Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Spinach blue cheese pie, buckwheat cookie and healthy lard

Spinach, blue cheese and egg pie with boiled swedes and adzuki bean sprouts
Today's Food Diary
Breakfast: Rolled oats with sultanas, toasted coconut, sunflower seeds and linseeds
Lunch: Spinach, blue cheese and egg pie with boiled swedes and adzuki bean sprouts
Dinner: Pasta with tomato sauce, beetroot soup

I made pork/chicken stock few days ago and saved the lard because I don’t really like wasting. I used it to make the pie pastry, the first time I made lard pastry. It is a healthy alternative, relatively speaking, but unappealing for some reason.

Today's Favourite Photo
Giant lemon sugar cookies. Great if you are on a cookie ration, one cookie per day, or three.

Today's Favourite Blog
Mention buckwheat and cookie is probably the last thought that comes to our mind. For me the first (and only) association I have with buckwheat is eating buckwheat porridge for breakfast in Siberia, almost everyday.

dinners & dreams has a recipe for strawberry buckwheat cookie, it sounds a bit unusual but probably not a bad combination. The strawberry would help mellow down the buckwheat flavour, perhaps this is necessary if we use buckwheat flour. If only the breakfast 'chefs' in Siberia made a few changes in the cooking process, added and removed a few ingredients, I would have been even happier. Not that I was unhappy, quite the opposite.

Today's Random Rumbling: Healthy Lard Pastry
Using lard may sound unappealing since it is normally associated with clogged arteries. My conclusion is that lard pastry is healthier compared with butter pastry, for two simple reasons.

The saturated fat content in lard is 39% while butter has 51%. Beef tallow (suet) has 50% saturated fat content. Compared with butter lard has higher monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat content, the good fats. If we assume that saturated fat is bad and the other fats are good, lard is the clear winner. Perhaps it cannot be this simple and since I am not an expert, I hesitate to say more.

The second reason lard is better is because of better mileage, not for your car but for your pastry! When making lard pastry, water is added and this reduces the total saturated fat content even further. Note that butter already has 20% water so water is not normally added when making butter pastry.

An even healthier alternative is oil pastry. However taste is more important in some cases. You would not be making many friends if you offer strawberry pie made with lard pastry! 

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  1. Interesting. I may have to try a lard pastry to compare taste and flavor.

  2. Wow! I would love to try that! How different!

  3. yummychunklet and Jessica: you are brave:) I would love to hear your experiences with it.

  4. I can definitely see how nutty, earthy buckwheat can go really well with soft and slightly sweet pork lard. and cookies out of that - even better!

    slightly confused (sorry, new to your blog) - are you quoting someone else's blog?

  5. Thanks for including the cookies in your trio today. It is really appreciated. Years ago lard was used to make pie crusts and even those who might not agree with your conclusion would agree that it makes flakier crusts than shortening or butter. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  6. Katrina: welcome. Its usually my analysis unless its in quotes. The favourite photo is never mine

  7. Mary: I did read that lard pastries were much flakier.I may have eaten lard patries unknowingly during my travels. (Un)fortunately I used way too much water so it wasn't really short and flaky.

  8. The Chinese love using lard in pastries - I have yet to try making one myself though. Totally impressed you made some :D