Yes, I said BACON! Real, greasy, crunchy, delicious bacon. Contrary to popular belief cholesterol in your diet does not lead to high cholesterol or heart disease in the body. Matter of fact it's the high fructose corn syrup, sugary coffee creamers, refined carbohydrates, and the like that cause excess fat storage and this can cause plaque build up in your arteries, which THEN can cause heart disease. Do not read this and think you can eat bacon for every meal or every morning for breakfast as it is still high calorically and if eaten out of proportion with other healthy foods in your diet it will still cause weight gain and unnecessary fat storage.
We live in a fat phobic country and unfortunately for us this means the food industry has cut the fat only to replace it with trans fats and high sugar substitutes. When the original lipid-hypothesis first came out (1950's I believe) it was naturally believed that cholesterol from eggs, butter, and animal fats would cause high cholesterol and thus would cause heart disease. So these fats were "banned" in the media marketing of health foods and replaced with "low-fat" foods. Evidence from recent studies have shown that heart disease has increased since Americans have been on the "low-fat" diet. Meaning sugar (refined carbohydrates) has been the culprit all along...not fat!
Let's get the facts straight here...first of all there are 4.5g of fat (saturated) fat in 1 slice of bacon. But if you were to cook 1 slice of bacon, pull it out of the grease that has cooked off of it, and dab it with a paper towel, you have at least half of that fat swishing around in the pan. So you are not really eating 4.5g per slice unless you drink the grease. Second, animal fat or we could call it lard, is what our ancestors survived on. They didn't pick out the fatty parts and throw it out, they ate the whole animal and vegetables...period. Third, saturated fats are not the enemy. We need saturated fats to produce cholesterol, which is the base building block for every hormone in the body. In fact, saturated fats are responsible for healthy brain function, digestive function, and sex hormone regulation. Saturated fats from butter and coconut oil have medicinal properties, as well as anti-bacterial properties that we use to help heal and treat digestive dysfunction. Fourth, our diets are about balance, and fat needs to be included in that balance. Healthy fats include animal fats, IN MODERATION! Just like we can not survive solely on protein or carnohydrates without consequences, we can not live solely on fat either. You should aim to put this fat in balance with your vegetable and protein intake :)
The recipe below includes 4 slices of bacon (~16g fat) and was split between 3 people. That's about 5g of saturated animal fat per person, minus the grease leftover in the pan and you could bring that down to 3g per person. That is totally acceptable!
Sweet Potato & Bacon Hash
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1/4 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 bunch of rainbow chard, washed de-stemmed and chopped
5 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tbsp coconut oil
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Salt & pepper to taste
Slice you bacon into small cuts, either on the cutting board or with
scissors. Sautee over medium heat in a sauce pan (you don't need to
grease the pan when you're making bacon). While that's cooking, chop
your onion, wash your chard, and peel and chop your sweet potato.
Make sure your tending to your bacon so it cooks evenly. Add the onion. Let that cook together for 5 minutes then remove
the contents from the pan, trying to leave the grease in the pan, and put into a mixing bowl and set aside.
Pour the bacon grease into a glass jar, as you don't want this going down your drain! You can qipe out the remaining grease with a paper towel.
Now add coconut oil, sweet potatoes, thyme and cinnamon to cook over medium heat. They
will take 10-15 min or so, then add in the chard at the end mix for a
minute until chard is a little wilted. Combine sweet potato mixture with the bacon and onions...Mix all ingredients together.
We served for breakfast and it was incredible! This made very generous
servings for three people, but could have easily fed 4 people.