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Tallow: What is it, and how do you make it?

why we choose to use(22)

I use tallow for a great many of my lotions and potions, including my lip ice, lotion bars and body creams. It gets absorbed into our skins easier than plant fats because it’s an animal fat. And it’s super cheap and easy to work with.

So, what is tallow?

Basically- fried out fat.

Say whaaaaaaa?!

You heard right. Fat. Animal fat.

And no, you don’t end up smelling like a beef roast!

Okay, let’s start at the beginning.

Why use fat?

It’s Stable: Like coconut oil, tallow has a very beneficial fatty acid profile, with 50-55% stable saturated fats. This means that it is stable and does not readily go rancid, such that the beneficial nutrients can easily be preserved without refrigeration for extended periods of time.

It’s Nourishing: Properly treated tallow from grass-fed cows is especially nutrient dense, rich with nutrients that plant-based oils simply do not poses. Tallow contains a harmonious balance of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, in a balanced combination with their activators. It also has an abundance of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which as been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect and palmitoleic acid which has antimicrobial characteristics.

It’s Easily Absorbed: When you apply tallow you will notice that it leaves your skin feeling smooth without leaving a greasy residue as with some body butters. Some experts hypothesize that this is due to the similarities in the fatty acid profiles of tallow to human cell membranes and sebum (the waxy substance naturally secreted by your sebaceous glands to lubricate,waterproof and protect the skin). In Latin “sebum” actually translates to tallow or lard.

It’s Safe: Tallow has long been consumed as a cooking oil that is especially useful for high temperature cooking and frying due to a high smoke-point. It is safe to eat, delicious and safe to put on the body. It received the best possible safety ranking in the EWG database. It is important that tallow is derived from pastured, 100% grass-fed cows however, to avoid contamination with pesticides and other nasty chemicals.

How do you turn fat into tallow?

It’s pretty easy. Chop your pieces of fat into chunks of about 1cmx1cm. Cover the bottom of a pot with fat pieces and allow to melt over medium heat. Check that they don’t stick or burn. As soon as those pieces are melted, add another layer and melt that down. When the fat starts to reach 3 cm up the side of the pot, start straining some out through a sieve into a clean container (I like using wide-mouth jars or pyrex dishes so it’s easier to get out again!)

What do you do with the pieces left in the pan after frying?

My mom used to give us these ‘kaiings’ on top of corn porridge (mieliepap) as a special treat! You can eat it basically the same way you would eat meat. Otherwise, just discard it.

Where do you buy the fat?

We prefer to buy our fat from the organic butcher when possible. Remember, you don’t want to apply chemicals to your skin, so why would you want to apply hormone-treated fat?

 

So, there you go! You now have some beautiful, pure, white tallow- ready to use!

 

Get the Printable PDF HERE

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How to make Lotion Bars

why we choose to use(20)

I love using these lotions bars as a moisturizer after a lovely bath. They also do wonders for my kids’ eczema-prone skin!

 

Lotion Bars

 

½ cup beeswax

1 cup tallow

20 drops Lavender Essential Oil

 

1. In a heavy-bottom pan, melt the beeswax and tallow together over medium heat.

2. As soon as everything is melted, take off the heat and leave to cool slightly (5 min or so)

3. Add the essential oil (drop by drop)

4. Pour into moulds and leave to set (this takes a few hours in hotter areas)

5. Store at room temperature out of reach of insects and out of direct sunlight (it doesn’t have to be stored in an airtight container, I store mine in the bathroom cabinet)

 

These make awesome gifts too!

 

Download the Printable PDF HERE

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How to make Lip Ice

why we choose to use(19)

I’ve been looking for a lip ice alternative for a while now. I mean, we’re super healthy in almost everything else, but I still buy lip ice from the shop. But whyyyy?!

So, I figured out an alternative.

Oh, and it had to be stained pink, because I have a tween 😉

 

Lip Ice

 

5 tablespoons tallow

3 tablespoons beeswax

1 teaspoon rose syrup (we bought this from the local Indian shop. I would’ve preferred to use beetroot powder, but didn’t have any on hand)

Little lip ice containers/pots

 

1.In a heavy-bottom pan, melt the beeswax and tallow together over medium heat.

2. As soon as everything is melted, take off the heat and add the rose syrup/beetroot powder.

3. Pour into containers and leave to set (this takes a few hours in hotter areas)

4. Store at room temperature out of direct sunlight (I keep one in the car, one in my handbag and one in the bathroom cabinet)

 

So now you can also have gorgeous, moisturized and rose-kissed lips without all the nasties. You’re welcome! 😉

Download Printable PDF HERE

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How to make Eczema Cream

why we choose to use(21)

My kids used to suffer from seriously bad eczema for years and years. Finally, we got to the root of it and it’s cleared up now. But that’s a story for another day!

When it got REALLY bad, this was the only thing that helped.

 

Eczema Cream

 

½ beeswax

1 cup tallow

15 drops Lavender Essential Oil

15 drops Chamomile Essential Oil

 

1. In a heavy-bottom pan, melt the beeswax and tallow together over medium heat.

2. As soon as everything is melted, take off the heat and leave to cool slightly (5 min or so)

3. Add the essential oil (drop by drop)

4. Pour into a different container and leave to set.

5. Blend with a hand blender until a soft, cream-like consistency is reached.

6. Transfer to a lotion pot.

7. Store at room temperature out of direct sunlight in an airtight container.

 

When using this on severe eczema, I apply it liberally and cover with bandages. Always check for open wounds and always do a small test patch first.

Remember to always check for open wounds and always do a small test patch first.

Download the Printable PDF HERE

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How to make Beetroot Kvass (a cleansing tonic)

why we choose to use(18)

Beets are believed to have liver cleansing properties, and they have been widely used to in Europe to treat allergies, chronic fatigue, chemical sensitivities and digestive issues. Now, much of this is based only on someone’s grandma re-telling a story of what helped a village child while they were growing up or some such thing! But I believe there could be some truth to it!

This tonic is, therefore, a great detox aid (albeit an acquired taste!)

 

Beetroot Kvass

 

4 medium beetroots

1 ½ teaspoons salt

1-liter water

 

1. Chop the beets and place into a jar with the water and salt.

2. Swirl everything around so the salt gets dissolved in the water.

3. Cover loosely with a lid or cheesecloth with a rubber band and leave to ferment for 3 days at room temperature.

4. Taste, and adjust your fermenting time if needed. The longer you leave it, the tangier it will become.

5. When you are happy with the taste, transfer to a sterilized bottle and seal (I keep mine in the fridge and consume within a few days)

Enjoy!

Download the Printable PDF HERE