back to blogging

Posted on 13:08
Wow, i havn't blogged in a year now! I started university last october, and i guess was too busy to update this blog! Also, my camera broke :( so i couldn't upload any pics.
Time has really flown by...!
Hopefully i'm getting a new camera soon, and will have something worthy to post! :)

Butter me up!

Posted on 11:52
How to make butter with raw fresh or cultured cream...

Beat the cream with a wire whisk or spoon...

Keep will start to "curdle"

.and keep on beating till the liquid buttermilk seperates out..

keep on beating till the butter "granules" clump together and the buttermilk can be poured off

Wash the butter with water to get rid of traces of buttermilk


I made this a couple of weeks ago..since it's coming onto autumn/winter now I won't be eating much butter/dairy as it won't be grassfed (fresh grass anyway) so the raw dairy will be alot lower in nutrients. That said, I havn't been eating much dairy fat lately (this summer) anyway except the odd bit of butter or ghee (made at low temps to maintain the "rawness"). I much prefer meat and getting most of my fat from actual meat (hide fat/suet) as opposed to dairy. In the summer though I think raw/grassfed butter and ghee are decent ways to up the fat, esp since they're full of nutrients like vitamin A, CLA, the Wulzen factor, beneficial bacteria, etc.

Day trip

Posted on 06:07
Some pics from my day trip last week..

Leafy road

Wild blackberries

Nice quiet leafy road where the wild blackberries were growing

A "Stately home" owned by the National Trust

Plaw Hatch biodynamic farm
Growing vegetables
Dairy cows eating the lush green grass
Closer look at the cows

marylebone farmers market

Posted on 09:36

Cake lady's stall - getting emptier as people realize she's selling everything half price

Let them eat bread
More bread and "londons best" choc brownie...which became 2 for £1 soon after...
Bad picture of 'fresh organic fruit' sign

Organic buffalo cheese, yogurt, and meat

Rendering fat and making pemmican

Posted on 15:27 In: ,
So after saving up lamb and beef suet/fat as well as pork fat, I finally decided to actually do something with it.
So i rendered fat for the first time, and i'm happy to say it was a very successful venture! It's so easy, and I have no idea why I was putting it off till now...
I rendered pork fat to make lard, and beef fat to make tallow, which I used to make pemmican! Another first timer...I'd never even tasted pemmican before but luckily I found my pemmican to be really tasty - it didn't taste like sawdust at all, which is how I've heard it being described as before.
If you've wondering what pemmican is, it is an energy dense food that was invented by the native Americans and was then adopted by European arctic explorers. The native Americans made it by drying lean game meat (eg buffalo) in the sun or over a fire, pounding it into a powder and mixing it with melted fat. Wild berries may occassionally have been added, although this may have been added by Europeans who had a sweet tooth. Pemmican is a great food when travelling as it is energy dense, and keeps for a long time (up to a couple of years!).

As for lard and beef fat, heres a couple of interesting facts..

-The fat is around 40% saturated, 48% monounsaturated and 12% polyunsaturated
-Is a very stable fat suitable for cooking
- contains 44% oleic acid (the main fatty acid in olive oil)
-Is high in vitamin D, which has been receiving alot of press recently as scientists find out more about how vital this vitamin is in preventing cancer, hormone regulation, and so much more.
Beef tallow
- Has a favourable omega 3 : 6 ratio which is vital to good health (more on that in another post)
-has immune enhancing saturated fats
-is high in CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) which has potent anti-cancer properties
-is high in vitamin E

Ofcourse, all this only translates to fat from pastured animals that eat mostly grass or all grass (in the case of beef fat)

Butchers or farmers at farmers markets are usually happy to chuck in some free fat with your order, especially if you are a regular customer, so another benefit is that the fat can be free or very very cheap!
pork fat being rendered

Heres how I made the lard/tallow - the process is the same using fat from any animal....
To make rendered fat
1. Chop fat into small pieces
2. Put in a pan and turn the heat on low. You can dry render it or wet render it by adding some water to cover
3. Leave on low heat for a couple of hours until the fat melts and you have 'bits' in it which will either fry in the fat to form cracklings, or if there's water will just remain soft.
4. Drain using a cheesecloth into clean glass jars.

This is the pemmican in a glass bowl - Didn't make enough to form into bars

To make the pemmican...
1. Slice some beef into thin strips (freeze it for about half an hour first to firm it up) and dry in a dehydrator (about 105F/41C - this keeps the meat raw) or in a very low oven until very dry (it should snap when bent)
2. Grind up the dried meat in a blender/food processer/meat grinder so it is a powdery consistency - kinda like sawdust
3. Mix with melted beef fat (in a 1:1 ratio by weight). Add salt to taste if desired.
4. Form into whatever shape you like - eg by pressing into a baking pan, and let cool so it hardens
5. Cut and wrap in wax paper and store in airtight containers.
NB You can add dried unsweetened blueberries or cranberries if you want.

This post is for Fight Back Fridays

Dill Picklin'

Posted on 10:52 In:
Check out my picked cucumbers! They actually turned out tasting like commercial pickled gherkins but not so vinegary...

I havn't got a recipe per se....just dumped 3 small cucumbers into a glass jar, added about 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill, 2 tbps whey and water to cover, then let it sit out for about 3 days.

Why should you try organ meats?

Posted on 04:27 In:
On this journey of learning as much as I can about lifestyle and health, an important discovery I made was regarding the consumption of the not so popular parts of an animal...
Offal is a word originating in England, meaning the edible entrails and organs of butchered animals. Many people see these as the 'waste' parts that are thrown away. Today, we mainly eat the muscle meat of animals - like steaks or chicken breast, but in the past the organ meats were praised for their flavor and nutrition. Weston Price, a dentist who went around the world in the 1930s researching the diets and health of "primitive cultures" discovered that they placed great importance on the organ meats of animals they ate. Our Hunter gatherer ancestors consumed the whole animal, not just the muscle meats like we do today.
If you asked me a couple of years ago if I would ever eat kidney, heart, liver, sweetbreads, or bone marrow I would've said 'heck no!', and gone back to my brown rice and beans. But now I enjoy these regularly, and if I have learnt to love them anyone can!

So here are my top reasons for eating more organ meats (from healthy grass fed animals ofcourse!)

In todays economic times, people are more interested in cheaper food, and what better way to maintain your health than by getting accustomed to innards. It's true, the sales of organ meats have shot up recently, because they are much cheaper than your regular muscle meat. (organic lamb liver for £5 a kilo anyone?). It's relatively easy to get things like heart, liver, kidney and possibly bone marrow from most good butchers. If not you can usually ask for them to make a special order for you.

Organ meats are some of the most nutrient dense foods you can eat. Liver is a nutritional powerhouse - It's an excellent source of Vitamin A, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, Niacin, Riboflavin, Selenium, Pantothenic acid (a 100g serving of lamb liver will give you more than your RDA for these), as well as phosphorous, iron, Thiamin, Zinc and manganese)
Heart is a great source of Coenzyme Q10, which is very good for your own heart

Believe it not, organ meats can be very tasty. Think about rich chicken liver pates, stuffed lamb hearts, soft, melting, tender sweetbreads, rich creamy bone marrow...("gods butter" according to Anthony Bourdain)
One you get past the 'ick factor' and forget about any bad experiences you may have had with tough liver or foul tasting kidneys, a whole new world opens up. If you want a cooking challenge or are already an accomplished cook, you can turn organ meats into delicious gourmet meals. You can pay top bucks in high end restaurants for well prepared organ meats, but I don't think it's too hard to make 'em tasty at home too! (watch out for upcoming recipes that i plan on posting!)

If you care about animal welfare, and make the effort to make sure your meat is well raised and the animals are happy and fed their natural diet, or if you hate waste then it's a terrible injustice to eat only some parts of the animal and chuck away the rest. I believe that if you raise and kill an animal for food, the least you can do is make the most of it and eat all of it. We live in a culture of waste which is unsustainable and harmful to the environment and to our pockets and it makes no sense to me to simply throw away so many good parts of an animal. So you can take a stand by consuming these often discarded parts.

There are plenty more, but its getting late and i need to catch up on my fave blogs..
I hope this will at least convince some people to take the plunge and try something new, or reaffirm what others already know