Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Retrospective #199: Food Choices: Tips and Recipes

Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is 100% fat, virtually all saturated. Zero cholesterol, protein, carbs, water and ash! I buy Spectrum brand, their refined, expeller-expressed offering of organic coconut oil. It does not require refrigeration. At room temp, depending upon your climate zone, it is liquid or semi-soft. It is also mostly medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), C8s, C10s and C12s, which means it goes directly to the liver to be metabolized (“burned” for energy), making it less likely to be deposited in your body’s fat reserves. I use it instead of butter for browning meats since it is very stable for medium-high heat applications. The smoke point for refined coconut oil is 450°F.
Ghee: Ghee is clarified butter. It is slow cooked to remove water, lactose (sugar), casein (protein), and milk solids. I use Ancient Organics brand because it is made from 100% organic Straus Family Creamery Butter, batch churned from grass fed and pastured cows and the “golden liquid” left behind has a caramelized and nutty taste. It is like no other ghee. Ghee also has one of the highest smoke points of any cooking oil (485°F), making it an excellent fat for “sautéing, baking or frying.” It is very expensive, though, so I use it sparingly.
Homemade Vinaigrette Salad Dressing
I’ve been making this homemade vinaigrette for about 50 years. I recall that I based it on Julia Childs’s recipe.
3 Tbs Extra Virgin olive oil (I recall Julia called for French olive oil, but I use any EVOO)
1 Tbs tarragon white wine vinegar
1 rounded Tbs Grey Poupon mustard
3-5 cloves of garlic, pressed and crushed
1 tps salt
50 grinds of fresh pepper
Hand whisk vigorously for 10 seconds to blend and thoroughly emulsify. And don’t skimp on the 3 to 1 fat ratio.
Homemade Mayonnaise.
Why should you make homemade mayonnaise? Because Hellmann’s (Best Foods in the West) makes their ‘Real Mayonnaise” from soybean oil, water, whole eggs and egg yolks, vinegar, salt, sugar, lemon juice & preservatives. Even their new deceptively-labeled, “Mayonnaise with Olive Oil,” (actually labelled “Mayonnaise Dressing” in light green ink that blends with the background label color) is made with more water, then mostly soybean oil, and then olive oil. In case you missed it, the first ingredient is WATER. This is a DRESSING! It IS lower in total and saturated fats, if that is what you want. But the soybean oil base is reason enough for me to avoid both of these products.
Even Hellmann’s “CANOLA Cholesterol Free Mayonnaise” is a poor choice for my kind of “healthy eating.” Once again, the first ingredient is WATER, then Canola oil, then modified food starch (corn or potato), eggs, vinegar, sugar, salt, lemon juice and preservatives. Note: no mention of “whole eggs and egg yolks;” the label says that the “eggs” in this “cholesterol-free” product “adds a trivial amount of cholesterol.” Notice also that sugar moves up a notch in the list of ingredients; it’s now ahead of salt. And note also, the addition of modified food starch (carbs!). But, if that isn’t enough, remember: Canola oil as a food product is a GMO (genetically modified organism)!
Here's my recipe for a homemade mayonnaise: Good fats, no sugar, no starch. It’s fast, easy and REALly good.
2 egg yolks (from pastured hen’s eggs, of course), at room temperature.
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice (half a lemon)
1 Tbs. Tarragon white wine vinegar
1 Tbs. Grey Poupon mustard
¾ tsp. sea salt
1½ cups avocado oil
Mix all the ingredients together, adding the oil last, slowly blending with an immersion blender (“smart stick”).

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