4 Paleo Plant Fats to Try. Most of the time, Paleo recipes tend to prioritize animal fats – lard, tallow, butter, or other carnivorous alternatives – over vegetable fat choices. Nut and seed oils are generally a bad choice, because they’re very high in unstable and inflammatory Omega-6 PUFA. Add the fact that they tend to sit on supermarket shelves for months before they’re eaten, and then get thrown into a frying pan where the fats can degrade even further, and those big bottles of “heart-healthy” canola oil start to look like nothing but a tubs of inflammation waiting to happen.
There are exceptions to the animal-fat rule, of course. The obvious special case is coconut oil, which is almost entirely saturated fat with very little PUFA. Another good plant fat is olive oil, everyone’s favorite “healthy oil” for its monounsaturated fat, high antioxidant content, gentle processing methods, and delicious flavor. Macadamia Oil Red Palm Oil The big downside to palm oil is the environmental cost of producing it. Cooking With Cast Iron. Cast-iron skillets are classic food-photography props – they’re fashionably rustic and have nice, simple lines that go well with all different kinds of foods.
But they’re valuable for a lot more than their good looks! For one thing, they’re more or less indestructible: there’s no Teflon coating to flake off and no paint to start chipping. A solid chunk of iron is about as damage-proof a thing as things come. Plus, it’s a free arm workout every time you cook! But there’s also a nutritional benefit to cast-iron pans: they’re basically an iron supplement in cookware form. That’s one big advantage of cast iron over other healthy choices like stainless steel or glass for cooking materials. Nutritional Benefits of Cooking with Cast Iron Cooking in a cast-iron skillet or pan basically gives you an iron supplement cooked right into your food.
This study found that the effect was especially big for… This study also found that the cast-iron cookware released more iron with each cooking cycle. Easy Pressure Cooker Stock. We’ve already discussed the simple process of preparing a healthy and delicious bone broth or stock at home with leftover bones from roasts, bone-in parts, and even whole poultry carcasses. Here though, we decided to try out a version in the pressure cooker because, even if the slow cooker or stovetop version is quite easy, it takes quite a bit of time until it’s ready. This pressure cooker version will be ready in just about an hour! Making stock in a pressure cooker is about as easy, quick, and most effective as it gets.
Using a pressure cooker will not only result in a nutritious stock full of gelatin, but you will have it much faster. And for those fully committed to laboring over a stock pot on the stovetop or with a slow cooker just for the wonderful aroma, you’ll still be able to get a whiff of that irresistible scent throughout your kitchen when you open the lid, so don’t you worry. This way of preparing stock is also great for people with a histamine intolerance. A Guide To Salts. We’ve discussed salt and sodium intake already on a few occasions and we covered topics like salt cravings and also took a skeptical take on sea salt compared to more common table salt. Our conclusions are that more often than not salt has been falsely accused, that it’s a very healthy nutrient and also that sea salt is often over-hyped and that table salt is just as good.
Now, lets have a look at salt from a different perspective: cooking with it. Most health food stores now have a whole section dedicated to salt, so it’s only natural that things get overwhelming and that making a choice gets doubting. Now, salt is salt and the fanciest of salts won’t have that much more to offer nutritionally, but sometimes it’s nice to get creative with flavors and textures and specialty salts also make for a great gift idea. So here’s our short primer on many of the culinary salts available today: Sea salt A most popular option in health food circles, sea salt is now readily available everywhere.
Growing Your Own Herb Garden. One of the most rewarding things anyone who enjoys cooking can do for themselves is grow a herb garden. There is nothing better than adding fresh herbs to your recipes, both for the taste and for the health benefits. I find that having herbs on hand has also encouraged me to be more experimental with what I am cooking. My hope is that this will help motivate those of you who have yet to give it a try to grow your own fresh herb garden. I will provide you with some simple tips based on my experience and also break-down which herbs are a must have in your selection. Growing an herb garden is easy enough to start and often only requires minimal maintenance.
It’s also now popular to grow fresh herbs indoors, in pots. Here is a list of essential herbs in your garden. Basil There are a number of different kinds of Basils available today; however, if you were to take it down to the basics, it’s Green-Leaf Basil that you will most certainly want. Parsley Thyme Rosemary Chives. Rendering Fat. Coconut oil, olive oil and butter or clarified butter are delicious fats that are also healthy for you, but the real original Paleo fats are animal fats. I know that a lot of people following a Paleo diet end up consuming those fats only very rarely partly because they are harder to find, but also because more work needs to be done with them to obtain a pure fat to cook with.
In other words, they need to be rendered. The advantage of animal fats like tallow, lard or poultry fat is that they can be obtained very cheaply from your local butcher or farmer. With a little luck, you’ll probably even find a farmer willing to give it to you for free. Of course, it’s a good idea to try and get the fat from an animal that has been grass-fed and pastured. What you’ll get from your butcher or farmer are pieces of hard fatty tissues that need to be rendered. There are two basic ways to render fat: dry rendering and wet rendering. Preparation of the fat Rendering the fat Wet rendering. The Art Of Cooking Steak. The art of cooking the perfect steak can be intimidating for many, but it doesn’t have to be, because with only a few basic techniques you’re guaranteed to experience great success every time. There is absolutely no need to go to a great steak house to eat some of the most flavorful steaks out there, and in fact even those restaurants often make some very fundamental mistakes when cooking their steaks.
Another aspect that is very important for us, health savvy people, is that we obtain an end product that is not only tasty, but also health promoting. Therefore, opting for grass-fed beef over grain-fed and choosing the right fat to cook the steak with will not only reward you with a much tastier steak, but also with something that you’ll know to be good for your health. Choosing the steak First of all, if you really want the experience of a great steak, I urge you to choose a steak that comes from beef that has been grass-fed and grass-finished.
The different cuts of steak Prior to cooking. Making Clarified Butter (Ghee) Clarified butter, also called Ghee in Indian cuisine, is simply butter with the milk proteins, sugars and water removed. It’s perfect for people who want to stay 100% Paleo or who might worry that some constituents like lactose or casein in the butter might cause health problems. I personally prefer consuming clarified butter because I’ve been dealing with leaky gut and autoimmune problems for a number of years and I now always stay on the safe side, even though butter is already pretty safe by itself. The other advantage of clarified butter is that you can heat it at a much higher temperature because it’s a highly saturated fat and you don’t run the chance of burning any of the milk solids. It’s ideal for sauteing, roasting, stir-frying or any other cooking method that requires high-heat. It has a delicious nutty taste that will please any butter lover out there and goes well with virtually anything.
Items needed Clarifying butter by slowly melting the butter Flavored Ghee. Making fresh bone stock. Homemade bone stock or broth should become a staple for anyone who’s starting a journey into Paleo and lifestyle. If you’ve never had it, you’ll discover that you can use it regularly for soups, sauces, stews, curries and just about any dish that requires cooking a piece of meat or vegetable in a liquid. Bone stock or broth might be about the last nutrition powerhouse that a lot of Paleo dieters aren’t making use of. Bones should be a main constituent of your diet along with fresh meat and fat from animals, organ meats and nutrients from fruits and vegetables. They’re also dirt cheap, literally, coming in pound for pound at a lower cost than topsoil. If you utilize all the bones from the meat you eat, you’ll be getting them free. This reason alone is enough for you to consider choosing bone-in meats when you can. If you don’t, you can still ask your butcher for bones and he’ll be happy to sell you some for a very low price.
A good stock will be gelatinous after it has been cooled. Choosing and cooking meat. Let’s not kid ourselves; one of the nicest things about Paleo is the fact that we can eat unlimited amounts of meat. Red meat, fatty meat, anything will do as long as it has been fed and treated properly. Like so many others following the conventional wisdom way of thinking, I used to think that high quantities of fatty red meat would cause a quantity of problems later in life. I’ve now learned better and know that meat and fat are not what’s causing all the diseases we’re burdened with today or else how would we’ve thrived for millions of years as a species eating mostly game meat and vegetables.
Now, I think conventional wisdom has moved us so far off red meat that we don’t know how to choose a good cut or how to prepare it anymore. When starting out with Paleo, I was only agile with simple cuts of chicken and pork. As a rule of thumb, the parts of an animal that move the most will require the longest and slowest cooking. How to choose great meat from your butcher Roasting Slow-roasting. Cooking with stainless steel. For those who are new to cooking, the first thing you need to know is this: you won’t get anything to brown in non-stick coated cookware. Stainless steel is the only way to go for beautifully browned meats, but there are some things to know about pans.
Temperature is important, so learning to use your stainless is a good idea if you don’t want to ruin your food and destroy your pots. If you don’t know how to use them properly or how to manage the temperature, your food will stick to the pan or burn. Here are some important tips about cookware. Aluminum pans will actually leach into the food as it cooks. That’s why acidic foods such as tomatoes will keep your aluminum pans looking new.Copper pots are used by professionals but are very expensive and difficult to maintain, and they’ll react with acidic foods.Glass pots have poor heat distribution and food will burn.Cast iron pots are porous and trapped grease can turn rancid.
What should you do when it comes to stainless? Simple Pan Sauce. Coconut vs Almond Flour. When most of us think “flour,” we think wheat flour, but technically, a “flour” is just a powder made by grinding up something else into the right size. You can make flour out of all kinds of grains, beans, roots, or seeds. From a Paleo perspective, the two major contenders for flour are coconut flour (ground-up coconut) and almond flour (ground-up almonds). These are the two you’ll see most often in Paleo baking.
Both of them have pros and cons, and they can both have a place in your pantry, but you might prefer one or the other. Obligatory killjoy disclaimer: neither of these flours should be a staple food in your diet. “Going Paleo” does not mean substituting almond flour for wheat and calling it a day. But with that said, there is a place for “flours” in the Paleo framework, not just in baking but also used to thicken sauces, bind meatballs, or make a crispy crust for other foods. Nutrition First of all, let’s tackle nutrition. Pros and Cons: Macronutrient Composition Baking Properties. A Paleo Guide to Chocolate.
We all love to cheer every time there’s a new study out showing the health benefits of chocolate, but it’s a lot less exciting the next week when another study comes out showing exactly the opposite. And just skipping from headline to headline doesn’t give you the background knowledge to even understand what’s going on in any of them. So here’s a Paleo rundown of the pros and cons of chocolate. Is Chocolate Healthy? The short answer: chocolate is healthy in its raw form; products made with chocolate generally aren’t. Chocolate comes from cocoa beans, but to make the chocolate, the beans are typically separated into two cocoa butter (the fat) and cocoa solids (everything else). And both cocoa butter and cocoa solids are very healthy: Cocoa butter: great source of healthy saturated fat.
Another term you might see on an ingredients label is “chocolate liquor” – this is just the name for cocoa butter + cocoa solids. So far, chocolate is looking pretty good for you. Sugar: this is the big one. How To Make Almond Flour — TrulyLowCarb. Another Sample Recipe from Cooking TLC, Volume 1 I make my almond flour in a miniature food processor (I own an Oscar), or in a large high quality food processor (Cuisinart). Coffee grinders work, too. I have successfully used both “whole raw” almonds with the skins still on, and “blanched almonds”, which do not have the skins and therefore have less fiber and a slightly higher carb count. Just fill the bowl of the machine you are using to the halfway point – no more than that – and pulse the machine on and off until you have a fine consistency. If you must, you can fish out any few stubborn nuts from each batch, rather than over-process the rest.
When using those two types of almonds, I found that I could let the machine run for a long time without ending up with almond butter. Now, I don’t have a burr grinder to test with, but I suspect that it would work fine. My Primal Adventures: Adventures in Cauli-Bread.