We don’t actually realize how many toxins we come into contact with every day but over time those toxins add up and take a toll on our bodies. Cooking with the right oils on a daily basis is one way we can combat this problem and start reversing any negative impact of cooking with the wrong oils and turn things around in terms of our health.
Why Does It Matter What Oils I Use In My Daily Cooking?
Recently when I had my blood work done the Doctor shared with me information about HDL levels. He told me that using the right oils can prevent what they call, “Skinny Sticky,” the HDL level you want low on your blood work. This number can increase your numbers for what they call the “Big Fat Fluffy” HDL level, which we want more of. I don’t know about you but I want more “Big Fat Fluffy”. This is critical to our health and reduces inflammation in our bodies, which is now known to be the real issue behind many health problems.
Doesn’t Fat Make Me Fat?
Actually, the new research says that sugar is much more likely to make people fat than fat itself. I am not a medical provider, but from the books I have read and the advice that I was given by my doctor is that using healthy fats will improve my health and not vice versa.
Everyone Knows E.V.O.O. is the Oil of Choice, right?
Thanks to the popularity of cooking shows, everyone, including me at one point, thought we needed to put olive oil in and on everything. I have learned since that olive oil does not have a high burning point, and therefore, I do not want to be using it when cooking foods for me and my family.
I now use Extra Virgin Olive Oil, also known as EVOO, on salads, and in vinaigrettes, and it could be used for bread dipping or even drizzled over some yummy tomatoes fresh out of the garden. Olive oil is only considered a less than desirable oil when you are cooking with it over high heat.
The Good News Is That the Right Fat is Actually More Frugal
Here is the list of the best fats you should be using:
Coconut oil has a wonderful shelf life and is absolutely delicious! My favorite dishes to cook with coconut oil are rice, grain free pancakes, and lighter meats, like chicken and shrimp. I love to bake items such as brownies and cookies with coconut oil too! If you don’t like or want the coconut flavor in your foods, buy processed coconut oil.
Ghee is clarified butter with the dairy solids removed (see below). It is actually very tasty and I have been using it to cook up our veggies and to stir fry vegetables, too. Ghee is shelf stable as well, so it does not go rancid very easily since the milk solids are removed. You can store it in the refrigerator or pantry, whichever you prefer. You should always use a clean and dry spoon and try not to let any moisture in as it could lower the shelf life.
We have been rendering our own chicken fat from organic chicken when we can get our hands on it, and I have to say this is one of my favorite fats. I love it for all chicken dishes, soups, stews, and for cooking meats, such as pork chops, that need to be heated up with some oil. I store my chicken fat for ready use in the refrigerator where I can get to it easily.
Butter and lard
If those oils listed above are not available, butter or lard would be the next best choices. I love butter and I include it in my diet. Natural animal fats are also a healthy part of a good, well-balanced diet.
How to make your own ghee
Ghee is clarified butter and I am going to give you step by step instructions on how to make it…. (Bonus!)
This is a shelf stable product once you remove the dairy and milk solids and what you are left with is beautiful butter fat. At our homestead, ghee has become our new go-to fat, and do you know why? Because my 16-year-old son has said that’s not bad! He can’t really tell too much difference between ghee and butter, so that’s what I cook our veggies in now! It’s a keeper, and I ask all of you is to try something new for your health and your family’s health.
Making your own ghee
You need 1 lb. of unsalted high-quality butter and a heavy, deep skillet.
Heat the skillet over medium heat
Once you are sure the skillet is good and hot, place the butter in the skillet.
Stir gently until it’s all melted. This usually takes about 5 minutes or so.
Cook while the butter is steady bubbling (not too much) for about 30 minutes. This could take a couple minutes less, but what you are looking for is the milk solids to separate and come to the top of the butter.
Once you see the milk solids rising, you need a strainer to scoop the small pieces of dairy solids and remove them. Do your best to remove them from the top of the butter or what is now clarified butter, or ghee.
You will not be able to get them all, so after you skim most of them off, continue to cook the butter for about 5 to 7 minutes until the other dairy solids sink to the bottom and get kind of brown. Be careful to not burn your ghee.
Once you see the remaining milk solids fall to the bottom, remove the pan and then let your clarified butter or ghee cool.
The cooled ghee can then be strained with either a cheesecloth or a strainer into a glass jar and be stored in your pantry or fridge.
Change Is Tough!
Recently my doctor told me I had to start on a more paleo lifestyle, and while I did not use the “bad” fats very often and I didn’t even think we ate out as a family very much, she told me whatever I was doing needed improvement.
So, we now only use the good oils. The not-so-heathy oils have been re-allocated for farm use now when I use oil to check on the chickens’ vents or other homesteading tasks.
If you do decide to try some of these healthier oils, I would recommend easing into it slowly to help with the change in your diet. I started alternating one night with a healthier oil until my family got used to it so we could gradually ease into this lifestyle.
Wishing you wellness on your homestead!
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