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Lard (pork fat), tallow (beef fat), schmaltz (poultry fat), and duck fat are all fats that can be rendered right at home, from the meat you are cooking. These fats are what used to be used all the time in cooking, but with the fear of saturated fats and the ability to purchase other fats, these have gone to the back burner. However, maybe it’s time to go back to our roots and begin using these fats again. They are extremely sustainable since they can be purchased locally for extremely cheap (farmers will basically give fat away!) and are a by-product of something you are already consuming! Think about all that bacon grease you have leftover from making a small amount of bacon…that would provide you with plenty of fats for cooking!
Benefits: One of the biggest benefits is the fact that these are sustainable as opposed to harvesting coconut oil in another country and having it shipped…you can literally collect lard in your own kitchen by cooking bacon…what a great excuse to cook bacon! Also, these fats contain CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid- which is great for brain health, weight loss, and heart health), vitamin K2 (artery decalcification), and omega-3’s (reduces inflammation and improves cholesterol balance). Since chemicals are stored in fat cells, you want to consume animal products, especially animal fats, that are the highest quality to avoid unnecessary amounts of chemicals in your diet.
How To Use: All of these fats have a high smoke point of 400°F/250°C making them great for many different cooking applications. Plus, they actually leave your vegetables crispy when roasting with them as opposed to the oily nature that can be given to vegetables when roasted with olive oil. The original french fries were fried in duck fat, so if you want to have a real french fry…now is your chance! Really, you can cook with these in just about any application, so save your fats! Cooking with bacon fat has to be one of the most glorious ideas because it truly imparts such amazing flavor…why haven’t we been doing this?!
Nutrition Facts: 1 tablespoon
**If using quickly, it can be stored on the counter, but if stored in the refrigerator it will last a few months, and when stored in the freezer it will last for a few years.
**Head to PaleoLeap for some in depth information on all of these fats!