Old Fashioned On Purpose

33. The 3 Fats You'll NEVER Find in My Kitchen (and what I use instead)

October 21, 2019 Jill Winger
Old Fashioned On Purpose
33. The 3 Fats You'll NEVER Find in My Kitchen (and what I use instead)
Chapters
Old Fashioned On Purpose
33. The 3 Fats You'll NEVER Find in My Kitchen (and what I use instead)
Oct 21, 2019
Jill Winger

For many health conscious individuals out there, fat might as well be a four letter word.  The sheer thought of using fat to cook might even send chills up your spine.  Fear not my friends.  Not only do the right fats add a ton of flavor, but many are even good for you.  I did a ton of research while building my ideal homestead kitchen, and fat was the common ingredient tying the best recipes together.  Listen today to find out all of my favorite fats and receive an incredible offer on my favorite olive oil! 

Some highlights from the episode: 

  • Why vegetable oils are a non-starter 
  • Why you should avoid any fat that is heavily processed 

Visit Fresh Pressed to get your $1 bottle of olive oil  https://www.getfresh23.com 

If you're falling in love with the idea of an old-fashioned kitchen full of incredible homemade food, check out my free Heritage Kitchen handbook at  http://www.heritagekitchenhandbook.com 

Show Notes Transcript

For many health conscious individuals out there, fat might as well be a four letter word.  The sheer thought of using fat to cook might even send chills up your spine.  Fear not my friends.  Not only do the right fats add a ton of flavor, but many are even good for you.  I did a ton of research while building my ideal homestead kitchen, and fat was the common ingredient tying the best recipes together.  Listen today to find out all of my favorite fats and receive an incredible offer on my favorite olive oil! 

Some highlights from the episode: 

  • Why vegetable oils are a non-starter 
  • Why you should avoid any fat that is heavily processed 

Visit Fresh Pressed to get your $1 bottle of olive oil  https://www.getfresh23.com 

If you're falling in love with the idea of an old-fashioned kitchen full of incredible homemade food, check out my free Heritage Kitchen handbook at  http://www.heritagekitchenhandbook.com 

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the old fashioned on purpose podcast, so it is no secrets that I am a fan of fat. In fact, if a food is labeled low fat, you can bet I will be running in the opposite direction because that usually means that a mess of a chemicals and processing was used to initially remove the fat and then make it still taste somewhat edible, which that's still debatable, but let me just say that fat is not something to fear. We need fat in our diet. Did you know our brain is 60% fat? That's kind of important. However, it is vital that you are eating and cooking with the right type of fats , otherwise you can be causing yourself some serious health problems in the future. In today's episode, I'm going to dive into the fats I will not allow in the kitchen and what I use instead. I'm your host Jill winger and for the last 10 years I have been helping people just like you who feel uninspired by modern life. I'll show you how to create the life you really want by learning how to grow your own food and master old fashioned skills. So I started my kitchen transformation I would say around 11 or 12 years ago. And honestly the catalyst for that was blogs. I started reading some different stay at home mom blogs and they were talking about things like coconut oil and Sucanat, which I had no idea what that was and talking about how to do different things in the kitchen with better ingredients. And it opened up my eyes for the very first time to what I was eating. Because honestly up to that point I was not only oblivious, I also didn't care. I like flat out, didn't care. It's kind of embarrassing, but I actually remember making fun of organic food and talking about how I thought it was dumb and it was pointless and it didn't mean anything. And yeah. Anyway, I was not only not paying attention, I was actually kind of opposed to this idea of being healthier or greener or organic or any of those things. So I've come a long way, needless to say. So as I started reading these blogs and I started looking at books, then I got nourishing traditions. I know a lot of you started with that book and some different accompanying books. I realized I had to start swapping out some of the ingredients that I had in my kitchen. And that's a process if you've ever done this yourself, you know that this generally doesn't happen overnight. It comes in layers of your own education and your own understanding, but also just what you can afford. So it was a process, but one of the very first places that I started was with the fact that I was cooking with. That's a great place to start. If you're on the same journey, swapping out fats, it's pretty easy and you're going to get notable health benefits and flavor differences really quickly. So this is one of the very first places I recommend that fledgling homesteaders start as they began to transform their kitchen. So today I'm gonna talk about the three categories of fats or the types of fat that I will not buy. And I have not purchased these in well over a decade. I do not miss them. I do not need them. And it's not even one of those things that I'm like, man, I wish I could use that ingredient but I'm not going to, cause I know it's bad for me so I'm just going to have to limp along. Like no, I don't even miss them. They are not a necessity in a kitchen. So I'm excited to dive into this topic with you and give you some ideas and hopefully inspire you to do some fat swapping. So here we go. It's going to be fun. So the first type of fat or oil or whatever you want to call it, that I have not bought in over a decade and I will not buy is canola oil or vegetable oil that are kind of like in that same family. So canola oil was actually kind of has an interesting history. It was touted as healthy originally when it kinda hit the market back when the FDA banned rapeseed oil in the 1950s. So rapeseed oil was really popular until they realized it was causing heart damage, which is, it was a like notable problems with rapeseed oil. So canola is still actually, I believe a a type of rapeseed oil, but uh , researchers or food people kept refining it and tweaking the rapeseed oil until they were able to come up with a version that had lower amounts of erucic acid. And I may not be saying that right, it's ER, U CIC, somewhere in that ballpark. But that is what I'm talking about. Anyway, that's the component of rapeseed oil that was found to cause heart damage. So they realize that if they kind of tweaked canola, they played with canola, they could lower that , erucic acid content and reduce the heart problems associated with it. So canola oil took the scene. It was the shining star because everyone was convinced that saturated fats were the bad ones at that point. So everyone started recommending canola oil. And to this day, I'd say a lot of people still use it. It's the main oil that I purchased back the day and I know , um , you know , seeing a lot of people's pantries. So here's the problem with canola oil or, and I kind of lump like vegetable oils. Like when you go to the store, you're in the cooking aisle and you have the canola oil bottles, the yellow clear plastic bottles and next to it are the vegetable oils and things like that. Those are kind of in the same category. Canola especially is generally genetically modified. It's grown with a lot of pesticides. It's just, it's, it's got a lot of stuff that happens when it's being grown that definitely make it less than ideal. It's also usually partially hydrogenated. Now, hydrogenation is the process that is used to turn liquid fats into solids. That's the full hydrogenation. Obviously canola oil is not a solid, so this partial hydrogenation is used to help it be more shelf stable for a longer period of time. The problem with hydrogenated fats is that they contain trans fats. Now don't always agree with the typical USDA FDA, whatever, food pyramid recommendations, but pretty much everyone agrees, whether we're talking , um, the food authorities or natural food people like me, we all agree that trans fats are definitely bad. They're the worst. And the problem that we have that partial hydrogenation, we have trans fats in the oils and the fats, those caused a lot of problems. And there's a long laundry list of the issues associated with canola oil and you can look that up on a Google search if you really want to dive deep. But the biggest one is it really promotes inflammation. It can actually cause cellulite. It just causes a lot of internal imbalances that we just don't need. So I would absolutely avoid buying canola oil and also be watchful because a lot of the processed foods that you're purchasing, the premade foods, the package, the bagged and the canned and the frozen, those are used or those are made with canola oils or similar oils. So that's kind of why, you know, I do encourage the from scratch , for a lot of reasons, but you can't control the oils that have been used in those processed foods and they're usually not ideal. Okay . The another fat that I will not purchase ever, no matter what, even if it was the last fat on earth is margarine. And now I think most of you listening to this probably also have a beef with the margarine. So I'm probably preaching to the choir. It's another option that was once touted as a healthier alternative to butter, right? It's healthier than butter. And it's not gonna make you fat the same way as butter. It's kind of this child of the industrialization era. Margarine is also hydrogenated. It's usually some sort of cocktail of different vegetable oils that are hydrogenated. So they're solid, which then also means they contain trans fats. Now of course these vegetable oils, it takes a lot of fancy work in a factory to make this happen. And that's kind of my rule. If it takes an entire factory and scientists to get an oil, it's probably not a good option for us. It's not a natural fat. It's not a good fat, probably shouldn't be eating it. And that's definitely the case with margarine. It has to be bleached, it has to be dyed to make people want to eat it. And of course it's a vegetable oil hydrogenated so it has that same health issue associated with it as we see with the canola oils and the vegetable oils. I think there was a myth floating around that margarine was originally created to fatten up turkeys. And I believe that's a myth. It's not true cause I was trying to find out if that was like a fact. I think it's kind of an urban myth. It was actually created by a French chemist to help feed troops. They were trying to find a cost effective way to feed the troops. But anyway, it's kind of got an interesting history. I was reading up on it and interestingly enough, back when it hit the market and they were really promoting it, the dairy industry, you know, the, the butter producers were angry. And so there was some pushback . And so there was a law I believe in, I don't think it was federal, but it was like in certain States, margarine was not allowed to be sold with yellow food coloring because the butter people or the dairy, the dairy guys were like, Nope, too close to butter. It's too confusing. And so they got this legislation passed that you could not sell yellow margarine , um , which if you can imagine white margarine, like smearing that on bread, that's just horribly unappetizing. So what some companies would do would they would sell the yellow dye packets with your white margarine and you could mix it yourself so you'd have yellow it just crazy. Anyway. Um, yeah. Fascinating. Fascinating history. So go read about it , research it if you want some interesting reading, just don't eat it. Okay. Sound good? You got a deal. Okay. Now the last fat that I will not have in my kitchen, no matter what is Crisco or vegetable shortening, I'm kinda , I kind of use those terms interchangeably now. Now I discovered a couple of years ago I had a reader say they call , all fat that you would use like in a pie crusts or biscuits. They call it all shortening. And as I was researching this, I found out that back in the day , that's absolutely true. So they would call lardshortening or they would call butter shortening in our day and age. Now we kind of associate the word shortening with the tubs of Crisco . So that's what I, when I say shortening, that's what I'm referring to. But I know some, some older listeners, some older readers, you might have a different association with that word, which is totally cool. It makes sense. So Crisco is short for crystallized cotton seed oil, which just sounds extremely appetizing and it's kinda in that same realm. Right? It's sold as what we use in baking. And a lot of us, you know, not a lot of us, I used to use it in baking. I don't use it anymore. But it was created as a lard replacement basically basically back in the day. So up to this point in time, lard was what we use for biscuits and pie crusts. And as we kinda got away from the farm and industrialization took over and lard , you know, we all didn't have pigs in the backyard with lard, so Crisco made sense. Now it is hydrogenated, it's solid, which means it has the trans fats and we have all those same health benefits also. It always has kind of bothered me how hard it is to wash it off of things like, you know, if you have it in a measuring cup, you gotta use some extra strength dishwashing soap to get the stuff off. It just is like this weird, it's this, this compound that sticks on there , til you know forever, which just makes me wonder what it does in our insides, how it clogs or coats or , anyway, it's not something I use and you don't have to use it either. So here I am bashing on all these fats and you're probably going great Jill. What do we have left? What am I going to bake with? Or am I supposed to like never make cookies and pie crust again. So the good news is you've got some options, you've got some really healthy options. These are not only alternatives or replacements to these unhealthy industrialized fats. They actually are good for you. So they're not just neutral, they're actually proactively healthy for your body. So here are my three replacements. I have a number of different fats in my kitchen, but these are the ones that I depend on the most. Okay. So olive oil, number one, it is my go to liquid. Well , there are other options. I don't use much of anything else. I guess I'm just kind of boring in that regard. I do have a small bottle of Sesame oil that I will use occasionally for different Asian dishes when I want that. A nutty toasted Sesame flavor, but olive oil is kind of what I use for everything else. There is a little bit of a myth that floats around that you are never, never, never supposed to heat olive oil and I used to follow that. I've actually since discovered that you can heat olive oil a little bit. It's actually not as low of a smoke point as many of us have been told, which I feel like I may get some emails about this so I encourage you go do some research. Olive oil actually has a fairly high, not only , I wouldn't say high, it has a higher smoke point than you think. So extra Virgin olive oil has a smoke point of around 320 degrees Fahrenheit and regular Virgin olive oil has a smoke point of 420 degrees Fahrenheit. So as long as you don't heat it crazy high, like I would not recommend frying in olive oil, but a gentle bit of heating, heating is not a bad thing. It's not going to hurt the oil is not going to damage it or make it unhealthy for you. We use olive oil every morning when we make eggs. I like the flavor it adds to the eggs. It's a very easy and we're not cooking those eggs on crazy high temperatures. Right? There's no smoke happening so it's a great option for that. Now the thing I didn't realize about all of oil for many, many years cause I was just buying the cheap bottles of olive oil on the grocery store shelf. I didn't know what all of oil was supposed to taste like. I know that sounds bizarre, but I just kind of assumed it was this very mild, tasteless, neutral oil. Even the extra-virgin oils I was purchasing, they were just very nondescript. So when I got an actual bottle of high quality olive oil, I was blown away at the flavor and it can be actually very strong. Olive oil can be peppery, it can be fruity, it can be herbaceous or grow even had like a grassy taste, which I realize doesn't sound good at first glance is actually pretty good when you add it with other flavors. But olive oil has a lot of personality. You just have to make sure you are getting the good stuff. Now unfortunately, because there is such a demand for plive oil, there's also a lot of crooked stuff that happens in the industry and there's not a lot of regulations, so it's one of those things where suppliers can dilute your olive oil down with other oils, potentially even the unhealthy processed oils and they don't have to necessarily label it as such. So I'm very careful and I'm very particular where I get my olive oil because not only I want to know what I'm getting is the real deal, but the flavor is fantastic. It , it totally adds a different profile of flavor to my dishes. So where I get mine, I get it from a place called the fresh pressed olive oil club. It's an online supplier because let's face it, their olives are not a local food here in Wyoming. And I get about a bottle a month is what we use and I've been using them forever. They're really good. I'll, I'll leave a link to them in the show notes just so you know right now, this week we are, they are running this special just for Prairie homestead people, which you are one of us, right? You can get a dollar bottle of, there's a full size bottle of their olive oil for a dollar. I said that backwards. You can get a full size bottle of olive oil for a dollar and you just have to pay that dollar and that includes the shipping and everything. So if you want to try the oils, I highly recommend that. And you can go check that out at www.getfresh23.com G, E T F R E S H, 23 , like just the number 20 three.com. So getfresh23 .com . I realized that sounds like a weird website address. It's legit. I promise. We just wanted to make it short. So you guys didn't have to remember something crazy while you're listening. But anyway, go check that out. There's more info on that page. But those are the olive oils I use every single day and I love them. Okay. So the fat or oil or whatever, number two that I use all the time in my kitchen, that would be butter or coconut oil. And I kind of blump those together because they're not always interchangeable. But a lot of the times they are when I am baking things like cookies or quick breads , that's what I use. And sometimes I use both. Sometimes I use one, sometimes I swapped them out. Coconut oil, I find that I like, you know, if I'm having a banana bread recipe and it calls for half a cup of melted or it doesn't even usually say melted, it'll just say half a cup of canola oil. I will use a half a cup of melted coconut oil instead. And it doesn't affect the finished texture of the breads. Uh , it's fantastic. So coconut oil is great butter, of course we love butter. Butter is amazing. If you have a dairy cow, you can make your own and butter is so good for you. If you have a good butter from grass fed cows, it's not just something to make your foods taste better. It has some impressive health benefits. Um, grass fed butter has vitamin a and vitamin K two and conjugated linoleic acid, which is a really big word. We , we call it CLA for short. It's very anti-inflammatory, a lot of health benefits. So when you are ditching the margarine for butter, you're actually doing your body a favor. It's not just to getting rid of the bad , you're actually being proactively good. And again, I don't, I don't find that we miss margarine. We don't need it for baking. If a recipe calls for margarine, I just use butter or coconut oil instead . Very rarely do I notice any sort of change or texture difference in the recipe. They're pretty much a one-to-one substitutes. Okay. Now number three, this is an old fashioned fat. I love having these in my kitchen where they were. Are you, maybe you've been waiting for this lard and tallow, which of course a lot of folks are like, you're cooking with lard. You are weirder than I thought. Lard is an amazing fat. So a little bit of clarification here. Lard is fat from pigs. Tallow is fat from cows, right? So pigs, cows, that's the difference. Um, generally when we are butchering pigs or cows, I will save what is called belief fat. L E a F leaf . Like the , the kind of things that float down from trees in the fall. Leaf fat that is simply the fat that resides around the kidney of the pig or the cow. And the reason that that fat is preferable is because it has a milder flavor and you can save the, the various fat scraps from elsewhere on the animal and you can render those down into lard or tallow, but they will be a little more strong tasting, a little more , uh , bacony or a little more beefy, which may not be a bad thing. But if you are using your lard for a pumpkin pie, you might not want bacon in there. Just saying. So leaf fat is fantastic for lard. It's what I specifically ask for from the butcher. Um, sometimes they'll look at you weird, but they usually know what you're talking about and they will say that back for you. You can freeze it as is and then you can defrost it and render it down later. Or you can render it down right away. The finished lard or tallow technically should be shelf stable at room temperature. So you can keep it in a cool dark place, like a root cellar with a lid on it of course. Or you know, if you want, you can keep it in your fridge or you can freeze it. So with my lard, I usually just keep it in my pantry. Um, tallow I often have a lot of it so I'll sort it in the freezer. But basically lard is what I love to use for pie crusts or biscuits. The texture is fantastic. It gives that flakiness my absolute favorite pie crust is half lard, half butter, like so decadent sounding, right? It's amazing. Um, tallow is a little bit harder. It's a firmer fat. So what I'll do with tallow is use it for frying. If we're going to make homemade French fries, it's so good or tell us also a great option for homemade soaps or candles and that's what our homeless setting ancestors would have used tallow for . Here's a little side note. Back in the day, McDonald's use tallow to fry their French fries. I don't know when that stopped , but it kinda gave that beefy little bit of beefy undertone of signature flavor. And now of course they don't use tallow, but they still add a little bit of flavoring to kind of mimic that. So it's a great French fry option. You can also use bacon grease, which I feel like probably a lot of you are already saving your bacon grease. And I definitely saved mine. I just pour it into a jar. I usually keep it in the fridge, although you could probably keep it on your countertop as well. Bacon grease obviously has more flavor. It's saltier , it has the bacon vibe. So it's not something I'm going to use for pie cruss or pastries. But it is really good for sauteing onions or garlic or vegetables as we're starting a recipe.

:

Bacon grease is basically free, right? And it tastes really good, so it adds a little bit extra , flavor pop. So anyway, those are the three fats I use or four I guess that I use the most. Olive oil, butter slash coconut oil and lard or tallow. Here's, here's the reminder for you. Here's the way that you can kind of keep in mind when you are shopping, if the fat you are looking at requires an entire factory and scientists to produce it, skip it, right? It takes a lot of work to get oil out of canola. It takes a process that means it is industrialized and it's probably got some stuff in it that your body is not going to appreciate. Stick with the natural fats. Stick with the fats that our ancestors have been using for thousands of years, right?

Speaker 1:

The ones that we can produce at home or produce with very minimal work or processing, those were the ones to really seek out. And it'll be better for you. And your food is gonna taste a whole heck of a lot better too. And just a reminder, if you want to grab that $1 bottle of olive oil, and again, it's a full size bottle, not a sample size, go to www.getfresh23.com. We'll drop that link in the show notes. In case you need it, you just input your info and they'll send that to you. It's definitely worth a try. There's no strings attached and it's really good oil. Now the only catch is that we can only offer this until October 29th, 2019 so if you're listening to this episode after the fact, I'm sorry, but the offer is expired. We may do it again next year, I'm not sure, but hopefully you're listening to this before so you can pop over there and get your $1 bottle. And that is it. If you have a minute, I would be so honored to have you hit subscribe and leave a quick review over on your favorite podcast player so more people can add homesteading into their lives. Thanks for listening. And I'll catch up with you next time on the old fashioned on purpose podcast.