Here at Chiot’s Run we try to incorporate a lot of healthy fats into our diets. We don not eat any soy, canola, corn, or other types of vegetable oils. We do eat coconut oil, red palm oil, olive oil from a small farm in California, bacon grease, beef tallow, and lots of local pastured butter. Since we’re kicking off the Real Food Challenge, I figured I’d feature some Real Oils in our Sunday Photo Post today. You can make a few simple changes by swapping out processed oils for more natural ones. The biggest change you can make is simply switching from margarine to real butter, pastured is the best if you can find it locally. You’ll know it’s pastured by the deep yellow color. Read up on the great benefit of Real Butter here.
Pastured butter and ghee is our biggest source of fat. We make some of our own butter (here’s a how-to if you’re interested), and source some from a small local dairy. I also make my own ghee, I have directions on my blog.
Finding ways to incorporate coconut oil into your diet is also a good move. Read this post on my blog about the health benefits and the different types of coconut oils.
Olive oil is also healthy, we get our organic cold pressed olive oil from Chaffin Family Orchard, a small farm in California. I order 2 gallons every January and rebottle it into glass bottles when it arrives.
Of course I always save the bacon grease when I make bacon and use it for all sorts of things, from frying onions and potatoes, to flavoring beans. I never let a drop go to waste. Incorporating animal fat is also great for your health, read up on healthy fats over at the Weston A. Price Foundation.
Down here at Unearthing This Life, we’ve “reverted” to real fats as well. The largest part of fat in our diet probably comes from milk fats. We love our butter here! We’re fortunate enough to have access to milk that is not ultra-pasteurized so it still has some of the goodness that raw milk has. Also, we only drink whole milk. Ours is not homogenized, which means the beautiful cream rises to the top. A dollop of that cream on top of some hot chocolate… YUM! Between making our butter and several other cultured dairy products like clotted cream (recipe) and we get our daily allowance of all things milky.
Like Susy, we also use a lot of animal fats. We reserve bacon drippings, beef tallow, and duck fats. When we harvested the pig in fall we fully intended to make lard, but we had a cooking accident and burned the fat. I think both families almost cried over the loss. Seriously, he makes a fabulous confit, I’m sure he did cry.
Another big deal for us is that all of my fats are organic and that I purchase minimally processed when possible, and depending on the need. I refuse to purchase canola oil simply because it is highly contaminated by GMO’s. Organic animal fats (from dairy to lard) ensure that the animal has not been given growth hormones or antibiotics. If you look for minimally processed oils that are unrefined, remember that they are going to have more of the flavor of the food that it comes from. Peanut oil will smell and tastes like peanuts, coconut oil like coconuts. Refined oil will have a more neutral flavor but it will be more processed.
So while I know some of you are cringing over the thought of adding fat to your diets – I want to reassure you that fat is needed by your body to survive. It’s food for your brain. Some fats, like those that come from walnuts and olives have been shown to add elasticity to your arteries allowing better blood flow. No one is suggesting that you begin consuming large amounts of fat, however it is worth the research to find out what fats can do to help your body.
What’s the biggest source of fat in your diet?