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Aug 12 2017

8 Incredible Reasons to consume Pastured Lard as a predominant fat source…

If you are following the ketogenic diet and you are trying to implement healthy fat sources into your diet, then Lard is an absolutely remarkable fat to implement, especially if it is from a pastured pig. It is incredibly easy to render at home and tastes so darn good.

For many years it has been used to make great tasting pastries – but of course when ketogenic and/or paleo, pastries are definately not on the menu, at least not the traditional kind. I suppose if you are low carb you could use it for almond meal or other low carb pastries.

However, pastries are not the only reason you would use lard in your cooking. I use it to cook my vegetables and to add a beautiful flavor to my eggs. But I’m sure there are many other ways to incorporate this gorgeous fat into your daily diet too – if you are really creative…

Also, are you autoimmune. If so, this is a fat that is going to help you tremendously. As part of my ketogenic autoimmune protocol, lard and tallow (beef fat) plays a massive part, as high fat dairy is generally not allowed.

So, as I said there are many benefits to consuming lard, including:

It is High In Vitamin D

Next to Cod Liver Oil, Lard is the food you can get that is highest in Vitamin D. Lard from grass fed pastured pigs can contain anywhere from 500 – 1000 IU of Vitamin D per tablespoon, depending on the quality of that pigs diet. I get my pig fat from an organic butcher (he calls himself the naked butcher) and I know all of his pigs are pastured and grass fed, so I know I am getting amazing quality.

It is high in Monounsaturated Fats

You would probably assume when thinking about Lard that it is actually high in Saturated Fats, but it is actually much higher in monounsaturated fats than you would think. Pastured Lard actually contains 48% Monounsaturated Fats, 40% Saturated Fats and 12% Polyunsaturated. Therefore, it would be considered a good fat by conventional terms.

It is an amazing cooking fat

Lard is very stable at high heat and therefore is a great fat to be cooking with. Actually for centuries people used it as the primary source of fat for cooking – especially prior to the vegetable oil revolution. It has a high smoke point and so is great for frying and as mentioned before, if you are one that likes to bake, then Lard’s monounsaturated fatty acid profile makes it a great fat to use when baking…

Allows You To Connect To Nature

It is virtually impossible to get good quality lard in the store. All of the lard in the store is hydrogenated and therefore has lost most of its beneficial properties, not to mention has accumulated trans fats that we really don’t want to consume. This means that you have to render the lard at home, after sourcing out some good quality pastured pig fat. Due to the fact that you have to render the lard yourself, in order to reap all of the benefits, it allows you to seek out the best quality pig fats you can from your local butcher and therefore means you are supporting the local farmers. Please see below where I give you a recipe for rendering your own Lard.

You are promoting sustainability when consuming Lard

Pigs are hugely beneficial for the environment due to the fact that they help to turn over the topsoil and naturally fertilize the ground. They are adaptable animals that are able to thrive in most areas and therefore they produce a very sustainable meat and fat for us to consume.

It has very little flavor…

Lard has very little flavor to it and as such creates some great browning on vegetables and meats without the added flavors.

Rendering Lard is Super Cheap…

Purchasing the Leaf Lard from your butcher is really cheap. Purchasing a couple of pounds (a kg) of the leaf lard and then rendering it yourself, it will give you about 400g of good quality lard. In comparison to coconut oil (which I also think is great by the way) it is super economical for most people.

It is so easy to make…

Rendering your own lard is so easy that even my daughter knows how to do it. I will give you the recipe below so that you can go away today, source out some good quality leaf lard and then get started yourself.

Types of Pork Fat you can consume

Before going into the steps for rendering the lard, I want to go into the three types of pig fat you can get. Which one you choose will all depend on what your purpose is.

Back Fat

This is a great fat to use if you are wanting to use it for sauteing and frying. This is the fat that comes from the pig along its shoulder and rump.

Belly

I bet most of us have consumed pork belly before. It is a rich, soft  and firm fat that is layered beneath the pig and it is a great fat to consume on its own as a roast.

Leaf Lard

This is the type of fat that I generally use when rendering my own lard. This is the fat that is found around the kidneys and it is the cleanest fat of the animal and therefore is the best fat, in my opinion, to use. If you are baking, this is the one you want to be using. However it is also fantastic for frying and sauteing too.

Recipe for Rendering Fat into Lard

Rendering lard is basically just heating up the pork fat slowly so that it separates itself from anything else within the fat.

  1. Source out some good quality pig fat from your local butcher (make sure it is pastured);
  2. Cut this fat up into small pieces or ground it using your mixer. If possible, you may even be able to get the butcher to ground the fat up for you.
  3. Add 1/4 of a cup of water to the bottom of a crock pot and add the cut up fat. This water will just prevent the fat from burning and the water will end up evaporating anyway.
  4. Put the crockpot on low and let the fat melt for about an hour.
  5. Check the crockpot once that hour is up. Make sure that you continue to check it to make sure that the fat is not burning. When the fat melts it will separate itself from the cracklings.
  6. After 1.5 to 2 hours the cracklings will settle on the bottom and your fat will be rendered.
  7. Ladle the melted fat through a cheesecloth line colander into a jar to separate the fat from the cracklings.
  8. The cracklings should not be crispy and instead should be soft and ground like.
  9. You can now return the cracklings to the crockpot and let them go until they are brown and crispy. These can be used on top of salads for added fat.
  10. As soon as the fat has started melting you can separate it right away and then continue to allow the additional fat to render. Rendering the entire portion of fat could take anywhere from 1 to 4 hours to render completely.

The fat that you will end up getting in the jar will start off as a yellow color and then once it has cooled and set it will be a beautiful white creamy color.

A Quick Question…

So give this a go yourself. Find a local butcher that sells pastured leaf lard and then use these instructions to make the best quality pastured lard you can get. I would love to hear how it turns out…

 

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