghee in the Mast Cell 360 recipes. 

Ghee makes a great foundation for your butter board. And it is spreadable and easy to work with since you keep ghee at room temperature to begin with. 

You have so many possible ingredient combos to choose from there. 

Next, read about some of the ingredients I’ve chosen as well as their health benefits. 

And you’ll also get some ideas for how to swap other popular high histamine butter board toppings. 

Note: Choose a ghee that comes in a glass jar rather than a plastic one to cut down on your exposure to potential harmful toxins found in plastics. 

Healthy Butter Board Toppings 

You have so many choices when it comes to putting together butter boards.  

I’m a big fan of herbs because of the health benefits they offer and the flavor they bring to any dish.  

I’ve done a little experimenting and put together some of my favorite combos for you. 

But you can use anything that suits your taste. 

Tropical Inspiration Butter Board 

I love going to the Carribean to scuba dive. I’ve had some awe-inspiring experiences like getting to swim with whale sharks! 

And when it comes to food, I love the fruits and nuts you’ll often find in tropical places.  

I used that as my inspiration for this combo. 

This Tropical combo is: 

  • Low Histamine 
  • Low Oxalate 
  • Low Lectin 

It starts with something you may not be that familiar with – edible flowers! 

Edible Flowers 

You might be familiar with rose hip tea or other low histamine teas made with flowers. 

But did you know that certain flowers are edible? They add a striking element to any plate of food. But they can also have many health benefits. 

Here’s what you want to know though. 

You’ll likely only be able to find edible flowers at certain times of year. And you’ll likely need to go to a specialty grocer.

Your average supermarket may not carry these, depending on where you live. 

But when you can find them, they are wonderful. 

You don’t want to use the flowers you get from your nursery or hardware store. And you don’t want to use the flowers from the floral department at the grocery store either. 

These are grown and treated to be looked at and have often been colored or sprayed with lots of pesticides. 

If you have your own organic garden, those petals should be fine. 

And of course, the ones sold as edible are fine, too. 

A few edible varieties of flowers include: 

  • Squash blossoms 
  • Chamomile 
  • Rose 
  • Pansies 
  • Violets 
  • Marigold 
  • Lavender 
  • Nasturtium 

Many edible flowers are rich in Vitamin C. Vitamin C offers many health benefits. But one in particular is that your body uses it to help make DAO, diamine oxidase. 

That’s a histamine-degrading enzyme your body makes. So, Vitamin C can be especially beneficial if you have Histamine Intolerance. 

And ongoing studies are showing that edible flowers have compounds called phytochemicals.

Phytochemicals can have health benefits such as: 

  • Antioxidant properties 
  • Anti-inflammatory properties 
  • Anti-obesity properties 
  • Neuroprotective effects (brain health) 

For this particular butter board combo, I’ve used rose petals.  

This combo also has the following ingredients. 

Check out what these ingredients have to offer for your health.  

Macadamia Nut 

  • Protein 
  • Iron 
  • Vitamin B6 
  • Magnesium 
  • Calcium 

Mango 

  • Calcium  
  • Magnesium  
  • Potassium  
  • Vitamin C 
  • Quercetin 

Basil 

  • Anti-microbial properties 
  • Anti-inflammatory effects 
  • Immunomodulatory activity 
  • Plant-based protein 
  • Iron 
  • Vitamin C 

Cilantro 

  • Anti-inflammatory properties 
  • Antifungal properties 
  • Antioxidant properties  

Are you a big fan of mango? Check out this Low Histamine Mango Ice Cream Recipe

Speaking of ice cream reminds me of summer. And that’s exactly where the idea for the next butter board combo comes from. 

Summer Picnic Butter Board  

My inspiration for this combo comes from thinking about a summer picnic in the park. 

Fresh fruit and bright herbs make a great combo for topping a butter board or a ghee board. 

This Summer Picnic combo is: 

  • Low Histamine 
  • Low Oxalate 
  • Low Lectin 

It’s got the following ingredients. And here are just some of the health benefits those ingredients have been shown to have.  

A variety of vitamins and nutrients are important for supporting your body’s many functions. And you’ll get a lot of them with fresh fruits and fresh herbs. 

Cherry 

  • Antioxidant properties 
  • Anti-inflammatory 
  • Vitamin C 
  • Vitamin B6 
  • Calcium 
  • Potassium 

Basil 

  • Anti-microbial properties 
  • Anti-inflammatory effects 
  • Immunomodulatory activity 
  • Plant-based protein 
  • Iron 
  • Vitamin C 

Mint 

  • Anti-microbial properties 
  • Anti-inflammatory activity 
  • May support digestion 
  • Plant-based protein 
  • Potassium 
  • Magnesium 
  • Calcium 

Pistachio 

  • Protein 
  • Fiber 
  • Magnesium 
  • Antioxidant properties 
  • Anti-inflammatory activity 

Love cherries? Check out this Low Histamine Cherry Smoothie Recipe

Holiday Meal Butter Board 

When I think of fall and winter holiday meals, I think of deep, warm, savory flavors. 

I’m reminded of Thanksgiving stuffing. Or roasted apples. Or comforting root vegetables. 

That’s where the flavor inspiration for this combo came from. 

This Holiday Meal combo is: 

  • Low Histamine 
  • Low Lectin 
  • Low Oxalate 
  • Low Salicylate (optional) 

Here are a few of the benefits that have been shown with the ingredients in the Holiday Meal Butter Board. 

Parsley 

  • Source of quercetin (for supporting mast cells) 
  • Anti-bacterial properties 
  • Anti-fungal properties 
  • Antioxidant properties 
  • Vitamin C 
  • Plant-based protein 

Chive 

  • Antioxidant properties 
  • Antifungal properties 
  • Anti-bacterial properties 
  • Vitamin C  
  • Vitamin K 

Roasted Garlic 

  • Antioxidant properties 
  • Anti-inflammatory properties 
  • Antibacterial properties 
  • Antifungal properties 
  • May aid in digestion 
  • Plant-based protein 
  • Vitamin C 
  • Fiber 

Apple (peeled for low Salicylate) 

  • Fiber 
  • Quercetin 
  • Vitamin C 

Rosemary (omit for low Salicylate) 

  • Anti-inflammatory properties 
  • Antioxidant properties 

These are ideas to get you started. 

I encourage you to come up with your own combinations, too. 

But here are some popular toppings you should avoid if you have MCAS or Histamine Intolerance. I’ve got some good ideas for substitutions for you, though. 

If you need more info on MCAS and intolerance, be sure to check out these posts: 

Low Histamine Butter Board Ingredient Swaps 

You’ll find a lot of ideas online for butter boards. Like I said, it’s a butter board craze out there! 

But you’ll see a lot of high histamine foods. 

Keep reading to see how you can swap out some low histamine ingredients and still get lots of great flavor. 

Dried Fruit 

Dried fruit like figs and apricots are very popular toppings for butter boards. 

Fresh figs and fresh apricots are low histamine. However, dried figs and apricots are not. 

All dried fruit is going to be higher histamine. And you have to watch out for potentially triggering preservatives and additives like sulfites. 

Instead, use fresh fruit. 

And you can puree any fruit for easy spreading. Or you can add small, chopped pieces for textural variety.  

Fresh fruit also adds a nice pop of color which makes the board visually appealing.  

Note: If you aren’t making the butter board and you see fresh fruit on it, ask the hosts if they’ve used a powdered food protector like Fruit Fresh. It keeps food from browning but can contain mast cell triggers. And it is high histamine. 

Sweeteners 

Honey and maple syrup are commonly drizzled overtop butter boards to add a sweet component. 

But you have to be careful with even these natural sweeteners. They raise your blood sugar. And that can raise histamine levels. 

However, in my opinion, you aren’t missing anything by leaving out the honey or maple syrup.  

Instead, use fresh fruits like sweet berries if you have a sweet tooth. 

Related Article: Low Histamine Foods List 

Vinegars 

Like honey, balsamic vinegar seems to be a popular drizzle. But vinegar is high histamine. You’ll want to leave this out, too. 

You can get that tanginess or tartness in other ways. Instead, opt for a tart fruit like a tart cherry, cranberry, or green apple. 

If you can tolerate a little bit of lemon, lemon zest also adds that tartness or sourness. 

But not everyone can tolerate citrus. If you aren’t sure, start with just a very small amount. 

Spices 

Fortunately, there are many ways to get flavor through fresh herbs. So don’t worry too much about not being able to use these few high histamine spices listed below.  

Use cardamom or grated ginger instead of: 

  • Allspice 
  • Cinnamon 
  • Cloves 
  • Nutmeg 

Cardamom and ginger give you that comforting warmth and zing that these other popular spices have.  

Use chives, garlic, or red onion instead of: 

  • Chili Powder  
  • Cayenne  
  • Paprika 
  • Red pepper flakes 

Chives and garlic give you a similar heat and punch that these other spices have. 

Cured Meats 

The most popular cured meat I’ve seen in butter board recipes is prosciutto. Cured and smoked meats are high histamine.  

Instead, try this Low Histamine Bacon with Southern Greens Recipe. It’s a favorite among the Mast Cell 360 team. 

I hope you’ll try your own combos and let me know what you liked! 

Now one final concern before you get to the recipe card. 

Like with any trend, butter boards have their nay-sayers. 

Some people are concerned that butter boards aren’t sanitary. 

And with Histamine Intolerance and MCAS, I can understand the concern may be even greater for you. But here’s more on that. 

Are Butter Boards Sanitary? 

In terms of party foods, a butter board is no riskier than other shared dip or platter. 

Unfortunately, every group seems to have a “double dipper”. You know, the person who dips the carrot into the hummus, takes a bite, then dips it back in.  

But if you are willing to eat any dip or spread from a communal bowl, a butter board is no riskier.  

At least with a butter board, you’ve got to use a knife. (Hopefully lessening the chances for double dips!) 

And in terms of the board itself harboring bacteria, here’s a summary of what chef Kenji Lopez-Alt said. 

Bacteria On the Butter Board? 

You might be thinking the board being used to serve the butter spread is the same board someone does food prep on.  

That means they’ve cut up raw chicken or other meats on this board at some point. 

That’s where some people get concerned. They think that lingering bacteria may be on the board. 

But Lopez-Alt says that if you are worried about that, then you actually need to be concerned about everything you eat from that person’s house. 

Chances are they don’t have one board dedicated to raw meat, one board dedicated to vegetables, etc.  

Anytime you eat at someone’s house, you have faith that they are cleaning their board properly. So, eating butter off a board is no different than eating a salad served with a chicken dinner. 

Your host used the same board to cut up the chicken as they did to make the salad. And you trust that they washed it properly in between. 

Of course, especially with Histamine Intolerance and MCAS, you are right to be very concerned about bacteria since it can be a mast cell trigger and raise histamine levels. 

So, if you are making the butter board yourself, here’s a super easy way to ease your mind.  

Use a ceramic platter instead.  

Note: In the picture, I did a sampler platter with all three types. If you want to do this, just cut each recipe down to 1/3. 

What to Serve Your Butter Board With 

You may be avoiding gluten or corn if you have MCAS.

Here are some low histamine recipes to serve on the side with your Butter Board or Ghee Board with:  

Butter and ghee are also good on raw veggies like radishes! 

healthy butter board recipe, ghee board

Healthy Butter Board / Ghee Board

Enjoy this healthy butter board recipe or use ghee. Make it low histamine, low oxalate, low lectin, or low salicylate. Use fresh herbs and edible flowers.
Prep Time 10 mins
Holiday Meal Butter Board Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 10 people
Calories 40 kcal

Ingredients
  

Tropically Inspired Butter Board 

  • 3 teaspoons Rose Petals torn
  • 3 Tablespoons Macadamia Nuts crushed
  • 3 Tablespoons Mango pureed
  • 4 Tablespoons Fresh Basil Leaves chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons Fresh Cilantro Leaves chopped
  • 6 Tablespoons Ghee use rounded Tablespoons

Summer Picnic Butter Board 

  • 3 Tablespoons Pistachios crushed
  • 3 Tablespoons Fresh Mint Leaves chopped
  • 6 Tablespoons Cherries pureed
  • 4 Tablespoons Fresh Basil Leaves chopped
  • 6 Tablespoons Ghee use rounded Tablespoons

Holiday Meal Butter Board

  • 1 head Fresh Garlic Cloves roasted
  • 1 teaspoon Kasandrino’s Olive Oil (use ghee instead for low salicylate)
  • 3 Tablespoons Fresh Rosemary chopped (omit for low salicylate)
  • 3 Tablespoons Fresh Chives (omit for low salicylate)
  • 3 Tablespoons Organic Apples pureed (peel for low salicylate)
  • 3 Tablespoons Flat Leaf Parsley chopped
  • 6 Tablespoons Ghee use rounded Tablespoons

Instructions
 

Tropically Inspired Butter Board and Summer Picnic Butter Board 

  • Chop all herbs and nuts. 
  • Purée the fruit to your desired level of smoothness. I like to keep some texture. 
  • I’ve used a round platter about 10 inches. You can use whatever you have. Add or subtract ghee as necessary. Thinly spread the ghee evenly over the platter.  
  • Top the ghee with the puréed fruit. 
  • Add the herbs and nuts. 
  • Serve alongside crackers, bread, or even radishes. Be sure to put out small butter knives to make spreading easy. 

Holiday Meal Butter Board 

  • Pre-heat oven to 400°F. 
  • Remove papery outer layers of the garlic bulb. You still want the bulb to stay intact so don’t remove too much. 
  • Cut about ¼ inch of the top of the bulb. Cut just enough to expose the tops of the garlic cloves inside. 
  • Put the garlic cut side up in a cake pan. 
  • Drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil over the exposed garlic cloves.   
  • Cover the pan with foil. (Use a cake or bread loaf pan. They are deeper than sheet pans which means the foil won’t touch the garlic directly. See note below for why you can’t just leave it uncovered.) 
  • Bake at 400°F for about 30 minutes, or until the cloves feel soft. 
  • While the garlic roasts, chop all herbs. 
  • Purée apple to your desired smoothness. I like some texture. 
  • When the garlic is done, remove it from the oven and set aside to cool. 
  • While the garlic cools, thinly spread ghee evenly over your serving platter. I’ve used a 10-inch round plate. Any plate will work. Just add or subtract ghee as necessary. 
  • When garlic is cool enough to handle, remove the cloves from the outer skin. You can do this with a small spoon. However, I find it’s easiest to just use my hands to squeeze out the roasted garlic directly onto the ghee. 
  • Top with puréed apple and herbs. 
  • Serve with crackers or bread. Put out small butter knives for easy spreading. 

Notes

Nutritional Information is for ghee and does not include toppings. 
When roasting garlic, you’ll often see instructions to wrap it in a foil packet. We like to minimize direct contact with foil where we can. But you need to cover the garlic because the steam will keep it from drying out. Alternately, I’ve also seen online where some people use a bread loaf pan to put the garlic in, then cover it with parchment paper, then place foil on top of the parchment paper for extra separation. 

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Healthy Butter Board / Ghee Board
Serving Size
 
1 teaspoon
Amount per Serving
Calories
40
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
4.3
g
7
%
Saturated Fat
 
3.3
g
21
%
Cholesterol
 
13.3
mg
4
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword gluten free, grain free, low histamine, low lectin, low oxalate, low salicylate, low salicylate option

Show us your best #butterboard! 

Looking for more low histamine snacks and party foods? 

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Comments

  1. Travis

    Hello Beth,

    I was wondering if you could shed some light on histamine intolerance and rendered fat like GHEE butter, tallow, Lard, and just gease in general. Some GHEE I suffered from but Camel Ghee I could have with no issues. With Tallow, some I could do with no problems but others I suffered from and reactions got worse as time went on. No other added ingredients all grass fed/finished etc.

    Does fat or highly cooked fat or refridgerated fat can that increase histamine in the body? I thought it was only proteins we should worry about.

    Thank you very much for your insight and I always send people to your site including websites that sell meat.

    Travis

    1. Jamie, Mast Cell 360 Team

      Hi Travis. It could have to do with how fresh the rendered fat is. Beth does recommend if you are using pan drippings that they should be fresh, and for fats like lard and tallow, they will be lower histamine if kept frozen and thawed for individual use. You can see more on fats and oils on our low histamine food list here: https://mastcell360.com/low-histamine-foods-list/

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