Sleep Love Eat

{the Fatty Fat low-down}

A few posts ago, I subtly mentioned that Jake and I have stopped cooking with olive oil and stopped buying nuts, and I think I terribly frightened a few people (my apologies!). After all, up to this point on the blog, several of our recipes here have involved cooking with olive oil. But, we reserve the right to change our mind as we learn more and continue to improve our knowledge of what is most optimal to eat. We do hope that the more we study and learn, the more we can make informed choices about what we eat. And although, Jake might argue that my 1 hour of Gossip Girl every Monday night isn’t exactly expanding my horizons (after all, that time could be better spent reading Robb Wolf’s new book), I still like a little variety :)

So here’s the low-down:

Several of the previous recipes posted on here involved Olive Oil for cooking meats and roasting nuts and veggies. Since broadening our paleo knowledge (really folks, it helps to read some books here!), we learned that olive oil is best when used cold or low-heat cooking, and should be avoided when doing high-heat cooking. Be sure to check out Mark Sisson’s Definitive Guide to Oils for more info. We also realized that we were eating nuts as our primary fat source, and due to their high concentration of Omega-6s, we decided we should make a valiant attempt to vary our fats towards most-helpful fats. (Curious about your favorite nuts? Check out their Omega-6 content here!) So, we stopped purchasing nuts for a while and added a few new favorites items to our cupboard:

For cooking:

  • Avocado Oil – still not perfect for super-high heats, but has a higher smoke point than Olive Oil. The taste is minimal, it’s a gorgeous green color, and it has a very thick texture to it – I actually use less amounts than I’m used to with Olive Oil.

  • Unrefined Virgin Coconut Oil – has a fantastic amount of saturated fats & is great for high-heat cooking. We use it for almost everything these days! (Note: the refined coconut oil has a less “coconutty” flavor, but we highly recommend against its use – it goes through a nasty process to become unrefined, and won’t benefit you the same way as in its natural, unrefined form).

  • Ghee – Ghee is clarified butter (purchase a butter from grass-fed cows), the clarifying removes the lactose and the casein milk proteins that are the major gut upsetters & the reason we avoid dairy.

For eating:

  • Avocado – great all by it’s green-self or mix it up with some homemade guacamole for a tasty dip!

  • Coconut Flakes – These were forced up on me at the Whole 9 workshop last weekend. Dallas had been enjoying them in between speaking to the group, and when I opened up my stupid mouth and asked if they tasted “coconutty,” it wasn’t a moment later they were under my nose. I succumbed to the peer pressure, gnawed  a flake, and proclaimed, “I could eat this.” They’re a fun texture, and are Jake’s new favorite snack at work now as well. And for those of you worrying about the expense of going paleo, these are a super cheap treat!

  • Coconut Butter – For those of you on Paleo missing your peanut butter, YOU HAVE GOT TO TRY THIS! In my opinion, even though there is a bit of that coconut flavor (which I used to avoid like crazy), the texture is what makes this so delicious. Made of 100% coconut flesh, a spoonful of this delicious treat will melt in your mouth like you wouldn’t believe AND provide you with a fantastic source of fat. If you’re in a hurry, a spoonful of this is a great way to go! I think it’s a closer comparison to peanut butter than almond butter. Not kidding.

  • Coconut Milk/diluted – The So Delicious brand (unsweetened) has been a staple in our fridge for several months. This is significantly watered down, but tastes great and goes down easy. Fill yourself a full glass (or two) for plenty of good fats.

  • Coconut Milk/concentrated – Canned coconut milk is a pantry staple for lots of paleo folk for its density – a great way to get your good fats in your diet quickly! This has more of a smoothie-like texture. You can also use coconut milks in recipes for cooking.

Do you have some favorite ways that you incorporate healthy, paleo fats into your diet? I would love to hear what works for you – take a moment and share in the comments section!

Happy eating :) Joey

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20 comments

  1. Tracey

    Excellent post Joey! Do you refrigerate the avocado oil after opening? Also, do you drink the The So Delicious alone..or use it in shakes??

    • We drink a big glass of this alone with meals. We’re not big fans of shakes & smoothies since we’ve heard that there are many benefits to the digestive process when you start by actually chewing your food. But, if you wanted to shake something up, I’m sure it would be delicious with this :)

  2. Aleks

    Am I to assume that these coconut products are okay for those of us that HATE coconut? I can’t stand the flavor, but the only time I’ve had it is in “fancy” desserts. I heard a rumor that there IS good tasting coconut, but I’m still suspicious…

    • I was very wary to try the coconut products at first, but was happily surprised to find out I actually like them after an entire lifetime of “hating” coconut. The most mild, in my opinion, will be the So Delicious coconut milk and the coconut oil for cooking. I was convinced the coconut oil would make all our meat & veggies taste like coconut, but oddly, it doesn’t. The only way for you to truly know will be to sample them for yourself!

  3. Toni

    Great post! I’ve recently switched to coconut oil and focus on avocados, olives, etc for my fats however I just can’t give up my almonds, larabars and almond butter!

  4. You’ve definitely got the coconut angle covered, but there’s a lack of rendered animal fats here – so important for the mucho precious vitamins a/d/e/k, CLA, and all of those other important nutrients lacking in coconut or any other oils from plants.

    We use rendered pork fat (lard), duck fat, bison tallow, raw butter, and ghee for cooking. All of those fats have a very high smoke point and are what was traditionally used in our climate. They can all be made from locally sourced, pastured animal products.

    Love your site :)

    • Great point Tara – thanks for bringing that up. This post was just introducing new fats that we have in our kitchen. In our home, we do eat the fat that comes on the pastured chicken, pork, and organic, grass-fed beef that we purchase. We also save and cook with the leftover bacon lard from the pastured pork bacon we cook. Tasty stuff. Mmm.

  5. Pepper

    Thanks for the article! Where can I purchase these items? Whole Foods? I’ve found some sources online, but it’s mostly in bulk. Thanks!

    • Everything seen on this blog post came from our local PCC grocery store – except the avocados, we had picked those up at Trader Joe’s. I haven’t checked Whole Foods for these items yet, we don’t shop there too often – but I think they do carry the coconut flakes at least…

  6. Mike

    Hey, I looked around for coconut oil and could not find it. I also found coconut milk but it had a lot of additives. Where can I find coconut oil, butter, milk that is good?

    • Coconut Oil was in the same section as the olive oils (at our PCC). The coconut butter was hiding in another department of the same store (I think with the baking ingredients? Jake picked it up so I don’t recall). The SO Delicious (watered down) coconut milk was in the dairy section, but the canned (more concentrated) coconut milk was in the soup aisle. The canned kind shouldn’t have any additives at all. You have to work a bit to find these things sometimes! Or, ask an employee :)

  7. Toni

    I saw you mentioned picking something up at Trader Joe’s & not going to Whole Foods too much. Do you find you can get most of what you need/want at Trader Joe’s for a Paleo Lifestyle? I go back and forth between Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and the local grocery (Publix). Whole Foods definitely puts a big hole in my budget so I’m trying to avoid it but sometimes I find things there I can’t find anywhere else….and I worry with Trader Joe’s because most of their products come from CA and I live out on the East Coast.

    • We are fortunate enough to live really close to both a PCC and Trader Joe’s – both which offer a good variety of seasonal & organic produce. And though we primarily purchase all of our meat and eggs from our local butcher, we can even find local grass-fed beef & chicken at our PCC if we need to. We usually just get veggies and spices from Trader Joe’s. So we just don’t have much of a need for Whole Foods, even though there is one just 15 minutes away. It’s funny how now we don’t even shop at the generic grocery stores we used to only frequent before learning all about eating paleo! My advice? Just do the best you can to find the best quality foods in your area. I would pay more for quality meats any day of the week.

  8. Whitney

    I’m enjoying your blog…thank you for all of the new recipes! :)

    A note on the refined coconut oil: Tropical Traditions (online) uses a process that doesn’t use chemicals or deodorants, but still results in their ‘expellar pressed’ coconut oil that doesn’t have a flavor. I think their gold label virgin has more health benefits (esp. raw!), but when I’m cooking and I want a flavorless oil this works well and is still very healthy.

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