Did you know you can make some of the tastiest treats using lard in your recipes? Yes, anything from sweet to savory can be yours with just a little addition of lard.
Lard, like butter, isn’t as bad as you think it is. But lard, in its pure form, is hard to get.
Since the trend toward plant-based oils began more than two decades ago, lard has been vilified and all but vanished from supermarket shelves.
It has less saturated fat than butter. Yes, that’s right lard has 20 percent less saturated fat than butter; it's also higher in monounsaturated fats, which are good for cardiovascular health. Lard is also rich in oleic acid, the same fatty acid that is in olive oil and praised for its health benefits. In addition, it has no trans fats like its synthetic counterpart, shortening. (supermarketguru.com)
If it is available now, commercial lard, which comes packaged as a solid substance, is often treated with chemicals and hydrogenated fats, which are associated with heart disease, says registered dietitian Shauna Lindzon.
Here are just a few reasons to use lard in your cooking….
Lard is neutral flavored - it is a heat-stable cooking fat that offers a neutral-flavored option. This is why I choose lard to fry my donuts in!
Lard is sustainable - If you use lard to cook, you use more of the animal thus wasting less and being more environmentally conscious. So when cooking any type of pork that contains a lot of fat, make sure to cook it slow and save the fatty drippings for future cooking! Bacon grease is the best to fry eggs in!
Lard is local - Purchasing a hog and lard from your local farmer has a very low carbon footprint. If I were to use coconut oil, on the other hand, it comes from the Philippines which is many, many more minutes away from my house.
Lard is great for baking - You may not think that lard pairs well with sweet foods, but traditionally lard was used for deep frying donuts and making flaky pie crusts. If you haven’t made a pie crust with lard, you are in for a beautiful surprise! In baked goods, lard lends tenderness and moisture without a discernible flavor.
My mom’s no-fail crust recipe:
2 c. flour
1 c. lard
½ c. cold milk
Mix lard into flour until it resembles little peas. Add milk and mix just until it forms a soft dough. Let rest for about 10 minutes. The less you mess with it, the flakier your crust will be.
Roll out on lightly floured counter/pastry mat and follow your recipe for pre baked or unbaked crust.