A family soda bread recipe calls for Crisco. Is there a more natural or healthy replacement?
I use the Spectrum organic vegetable shortening when I make biscuits and some pastry. It works really well and has a nice, not chemical flavor.
I've never made soda bread, but if you sub butter for crisco in your recipe, crisco is 100% fat while butter contains 14-18% water.
I'm in the lard camp. Believe me, when my grandmother was making soda bread back on the old sod they'd never heard of Crisco. And I don't think she'd ever heard of a town south of Galway.
I believe the Atlantic ocean is south of Galway - one of the best cities in Ireland. No wonder you're scrappy. :-)
Crisco was developed as a substitute for lard. So if you eat meat, lard is the obvious choice. 25+ years veg, I have recently been having great success with coconut oil as a substitute for lard and it's impostors.
I second spectrum. Really good.
As a lard substitution in other recipes (but not lard in soda bread), I've also used Spectrum with good results. As Pierino mentions, lard is not a common ingredient in a traditional soda bread recipe.