Friday, March 25, 2011

Why I Won't Use Crisco

 First of all, I'd like to say that I do my best to eat as little refined foods as possible. I like my food to be as close to the original state as possible. That being said, what do do with lard or shortening? It's great for pie crust. It makes yummy biscuits. And cookies! It's also a great greaser for many things. But really, it's not good for your body.
As of 2010, Crisco consists of a blend of soybean oil, fully hydrogenated cottonseed oil, and partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oils. 

A little information on hydrogenation for you.

Hydrogenation is the process of heating an oil and passing hydrogen bubbles through it. The fatty acids in the oil then acquire some of the hydrogen, which makes it more dense. If you fully hydrogenate, you create a solid (a fat) out of the oil. But if you stop part way, you a semi-solid partially hydrogenated oil that has a consistency like butter, only it's a lot cheaper.

Unlike butter or virgin coconut oil, hydrogenated oils contain high levels of trans fats. A trans fat is an otherwise normal fatty acid that has been "transmogrified", by high-heat processing of a free oil.
Worse, most partially hydrogenated oil is partially hydrogenated soybean oil. That's a problem, because soybean oil depresses the thyroid--which lowers your energy levels

This article really breaks down why trans fats are bad for you. 
What are Trans Fatty Acids?
They are man-made or processed fats, which are made from a liquid oil. When you add hydrogen to liquid vegetable oil and then add pressure, the result is a stiffer fat, like the fat found in a can of Crisco. Trans fats are also called hydrogenated fats.
Why are They Bad for You?
Trans fats pose a higher risk of heart disease than saturated fats, which were once believed to be the worst kind of fats. While it is true that saturated fats -- found in butter, cheese and beef, for example -- raise total cholesterol levels, trans fats go a step further. Trans fats not only raise total cholesterol levels, they also deplete good cholesterol (HDL), which helps protect against heart disease.
What Harm do They do to the Body?
The stiffer and harder fats are, the more they clog up your arteries. Artificial trans fats do the same thing in our bodies that bacon grease does to kitchen sinks. Over time, they can "clog the pipes" that feed the heart and brain, which can lead to heart attack or stroke risk.

What do I use?
Enter: Palm Shortening.

It is non-hydrogenated and contains no trans fatty acids. It is also a good source of antioxidants and MCT (medium chain trigylcerides) known to speed up the metabolism.
So it's a natural, good for you, and a great substitution for all your fake lard (crisco) needs! 
It makes flaky pie crust, awesome biscuits, great cookies, and it's an amazing greaser. =) Definitely a staple in this house!

This is the kind I buy. 
Image of Organic Palm Shortening from Tropical Traditions. Certified organic Palm shortening is a healthy subsitute in your favoite bisquit recipes for hydrogenated shortening.

Give it a try! You probably won't be disappointed. Your body sure won't be! 


  1. I just finished up my can of Crisco and opened my palm shortening to make pasty pies yesterday... turned out delicious! :) Will only use palm shortening, if I can help it, from now on! And.. I have you to thank for it! ;)

  2. Happy to hear that, Clarissa! I was so excited to find a healthy alternative.

  3. This is awesome, Tsas! I didn't even know this existed! I have been using only butter but it's just not quite the same. Thank you!!!
    You couldn't pay me to use regular shortening!

  4. Oh my goodness, you will LOVE baking with this stuff!