I know, it took me a while to change my mindset about this fat… After being harassed by the media telling you not to eat animal fat, you’re now saying it’s good for me? Well YES it IS! And I get my pigs particularly fat so I’ve got loads of it and we’re now using it every - single - day.
Now here’s a few reasons why it’s so good:
1- Lard is heat stable, which makes it perfect for cooking stir-fries and baking.
2- Lard is Heart-Healthy: The “diseases of modern civilization” including heart disease and diabetes skyrocketed as animal fats were replaced with factory fats including vegetable oils and margarine. So no, you won’t get a heart attack from eating Lard!
3- Lard is neutral flavored. Yep, hubby is not fond of coconut oil and the flavor it gives to dishes. So Lard it is!
4- Lard is economical. You can even render your own for a fraction of the cost. Compared to coconut oil or butter, lard is the cheaper option.
5- Lard is high in Vitamin D: One tablespoon of lard contains 1,000 IU’s of vitamin D. Also important, vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin so it requires fatty acids to be absorbed and utilized in the body. But only if it comes from pigs raised outside!
6- Lard is sustainable: Even though I’d love to be able to grow my own palm trees here, it’s just not gonna happen! So pig is a better option to sustainably produce a high quality fat, under our slightly Oh-so-cold climate.
7- Lard is Local and anybody can try their hand at raising some 😉
8- Lard is great for baking: Talk about a flaky pie crust! Substitute lard for coconut oil, vegetable oil, shortening or butter in your baking recipes.
9- Lard is a healthy source of cholesterol. Isn’t cholesterol bad for you? Guess what? It never was… (I’m one with high cholesterol numbers since I was teenager, which is actually good!) Studies show that cholesterol consumption does not carry a cause-and-effect relationship with blood cholesterol levels. This is because the body produces the cholesterol it needs. Providing cholesterol through good quality fats, however, reduces the burden on the body to produce cholesterol. Dietary cholesterol from whole foods like lard supports inflammation management and hormone production. Pretty amazing what new studies are showing!
10- Lard is traditional: Lard was enjoyed by your ancestors thousands of years ago, unlike canola oil, corn oil and other highly processed fats.
Of course, make sure you know your fat and where it came from. Pastured pigs is always the best source of great lard!
How I use Lard:
- Use it for frying or sauteing, instead of olive oil. Sauteing vegetables, or cooking sausages or ground beef. It’ll add a subtle, rich flavor (it won’t make everything taste like bacon!). Lard is made to cook at high temperatures so it won’t burn. It makes for easy clean up too, because it creates a strong non-stick layer on the pan.
- Roasting: Adding some lard to the roasting pan or tossing vegetables and meat in lard first will crisp it up so nicely without making it greasy.