Category Archives: Cooking

Making Tallow & Cracklings at Home

Recently I followed the recipe for beef tallow and cracklings given in Maria &Craig Emmerichs’ The Carnivore Cookbook.

The key ingredient is beef suet (pronounced ‘sue-it’) which I got from Gary’s Market in Stephenson for about a dollar a pound.

The recipe calls for putting it in a heavy kettle with a lid. For the first time period you melt the cut-up suet in the kettle without the lid. When it’s mostly melted down you cook it for thirty minutes with the lid.

At the end of this time you harvest the ‘cracklings’ out with a slotted spoon. Cracklings are a little like pork rinds but softer.

I strained the tallow into small, half pint canning jars which I labelled, dated and put in the freezer.

I pulled out the first jar this morning. It’s a little like coconut oil, but harder. I put some into my bulletproof coffee this morning. It’s not quite as much of a treat as butter, ghee or bacon fat, but it had a good flavor. I shall fry some eggs in tallow later.

Lamb/mutton fat is also called suet and so I imagine that if I got some lamb fat I’d have lamb tallow. I’m hoping to get a lamb butchered next year, and I shall be sure and ask for all the fat, bones and organs I am entitled to.

The best thing about making tallow is that the suet is low cost. Tallow ends up being cheaper than butter. I suppose I could use half-tallow, half-butter to save money and still have some butter flavor.

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Recipe: Bulletproof Bone Broth

Bulletproof coffee is a thing. I even started drinking coffee over it, because I didn’t want to put stuff in my tea.

But I’ve been reading up on the carnivore way-of-eating lately, and some of the books discourage coffee. What to do? A good alternative is bulletproof bone broth.

There are many recipes for bone broth out there. Most involve cooking the bones in a crock-pot for up to 48 hours to get all the bonely goodness out. I’ve made bone broth from beef, pork, and leftover chicken bones. It’s all good.

Bulletproof Bone Broth or Broth

1 cup or more bone broth (or 3/4 cup bone broth and 1/4 cup water) or ordinary broth

1-2 Tablespoons fat- tallow, bacon fat, lard, schmaltz, butter or ghee, extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil or MCT oil for the plant-eaters.

Optional – 1 -2 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream, unwhipped. May substitute coconut milk or cream.

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or Himalayan pink salt. (Omit if you really have to.)

Optional– herbs or spices for flavoring.

Put the ingredients in a saucepan. Put it on a stove burner set to low for at least five minutes or until any solid fats melt. Stir a little if you like.

When time is up, pour the broth into a mug. You may need to wait a couple of minutes for it to cool to drinkable temperature.

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Keep up with my low-carb/keto life at MeWe.com – I’m ‘Nissa Annakindt’ there.

Making Bread-Machine Low-Carb Bread at Home

Sometimes on low-carb you just want a bit of bread— for sandwiches, grilled cheese, French toast or whatever. Grocery-store bread is too high-carb for us, and in me at least just makes me hungry for more bread. ‘Keto’ bread can be bought online— for $13 a loaf, and you have no control over how many carbs are in it, or whether the corporation will change the recipe or go out of business.

You can make low-carb bread in your bread machine at home. It does use ‘vital wheat gluten’ and so is not gluten-free. There are recipes in Dana Carpender’s 500 Low-Carb Recipes. I have made the sesame seed bread and the cinnamon raisin bread (without the raisins,) and plan to make the rye bread next.

I make some modifications to the recipes. If it calls for blackstrap molasses or Splenda, I use Swerve, and I may reduce the sweetening— if it calls for 1/4 cup (3 Tablespoons) Splenda, I may use 2 Tablespoons Swerve. If it calls for vanilla whey protein, I use Isopure unflavored whey protein. When it calls for oat bran, I use half the amount in oat bran and half in oat fiber, which is lower carb but less tasty.

I have 2 bread machines from my carb-eating days, and both will make a 1 pound loaf which is what the recipes call for. I’ve looked at newer bread machines and many make a 1 1/2 pound loaf as the smallest size.

I don’t make 1 1/2 pound loaves because I have a hard time cutting a loaf into the suggested number of slices as it is. If I made 1 1/2 pound loaves I would have to cut 18 slices instead of twelve and I have a hard enough time cutting 12. 

Cutting the cool bread can be a chore. Make sure you have a sharp bread knife. Dull knives may squish more than cut, and the effort to cut with them can lead to cut fingers. It’s best and tastiest to slice the bread into thin slices.

Home-made low-carb bread does not always fit in the toaster (if you still have one.) I ‘toast’ my bread with butter in the oven, or fry it a little in butter or ghee. 

Low-carb bread has to be rationed. If you eat too many slices in a day, it may kick you out of ketosis. Store some of your sliced low-carb bread in the freezer to prevent bread-binging and to keep it fresh-tasting. I find that the bread from these recipes is good, but doesn’t make me want to go on a bread-eating binge.

If you have not made bread before— be sure your yeast is very fresh. I used some nearly expired yeast and the bread from that batch didn’t rise much. I also used some older vital wheat gluten that smelled musty, but thank goodness the bread turned out OK. I have since purchased some new yeast and vital wheat gluten, also some whole rye flour so I can try the rye bread recipe.

On Keto bread is not meant to be our ‘staff of life’ or primary food. But it is so easy to make a cheese sandwich or a tuna-and-mayo sandwich when you don’t feel like cooking, it may be worth it to get in the habit of low-carb bread making.

Food Ennui on Keto – Lowcarb

Lately I’ve been having what one might call ‘food ennui’ when following my current lowcarb and IF plan. I’ve been doing ‘bulletproof fasting’ 3 days a week— Wednesday through Friday— and eating on the 4 remaining days. But it’s been hot lately, and I’ve been depressed over being far more socially isolated than normal. Last week I had a day which was NOT one of my scheduled ‘bulletproof fasting’ days in which I didn’t bother to eat and just had one or two bulletproof coffees. 

There is a problem with this. First, when I don’t eat when I’m supposed to, when I DO get hungry I tend to have strong cravings for carby foods. And I can resist anything but temptation. Also, I DO need to eat SOMETIME, and lately I just don’t feel that eating food is worth the effort of grocery shopping and cooking and cooking-cleanup. The garbage-carbs that tempt me just have packaging that has to be thrown away— no work there.

My first thought was to go to the Dollar General store in Stephenson, MI, the one place I can get to that carries Atkins drinks (I won’t call them ‘shakes.’) But they were out of those. Since I can’t afford a meal delivery service with keto options, what I did is this— since I mostly have only one formal meal a day, I bought some cheap microwave meals that are under the 30 grams of carbs mark. I found a couple of $1 frozen Michelina meals — Salisbury steak with mashed potato, and Cheeseburger Mac— and a couple of Hormel ‘Compleats’ in the 20 carb grams (18 net carb) Beef Pot Roast flavor.

My plan is to use these microwave meals as a ‘Reward Meal,’ as in the Carbohydrate Addict’s Diet. In other words, only one a day, and eaten within the 1 hour Reward Meal window. And no significant carb intake for other  eating events. 

I know, it’s better to make real low-carb dishes from my recipe books and freeze the extra servings, but lately I just have not been in the mood for heating and eating such things, not to mention the massive cleanup involved in cooking. I’m just barely able to handle making bulletproof coffees in the hot weather we’ve been having. 

As for the lack of Atkins drinks, I’m hoping to make my own drinks from a recipe I have which will be healthier, anyway. I’ll make a few servings ahead and freeze them, and I’ll be able to take out servings to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. 

In spite of my ‘food ennui’ I’ve been sticking to my plan enough that my blood sugars and blood pressure are good and I’ve lost a little weight. I know I just have to keep going with my lowcarb way-of-life, because going on the junk-carb diet I used to be on just took too much of a toll on my health. It just isn’t worth getting obese again over it.