Monday, February 28, 2011

Ode to Pork Belly


Bacon is amazing, for several different reasons. Bacon is full of saturated and monounsaturated fats as well as protein.  One medium slice contains: 43.3 calories, 70% from fat, 29% from protein, and a measly 1% from carbs. Many people think that bacon is bad because of the fat, but it actually contains a good bit of monounsaturated fat (the same “heart-healthy” fat in olive oil). I was a little surprised to find out that bacon has more monounsaturated fat than saturated fat in it. (1.5g monounsaturated vs. 1.1g saturated). I view bacon as a healthy source of fat and protein, perfect for a whole food, primal or traditional diet. Some other complaints about bacon are the sodium content, the sugar content, and the nitrates it’s cured with. 

Sodium content: I really don’t care about because 1.) I don’t have high blood pressure 2.) I believe eating potassium rich foods is more important than eating a low-sodium diet, and 3.) I don’t eat processed foods which is where most American’s get their “excessive” sodium. 

Sugar content: Pretty much all bacon is cured with sugar of some form. I discovered you can order “sugar-free” bacon online, but it’s pretty pricey. Since I also limit my sugar intake from other sources I don’t feel that the tiny bit of sugar I may be consuming with my bacon is of any importance.

Nitrates: I have to admit that I don’t know a whole lot about nitrates, but my mom has researched it and is adamant about not buying any meats cured with them. For now I trust my mom and her judgment on this one, so all the bacon I buy is organic and nitrate free, (I don’t know if you even can buy organic bacon that isn’t nitrate free…). In the future I may have to look into nitrates and see what they do to the human body. 

I’ve been enjoying in a bunch of tasty things, and I find the fat to make incredible mayo. I’ve had fun making all sorts of bacon-y creations. 
 The 4lbs of bacon I recently cooked up. 
 As you can see cooking bacon can be messy, I took precautions to move all the random junk off the adjacent counters.
Bacon Ranch Dressing, the most amazing dressing ever. I used a base of bacon mayo and then added in buttermilk and herbs-yum!
Bacon Broccoli Salad made with lightly cooked broccoli, apples, walnuts, and bacon all tossed in a sweet and tangy bacon mayo dressing. If I didn't have self control I would have eaten the whole bowl.
A loaded salad I made using bacon, tomatoes, avocado, my bacon ranch, and a bit of cheese. 


  1. please tell me more about this bacon ranch dressing you make. how, how, HOW!?

  2. I should probably post a detailed recipe post in a bit, but for now here's my method:
    I take 1C liquid (but not hot) strained bacon fat and emulsify it with 1-2 egg yolks, 1 Tablespoon of apple-cider vinegar and a squeeze of mustard. You now have bacon mayo, this stuff is delicious on just about everything. To turn it into ranch I just stir in enough buttermilk to get a smooth ranch dressing consistency. I add in 1TB diced onions, a clove of diced garlic and dill, thyme, salt, pepper, and tarragon to taste. There's lots of variations, but you can't really go wrong with it. You'll have to warm the dressing up slightly before you put it on salads since the saturated fat makes it get pretty solid in the fridge.

  3. Sounds great, gonna try to make it this weekend. Thanks!