We are big believers in the power of fat – well, healthy fats at least.
This might come as a shock to you (or not really), but I don’t follow a low-fat diet. No sir. There’s no way I’m riding anywhere on that bandwagon. I don’t even agree with low calorie, but that’s a post for another day. Today, I want to talk specifically about what cooking oils I use regularly, as well as my favorite healthy fats.
I have read a lot, I mean A LOT, about fat over the last several years.
When I talk about “healthy fats,” sometimes people give me a strange look. The idea of a healthy fat sounds odd because the medical community loves to tell you all about how you need to lower your fat intake.
I could go into great detail right here about what makes some fats healthy and others not. And I could tell you why you need healthy fats in your diet. But I’m not qualified as a dietitian or medical professional, so I can’t give “medical or dietary advice” (covering my butt here). But I can share what I’ve learned and give you some things to consider for yourself. One of my favorite resources on this subject is my friend Katie, over at Kitchen Stewardship. She is just a wealth of information, and her website is an amazing place to learn all about healthy fats plus healthy eating (and healthy food in general). #notpaidtosaythis
What are the main fats and cooking oils that I use?
No big shocker here, but first and foremost, I love butter. I have a huge stockpile of butter in my freezer. Stored properly in your freezer, it will keep for a long time! Since we are trying to do better in our healthy walk, we buy Kerrygold grass fed butter now. Whenever it’s available for a good price (Aldi carries it!), I buy as much as I can. I always buy salted butter, because I prefer the taste.
- Coconut Oil
We use this all the time, because it is such a healthy for you fat and tastes absolutely delicious! I love the coconut oil from Tropical Traditions! I buy it a gallon at a time whenever they’ve got a free shipping promotion. On the rare occasion, I run out of coconut oil before my shipment arrives, I also buy Better Body Foods Organic Coconut Oil from Walmart. I usually leave my coconut oil on the counter while I’m baking, so it melts. Then, I just pour it to measure easily.
- Grapeseed Oil
Grapeseed oil is my go-to for daily use in recipes that I don’t bake or cook. It has no taste or smell and is very smooth. That makes it great for things like salad dressings and homemade mayo. I absolutely love the mayo recipe from Whole 30 – it’s super simple and will change your life. Anytime a recipe calls for olive oil (y’all know I am not a big fan of olive oil), I will use grapeseed oil or avocado oil instead.
- Avocado Oil
I buy this at Walmart and love using it in anything and everything! It is amazing in my homemade spreadable butter. I also love using it to sauté and roast vegetables.
- Palm Shortening
Anytime a recipe calls for vegetable shortening (Crisco), I use palm shortening. It’s what I always deep-fry in. Donuts fried in palm shortening – so good, y’all! And I love using it for pie crusts; it makes a flaky and tender crust, every time. I buy my palm shortening in a huge bucket from Tropical Traditions. Now, I know there are articles out there that say it’s not good to use palm shortening or coconut oil when cooking at high temperatures. But since I know it’s a better option than vegetable oil, it’s still my go-to frying oil.
- Bacon Fat
Whenever I make bacon, I save the grease. I use it for fried or scrambled eggs, sautéed vegetables, okra, black-eyed peas, and green beans. It makes the best popcorn too! I love Aldi’s “Never Any” Uncured Bacon because it’s free of preservatives, nitrates, and nitrates. If you aren’t buying a preservative-free, high quality bacon, then you definitely don’t really want to save the fat.
I do love me some homemade ghee. It’s not something I always have on hand, but when I do make it, I usually go thru it pretty quickly. I store mine at room temperature.
Those are fats I use the majority of the time, and I use them very liberally!
I don’t use vegetable, corn, or canola oil because I think there are better options. I have learned that you can usually substitute any of those unhealthy oils in a recipe with equal parts of a healthy fat. And in most cases, you can substitute butter as well. Sometimes I post a recipe, and you guys will respond back, “But Stacy… this calls for vegetable oil!”
Y’all , when I look at a recipe, I automatically make substitutions in my head.
I don’t see a recipe that calls for 1/3 cup of vegetable oil and think, “rats, I guess I can’t make this after all!” No, I just know that I’m going to use coconut oil, grapeseed oil or butter instead. Just like if I see a recipe that calls for all-purpose flour or splenda, I know I can make a healthy swap for those ingredients. Don’t be afraid to change around the fats (or other ingredients) in a recipe to suit your family’s preferences!
You don’t need to go out and buy all of these healthy fats and cooking oils right away.
Start small! Don’t go toss all the oils you have in your pantry right now into the trash can. Instead, when you run out of vegetable or canola, don’t replace it with more of the same. Make a conscious decision to switch to a better choice, like coconut or grapeseed oil. You can slowly convert to healthy fats in your kitchen by making one healthier choice every time you grocery shop.
I used to be terrified that eating fat would make me fat.
Thankfully, I have finally gotten to the point where it doesn’t feel naughty to eat fat. Before, I’d worry, should I be eating this much butter? But I know that my health is better with butter. 🙂 I just feel better when I get enough healthy fats.
Don’t let people make you feel guilty or naughty for using butter on your toast or baking with lots of coconut oil. I know our culture makes fun of Paula Deen for all the butter she uses, but I think she might be on to something over there. Try more healthy fats in your life and see how you feel.