Let's talk about fat, baby

If you have been following me for a while, or using my recipes from the market caravan, you will notice that I use a lot of coconut oil, butter and olive oil in my cooking. That is no accident.

In relatively recent years, the food market has been flooded with ``yellow oils''; oils such as canola, rice bran and sunflower. Being low in saturated fat, these products have been promoted as the healthy choice. .

They are high heat and chemically processed oils, meaning that by the time they arrive on your supermarket shelf they are as far from their original form as can be.

In fact, when we consume them, our bodies have no way to process them, and they store them in your fat cells. Consuming ``yellow oils'' can cause inflammation in our bodies, which we know is the perfect environment for breeding illness and disease.

Unfortunately, because of the low price, accessibility, and misinformation about these products they are the first choice for many home users, most cafes and restaurants, and all but a few packaged products. Meaning that every meal, every bite, we are making it more difficult for our bodies to function well.

So what should you use? Well, that brings us back to our real-food, whole-food approach. Fats and oils that are stable, nutritious, and most easily used by our bodies are those that are made with real foods, as close to their original form as possible.

As a rule, I recommend:

  • High heat: cook with ghee, cold-pressed coconut oil, dripping/lard.
  • Low heat: cook with butter, olive oil, nut oils (although olive oil has a high smoke point, it does lose some of its nutritional value as it heats).
  • Pour, dollop, and dress with cold-pressed oils like avocado, olive, sesame, hemp and nut oils.
  • Eat nuts and seeds, nut and seed butters, avocados, coconut products, fish, quality meat and dairy products, eggs, bone broth.

Do your research, have the conversations. Think about how your grandparents cooked, how your great grandparents cooked. What fats and oils did they consume? I remember the roasting dish containing the dripping from previous roasts, being kept to re-use. Lets get back to that.

Balsamic strawberries with rocket and whipped goat's cheese 

1 kg fresh strawberries

⅓ cup balsamic vinegar

2 Tbsp cold pressed extra virgin olive oil

10cm sprig of thyme

1 block goats cheese

2 cups rocket

1. Wash the strawberries and remove the stems.

2. Cut into quarters, lengthways

3. Place in a bowl with the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and thyme. Set aside.

4. Place goat's cheese in a bowl and beat with an eggbeater until smooth.

5. Spread the goat cheese on the base of a plate.

6. Top with the rocket, then pile the strawberries on top.

7. Finally, season with a light dusting of fresh ground pepper (less is more)

8. Enjoy!

Roasted purple carrots with pesto and hemp seeds

1kg purple carrots

2 Tbsp coconut oil, ghee, or dripping

Salt and black pepper

2 Tbsp pesto

1. Preheat the oven to 180degC and line a baking tray with baking paper.

2. Place carrots in the sink and cover with cold water. Scrub with a vegetable brush.

3. Place the cleaned carrots in the baking dish along with your cooking fat of choice, and season generously with salt and pepper.

4. Bake for 1-hour 10 minutes.

5. Allow to cool slightly.

6. Toss with the pesto.

7. Plate.

8. Top with hemp seeds and serve immediately.

Pesto (vegan friendly)

½ cup of nuts (I like walnuts or almonds)

1½ cups fresh herbs (parsley, basil, or coriander)

⅓ cup olive oil

½ clove of fresh garlic

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

1 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)

1. Add all ingredients to the food processor and blitz to the desired consistency. I like to use the pulse function for a rougher chop.

2. Store in a jar in the fridge.

- By Jamalia Edwards

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