BISON: AMERICA'S ORIGINAL HEALTH FOOD

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About Buffalo Meat
You have found your way to this page of OAKCREEK BUFFALO RANCH's
website, and you did not get here by accident.
That tells me that you have already heard that buffalo meat tastes great and is good for you. 
But you would not have come here if you didn't want to learn more.
Good for you!!  I'll let you decide what you would like to ask about next:


HEALTHY CHOICE: Meat does not get any healthier than Bison meat, unless it is free-range, grass-fed American Buffalo. You probably know already that Bison and American Buffalo are simply different names for the same animal. Which name you choose is up to you.

COOKING WITH BUFFALO:  Cooking with buffalo is easy! This delicious red meat can be substituted in any recipe used for beef, with just a few adjustments. For one thing it cooks faster, and gets you out of the kitchen sooner. Here  you can learn how to adjust your cooking methods for the low fat cooking of Buffalo meat.

RECIPES:  Here are a few of my favorite recipes for you to try! But you know your favorite family meals, and I hope you will not hesitate to try Buffalo meat in your own recipes.

HEALTHY CHOICE

America's Original Health Food

If you are concerned about your health and want to eat food that is good for you - and yet not sacrifice taste and flavor for better nutrition - then buffalo is the meat for you. Sweet, flavorful and tender, buffalo meat still packs a nutritional wallop. Exceptionally high in protein and minerals, bison is low in fat, calories and cholesterol. It tends to satisfy you more while eating less.

The American Heart Association recommends bison meat for a heart healthy diet due to its low fat and cholesterol content. Buffalo is high in protein, iron, selenium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, potassium, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamins B6 and B12. Its more than heart healthy - Its PEOPLE HEALTHY.
 

  Meat            Fat Grams        Calories        Cholesterol

Bison                2.42                143                    82

Chicken            7.41                190                    89

Beef                 9.3                  211                    86

Pork                10.5                 215                    92

   USDA Handbook per 100 gram serving (just over 3 ounces)


Bison grazing on green grass have a very healthy fat. Omega 3 fatty acids and CLA (conjugated nucleic acid) help in controlling weight and fighting cancers, among other properties. These fatty acids are deficient in most American diets. Feeding grain to animals lessens the amount of these fats. It must be kept in mind, however, that bison meat is lean, and not considered a high source of fat whether from grass or from grain. Many producers chose to add some grain to the finishing diet of bison to produce meat with a consistent flavor as the grass varies with the seasons and the location.

While listing all the benefits IN bison meat, we shouldn't forget what is NOT IN the meat.In addition to having fewer calories, less fat and less cholesterol, there are no growth hormones, steroids, or sub-therapeutic antibiotics. These animals are both environmentally friendly and people friendly.

Bison meat is versatile and satisfying, easy to prepare, and can be used in any recipe requiring beef. Give your health and taste buds a treat, and eat BUFFALO, America's Original Health Food.

 

More Information About Bison Nutrition
At the August 2002 meeting of the Missouri Bison Association, nutritionist
Barbara Lohse Knouse, PHD, RD, LD from Kansas State University spoke about the nutritional value of bison meat. Dr. Knouse feels that there are many important advantages to bison meat in addition to "High in protein, Low in fat and Low in Cholesterol". This is especially important during this time when more people are pursuing healthier nutritional lifestyles.
Dr. Knouse highlighted the following advantages of bison nutrition:

B6 and B12 (Bison is a HIGH of these vitamins)
                Vitamin B12 is only available from animal sources
                Vitamin B12 has been shown to keep the elderly mentally alert
                Vitamin B6 is needed for protein metabolism

Sodium (Bison is a LOW source of Sodium)
                High sodium intake is associated with hypertension

Potassium (Bison is a HIGH source or Potassium)
                Key to lowering Blood Pressure
                Most foods high in potassium are also high in calories
                Bison contains 1/3 more potassium than chicken

Iron (Bison is a HIGH source of Iron)
                Necessary for hemoglobin formation and prevention of anemia.
                Bison is 3 times higher in Iron than pork or chicken.

Selenium (Bison is a HIGH source of Selenium)
                An antioxidant shown to help prevent cancer.
                Bison has 4 times higher amount of Selenium than the USDA
                recommends as an antioxidant.

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (Bison is a high source of CLA)
                Antioxidant that has been shown to help prevent cancer

Calories (Bison is a LOW source of calories) 1/2 the calories of pork and chicken 

Dr. Knouse emphasized the huge differences between American Buffalo (Bison) meat and Water Buffalo meat. In her research,when a NUTRITION LABEL stated only "Buffalo", it referred to Water Buffalo. American Buffalo meat is labeled "Bison", not "Buffalo" in NUTRITION CHARTS.

Many people associate grain feeding of animals with both taste and health. The fact is, just the opposite is true. Bison did not evolve eating grain, and it is not a natural healthy diet for them.

WHAT MAKES GRASS-FINISHED MEAT SO SPECIAL??

That's easy! Its better for:

*the animals- When allowed to range freely, buffalo enjoy a twilight grazing session. They like to graze in the early evening because the temperature is more moderate, the flies are less persistent, and the grass tastes sweeter. Now doesn't that sound better than a dusty feedlot? And their diet is a whole lot healthier for them as well.

*the consumer- Products from pastured animals are ideal for human health. Very similar to wild game, they contain the amounts and kinds of nutrients that our bodies "expect" to be fed. The research suggests that switching to grassfed products may reduce the risk of a number of diseases, including diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

*the environment- New studies show that raising animals on pasture is not only less harmful to the ecosystem than raising animals in confinement, it may offer net benefits. Natural grasslands can be just as effective at sequestering carbon dioxide as forests.

* the farm family - Farmers who raise their animals on pasture enjoy a number of benefits including being able to raise their families in a peaceful environment and eat nutritious, all-natural food. They are also spared the health hazards associated with factory farming. Just as important, many farmers are able to make a living selling their pastured products directly to consumers or restaurants. As the public becomes more aware of the benefits of pastured products, thousands of small family farms may survive

BEWARE - many growers who grain feed and grain finish will list their animals as grass-fed. And they are! They get hay, and may even have access to pasture. But if they are fed grain it changes the fat composition of the animal. Other livestock producers may list their meat as organically grown. That usually means that the grain the animals receive is organically grown, and does not promise you that the animals are NATURALLY raised on grass. That's why you should ask if the animal is GRAIN-FINISHED or GRASS-FINISHED.

When you switch from grain-fed to grass-finished meat, it provides you with a wealth of health benefits. You avoid all those extra layers of high cholesterol fats, the synthetic hormones, antibiotics, pesticide residues, and other additives found in feed lot animals. But even more importantly, with grass-finished animals you get some wonderful nutritional advantages:  MORE OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS, CLA, BETA CAROTENE, AND A WHOLE LOT FEWER CALORIES. You are saying "OK, I'll take your word for it", because you do not know what that means? The answers could fill a book - or a website. That's just what Jo Robinson has done at eatwild.com. If you don't find enough information here, I suggest that you explore eatwild.com for more.

****OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS 3 fatty acids are not only good for your health, they are essential for normal growth and development. Furthermore, you can't manufacture them in your body, so you must get them from your diet. This is why omega-3 fatty acids are one the the few fats to be classified as "essential fatty acids." Most Americans consume a diet with inadequate supplies of Omega-3.

****CLA stands for Conjugated Linoleic Acid, another "good fat". Ruminant animals are the richest known source of this substance. Although the research is in its earliest stages, CLA shows promise of reducing the risk of cancer, obesity, diabetes, and a number of immune disorders . What's more, CLA appears to be perfectly safe. Even in very large doses, this good fat has shown no harmful effects in laboratory animals. That's what makes these "good fats" as opposed to the artery clogging "bad fats" associated with grain.

I have a degree in Health Education, and tend to get carried away with the health benefits of grass-finished animals, whether they be cattle, chickens, sheep or BISON. So I'll get off of my "band wagon" and send you on to other subjects. 

COOKING WITH BUFFALO

Cooking with buffalo is easy! This delicious red meat can be substituted in any recipe used for beef, with just a few adjustments. For one thing it cooks faster, and gets you out of the kitchen sooner.

Buffalo meat is a sweet, dark, dense yet tender, very lean red meat. The dark color is due to the iron content and the lack of marbling with fat. With a few modifications, bison meat can be substituted for beef in any recipe for a delightful new taste and a healthier diet. Here are a few hints to make cooking with bison successful.

The first thing to keep in mind when cooking bison, is that it cooks much faster than other meats. This will also make meal preparation faster, and that's great. The lack of fat as an insulator is the reason bison meat cooks roughly thirty percent faster than beef.

The best tool that you can have when cooking buffalo is a meat thermometer. Meat can overcook in just a minute, so watch temperatures closely, and do not cook past 155 degrees internal temperature. Remember that internal temperatures will rise while meat is "resting", so it is better not to rush meat to the table. Instead, let the meat rest, covered and in a warm place, for 4 to 6 minutes to let the juices redistribute. Use tongs to turn meat, never a fork, or precious juices will be lost. For the same reason, don't press burgers with your spatula.

Because of the low fat content of bison, coating with olive oil or other light oil will help prevent drying and sticking, enhance the flavor and help brown the meat. Marinating lean cuts like sirloin and strip steaks is recommended. Choose a marinade that has a light flavor to enhance moisture content and meat flavor. If you do not have the time for a marinade, your favorite rub will help break down connective tissues, and should be pounded a few times into the meat.

Bring your meat to room temperature before cooking if possible, and always preheat your oven, grill or pan. If you normally roast meat at 325 degrees, for bison meat turn oven temperatures down to 275 degrees and roast the same time as beef. If broiling, move the rack a little further from the heat. Sear meat quickly to seal in juices, then grill over a low flame, being careful not to over cook. Remember that meat thermometer! If you are grilling a piece of meat that takes longer to cook (or you prefer your meat very well done), the temperature should stay very low, and the meat should be basted with liquid frequently to keep it juicy. Stove top cooking is great for steaks, as you have better control on temperature. You can also use butter in the final minutes to carry seasonings through the meat the way your favorite chef would do.

Slow cooking in a crock pot produces excellent results. Many bison producers say they put frozen roasts directly into the crockpot with great results. With this slow moist cooking, you cannot over cook the meat. Cook it all day, and come home to a fine dinner. Browning the roast will help to seal in juices, so is recommended when time permits.

Try substituting buffalo in one of your favorite recipes, and see if your family doesn't love it! We hope you will try the wonderful variety of recipes we put together for you in this cookbook. We're sure that you'll agree, eating healthy never tasted soooo good.

RECIPES

MINI BUFFALO MEATLOAFS WITH CRANBERRY SAUCE

INGREDIENTS:
1 lb buffalo meat, ground
1 tsp garlic salt
1 small onion, diced
1 c. cooked rice
1 egg, beaten slightly
1 cup tomato sauce
2 cup cranberry sauce (I prefer whole berry sauce for this recipe)
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 T. lemon juice

DIRECTIONS:
Stir together cranberry sauce, brown sugar, tomato sauce, and lemon juice in a
saucepan and heat through. In a brown, mix together 1/2 cup of the cranberry mixture, meat, garlic salt, parsley, onion, rice and egg. Shape into 4 small loaves. Place into a lightly oiled baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Place loaves on a platter and pour remaining sauce over meat before serving. If you are cooking for two people like I am, try saving two of the meatloaves and the sauce separately. Save the sauce for much later. Make a different topping for the leftover meatloaves using a pineapple sweet and sour sauce, or mushrooms and onions in sour cream, or just go wild with your own creativity for your own masterpiece;

HIDDEN PLEASURES MEATLOAF

Ingredients:
1 lb. ground buffalo meat
1 cup cracker crumbs
1 egg
2 T. minced onion
1 cup milk
1 tsp. salt, divided
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup ketchup
3 T. brown sugar
T. prepared mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup water
1 cup mashed potatoes (prepared instant is fine)
1/4 pkg. fresh baby spinach leaves
8 oz. baby carrots or thin whole carrot slices

Directions:
Mix together the bison, crumbs, eggs, onion, milk, salt, pepper, and worcestershire sauce. On a large sheet of wax paper, press meat mixture into a rectangle 10 inches wide and 14 inches long. Cook carrots for 5 minutes in a microwave and prepare mashed potatoes. Spread spinach leaves generously over the meat mixture. Spread mashed potatoes over the spinach. Place carrots evenly over the potatoes. Beginning at the narrow end, carefully roll the meat up, jelly-roll fashion. Seal ends.
Place in a loaf pan with the seam side down. In a saucepan, mix ketchup , mustard, brown sugar and 1 tsp salt. Bring to a boil and pour over meat. Bake at 300 degrees for 1  hours or 30 minutes at 400 degrees.

Smoky Hill Bison White Chili
(NBA award winning recipe)
Visit Smoky Hills Bison Farm at bisonfarm.com
2 lbs. Ground Bison Burger
1 onion-chopped
2 stalks celery-chopped
2 large cloves garlic-minced
1- 4.5 oz. can green chopped chilies
1/2 c. butter
2- 16 oz. cans of cooked Great Northern or Butter beans (I like to puree in a can of butter beans and add a can of the Great Northern beans in whole)
1/3 c. flour
2 c. milk
1 t. salt
1-2 t. chili powder (or more if you prefer it hotter)
1/2 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. ground pepper
2 T. white vinegar
2 T. fresh lime juice
Tabasco Sauce to taste (optional)
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Brown burger in a large Dutch oven or soup kettle. Add onion, celery, garlic, chilies, and butter, and cook until vegetables are translucent.
In blender, puree 1 can of the beans, flour, and 1 cup of the milk. Add this mixture and the rest of the ingredients but the cheese to the pot and simmer for 1/2 hour to blend the flavors. Add cheese and blend in to melt it before serving.
Garnish with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkling of shredded mozzarella cheese, and a dash of paprika or fresh cilantro. Makes six to eight servings.

Let me share the best recipe secret of them all. 
COOKING WITH AMERICAN BUFFALO is the Missouri Bison Association cookbook that contains not only 300 recipes for cooking buffalo meat, but also cooking tips, information on nutrition, and much, much more. IT CAN BE PURCHASED FROM OAKCREEK FOR ONLY $6.95 PLUS $3.00 SHIPPING.