Best Oils For Consumption
Come on, who doesn't know that olive oil is great for you? But who knows why?? Polyphenols are present in olive oil from harvest until about 1 year old. After that the health benefits associated with olive oil dimish almost completely. You get olive oil from pressing the olive seeds. Most olive oil sell by dates are 2 years from pressing the seeds and in the US most olive oils that are on the shelf are already over the 1 year mark. It doesn't mean that the olive oil isn't still good for you but the health claims that it decreases heart disease risk factors by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, reducing blood clotting and improving the health of artery linings has a direct link to the polyphenols in the olive oil. Polyphenols also reduce cancer risk by lowering inflammation and cellular proliferation. They act as antioxidants, reducing oxidation and cell damage, which leads to many degenerative diseases. Yay! They even reduce microbial activity and infections.
There's regular olive oil and extra virgin olive oil. There is actually four types, but these two are most readily available. Regular olive oil is a blend of refined pomace oil and virgin olive oil. Pomace is produced by processing the leftovers of the virgin olive oil extraction. The blend (which usually contains as little as 5 to 10 percent virgin olive oil) is cheaper to produce. It doesn’t have as strong a flavor and is best for frying or high temps. I use this in my natural soap and body products because it has a high heat temp, but it's also equally good in baking or cooking in which your pan will reach medium to high temps. Extra virgin olive oil, which has a low heat temp and more distinct flavor, is more suitable for salad dressings, light sauteing, drizzled over bruschetta or fresh breads. Look for cold pressed because a heated press takes some of the health qualities out if it.
Fantastic for high heat because over 90% of the fatty acids in it are saturated, which makes it very resistant to high temps. Stores easily as a semi soft solid allowing it to keep for months without going bad. Coconut oil also has wonderful health benefits. It is particularly rich in a fatty acid called Lauric Acid, which can improve cholesterol and help kill bacteria and other pathogens. What a work horse! This is the fatty acid breakdown: Saturated: 92% Monounsaturated: 6% Polyunsaturated: 1.6%. It is important to note that saturated fats used to be considered unhealthy, but new studies prove that they are totally harmless. Saturated fats are a safe source of energy for humans. The fats in coconut oil can also boost metabolism slightly and increase feelings of fullness compared to other fats.
Grass fed butter is epic, no? yea I don't know about using the word epic either. Not really sure I'm as cool as the teeny boppers out there but it's true- butter is truly amazing. It contains more Vitamin K2, CLA and other nutrients than store bought GMO grain fed butter. All unaltered butter contains Vitamins A, E and K2. It is also rich in the fatty acids Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) and Butyrate, both of which have powerful health benefits. CLA may lower body fat percentage in humans and butyrate can fight inflammation, improve gastrointestinal health and has been shown to make rats resistant to becoming obese. Fatty acid breakdown: Saturated: 68% Monounsaturated: 28% Polyunsaturated: 4%.
So skip the margarine, smart balance and other human made fats and stick with the real deal...butter. Butter is best used for baking with or spreading, but not high temps unless you make Ghee or Clarified butter which takes out the proteins. The proteins are what burn when sauteing causing a burnt bitter taste.
Animal Fats Lard & Tallow
Remember when Crisco and Shortening were/are such a hit? The manufacturers attacked natural animal fats for being 'bad' for you. On the contrary, animal fats are recognized by the body as natural and are therefore processed by our bodies differently than man made GMO oils. You can buy lard from the butcher or buy it rendered from the grocery store. I like to render my own animals fats from my own animals because I know how they were fed (NON-GMO) - If you'd like to render your own fats checkout my recipe/instructions by clicking here.
Palm oil is derived from the fruit of palms. It's great for cooking because it consists mostly of saturated and monounsaturated fats, with small amounts of polyunsaturates. I get my palm oil unrefined, in fact I try to get all my oils unrefined. Why? Because the process in which refining takes place can remove the natural Vitamin E qualities, Coenzymes, and other nutrients while adding unnecessary trace chemicals.
The breakdown of avocado oil is similar to olive oil. It is primarily monounsaturated, with some saturated and polyunsaturated fats. This oil is best suited for the same things you would cook or make dressings with like Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It's more delicate in flavor and does not have a high heat temp. I use this in my body care as well as it has great softening and moisturizing qualities.
Most people think peanuts are an actual nut but they are in fact a legume. Peanut oil is great to use as long as you pick a brand that the ingredients include, ahem, Peanut Oil and that's it. It contains Omega 6 linoleic acid which helps to lower LDL or "bad cholesterol" and increases HDL or "good cholesterol" in the blood.
It also has a great shelf life, so stock up and save!
What Oils Are Worst For Consumption?
I call it the naughty liar list because the companies that market these oils to consumers are straight up liars. They know consumers are not stupid and have to play the game of trickery to get them to buy these 'oh, so healthy- man made- oils.'
Yes, Canola. Capitalized you see because It actually comes from Canada (location where it was created) and Oil. Canadian Oil. The manufacturers will have you believing it's great for you, but it is a horrible oil for consumption. Canola is made from the rapeseed which is a great insect repellent. I mean, I guess I wouldn't want to name it Rape Oil either but making up a name to represent something else really is not, well honest. Do a quick search on how Canola oil is refined-with chemicals, Hexane, bleach etc- and it will be enough to make you never buy it again.
Vegetable Oil or Soy Oil
Just look at the contents of "All Natural Vegetable Oil" the next time you are at the grocery store. It is 100% soy oil. Yes, the same soy that is raised by mono-crop farmers **most typically seed that is genetically modified from companies such as Monsanto. Yum. :/
When people ask me how I eat, or if I'm gluten free or vegetarian etc. My answer is simple, I try my best for me and my family to eat 'closest to nature' or things that have not been altered. Things you would find naturally without human input or modifying chemically. Hybrids are very different than genetically modified. If you ask yourself, could this have naturally happened in nature? And the answer is yes, generally speaking, then I believe it has a natural viability and health that is good for us. If we all tried to eat more like this, or supported people that did these things by purchasing from them, think of the health of not only our country...the world and our environment! We think we are so smart but in fact, mother nature will outsmart our every move.
I love fermenting. I love the amazing health benefits and also the process of making it! I make milk kefir almost daily. It's super healthy for many reasons but it just makes you feel good too.
Milk kefir is a probiotic cultured milk drink that originated in the northern Caucasus Mountains hundreds of years ago. It is noted that shepherds fermented milk in leather pouches creating grains that could be used for future fermenting. Kefir means "feel good" in Turkish. It has a thick creamy sticky consistency, tastes a bit like yogurt, and has a milky, yeasty smell. After a few days in the same container, the smell can become pungent but is NOT bad or rancid. Kefir has a slight natural carbonated effervescence.
Kefir is not like other dairy products since it is easily digestible and contains little sugar (lactose), especially if you let it ferment for a long peroids. The proteins in the milk also break down, and are virtually in a pre-digested state. Many people that are lactose intolerant can drink milk kefir made from unaltered raw cows milk. I love drinking it with honey or a combination of honey and fruit. Makes an excellent nutritious breakfast smoothie or snack during the day. If you let milk kefir ferment more than 24 hours you will see a separation of kefir and whey. The whey makes a great starter for sourdough breads, cakes, and other forms of baking. Starting other fermented foods like sauerkraut or fermented apricots, whey is needed so keeping it in the fridge on hand is always handy. Kefir can heal digestive systems, and make your stomach feel better, more stable and settled, within minutes of drinking.
You make milk kefir by adding 1T kefir grains to 1 cup milk and letting it ferment on the counter for 12-24 hours between 68-74 degrees F. Some people like to ferment it to it's strongest for 48 hours but I like mine at about 24. Strain out the grains and start a new batch or cover with milk and store in the fridge. Try not to go longer than 2 weeks without adding milk to them or starting a new batch. After straining add any fruit your heart desires or honey or even cane sugar if you like. Agave syrup works great too.
Though kefir resembles a runny yogurt, it contains around thirty strains of bacteria and yeast, mostly including lactobacillus bacteria. The culture comes in 'grains', though more specifically they are a complex bio-matrix structure of soluble gel-polysaccharide, organic acids, yeasts and bacteria. This polysaccharide called Kefiran is made from two mono-saccharides, glucose and galactose in almost equal proportions. Kefiran has anti-tumour properties, preventing the development of metastasis. It is an anti-inflammatory and is an excellent stimulant for your immune system. The grains produce their own antibiotics. Kefir is rich in minerals and vitamins, particularly the B group, and vitamin K2. Kefir has been known to have many healing properties therefore slows the aging process. It also is beneficial in helping with heart and artery disease, lowering cholesterol levels and regulating hypertension / blood pressure. It assists your digestive system, healing the liver, kidneys, spleen, pancreas, gall bladder, stomach ulcers, and soothing your digestive and urinary tracts.
That's amazing! I have been drinking milk kefir for some time now and love that it makes my hair grow faster and thicker. I could really do without the thicker part but hadn't noticed as much until Mr.Hunky asked me if I had been cleaning out the shower drain. Gross, he knows that's his job...even though it's my hair. But of course, no I hadn't. He said "you've been losing lots less hair." I just have the normal shedding that most women do mind you, but once he said it I was like....'milk kefir!' I had read that it is super great for healthy skin and hair, as most naturally fermented products are, but excited I can actually see and feel a difference in my all over body health. And what's going on behind the scenes that I can't see is great as well (ie digestive, heart, blood pressure, all the nutrients/vitamins me and my family are getting).
You can purchase kefir flavored or unflavored at most grocery stores now but it will never be sold as raw (unless in CA?) milk kefir. The best in my opinion because the grains produce the best kefir from full unpasterized fat just as they were created. You can also use the kefir grains to make a coconut kefir. You should only do this with the extra grains that you produce because it will eventually kill the grains because they are not getting the proteins they need to multiply from the coconut milk proteins.
Going to be in the Buffalo, MN are in April? Learn how to make fermented kefir, kombucha, and sauerkraut April 12, 2014 from 3-5 pm. See the Buffalo Community Ed booklet for Spring 2014 and get signed up!!
I will be raising meat chickens this spring and fall. I have been asked numerous times to do a meat CSA- but instead I am doing an email contact list that I will send out to all that would like to order. Here's how it works- you give me your email address, I send out an email when it's time to raise birds, you reply with how many you want and commit to and 12 weeks later you pick them up- either at the Buffalo Farmer's market on Saturdays 8-12pm (remember this is springish/summer and fall) or Monticello Market Thursday's 3:30-7pm.
I will start raising birds this spring around the beginning of March so they will be ready to go in early May - weather permitting.
Here's what you get: healthy, free range, non-gmo fed chickens that will weigh in around 5-6lbs each.
I raise my birds to 12 weeks instead of 7-8 like most commercial lines. I like there to be some real, juicy meat to the birds. When they free-range they put on more muscle and less fat so it takes a couple weeks longer to get to size.
$3.50 a lb for whole birds
Hit the talk to me tab at top and shoot me your email address to get on the list!!
I did it. And it is empowering. My husband and I moved from convenient-reliant to self-reliant living this past year. We have so many new projects to enhance our self-reliant ways, but we did so much this past year. These are just a few: bees, egg layer chickens, meat chickens, pigs, more gardens, big perennial garden etc.
New animals for 2014: sheep (dual purpose- meat wool), 3 times as many pigs, more egg layers (cause they're fun), lots of meat chickens spring and fall. This year's focus was on butchering skills and how to perfect the process so I can do large numbers effectively and quickly.
New projects for 2014:
1. Better more permanent fencing for chickens, pigs, and all the animals.
2. I would like to make a cob lean to shelter for the animals. It isn't necessary because of the woods I have but why not.
3. Clover/alfalfa sectioned feed plot for the free-ranging beauties.
4. Add two more colonies of bees. It's addicting. I love bees.
5. New herb and tea garden.
6. REALLY wish I could put jersey cow on this list, but realistically probably not this year... Unless of course it was free and then I would just let it live in my basement.
7. Make a cob oven and outdoor food work bench.
8. Plant lots of new varieties/heirlooms fruit and veggies.
9. Build a strawberry planter... or three I meant.
10. MULCH like crazy!
11. Start a meat club/CSA- that's a work in progress. I might just use an email system where I raise meats for those that want healthy meat. If you are one of those in the area be sure to send me your email. I will be doing meat birds/chickens this spring.
12. Continue to grow my online business modernroots.org/country-store and grow it via the Farmer's Markets. I LOVE FARMER'S MARKETS!! Great way to get homemade, healthy, local foods. By the way, if you haven't tried my soaps, body butters, or salves...no time like the present ;)
13. Finish insulating and siding my chicken coop.
14. Finish my process for making bio-diesel. I got the process itself down, but now it's quantity I need. If you are a restaurant owner/know someone that is and have non-hydrogenated oil - please consider selling it to me :) There are two large companies here that take all the restaurant oil- I just need a couple restaurants and I'll pay ya. They usually pay between 4-8 cents a gallon. We can talk :) We bought a truck with a dump bed and lift so I can maneuver the oil in the winter too.
There are lots more projects I have but these are the main ones I'd like to accomplish.
Many people want to 'lose weight' for their new year's resolution, but if their overall goal was to become healthy and change the types/quality of food they eat- it wouldn't just change their weight but their lives. In fact, the lives of those around them too! Talk about a New Year's Resolution.
By the way...I am still researching breeds that I want for the animals I have listed. I like heritage breeds but am up for almost anything that is stellar so leave a comment with your favorite you raise OR one that you think you would like to raise and why!!
Who Writes This Blog
It's me, Meg. Checkout 'My Story' for more about my mission.