I Bank - Daycia Inc.
East Highway 18 | Pine Ridge, SD 57770 | 605-791-1208

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Traditional Foods - Buffalo

Over one million Native Americans shared the land of North America with the buffalo. The buffalo were very important to Native Americans and to their survival. Native Americans used every part of the buffalo. They did not waste anything. They used the buffalo as a source of food, clothing, and shelter. Native Americans treated the buffalo with respect, and the buffalo was very sacred to them. There were many traditional uses for the buffalo. Native Americans use buffalo bones for arrowheads, eating utensils, knives, shovels,and war clubs. Buffalo fat was used for soaps, tallow, and hair grease, among other things. Buffalo hair was used for braided ropes, headdresses, pillow fillers, and moccasin lining. Buffalo tails were used as fly swatters, knife sheaths, wips, and medicine. Buffalo meat was traditionally used primarily for consumption. Buffalo meat can be immediately consumed, dried into jerky, or used to make wasna (pemmican).

Source: http//itbcbuffalo.com/node/24

Nutritional Value of Buffalo

Buffalo meat has very littlefat compared to beef or pork. Since buffalo have less fat, there is less waste when compared to other meats. Buffalo will also cook faster, since it has a lower fat content. Buffalo should be cooked at lower temperatures, to keep from becoming tough. When cooking buffalo, the drier the cooking method, the more tender the meat will be. Cooking methods such as broiling, roasting, and grilling are most ideal. Buffalo can be substitued for beef in recipies.

Did you know?

Buffalo is a very nutrient dense food. It is an excellent source of protien, vitamins B12 and B6, as well as iron and zinc.

Source: Great Plains Good Health and Wellness Program: "Tradition and Nutrition feed your DNA" gptchb.org


A 100 grams serving of bison meat -- about 3.5 ounces, or about 1/4 pounds -- contains about 146 calories. This makes it one of the lowest calorie meats. A similar serving of lean contains about 176 calories, while pork contains 218 calories and turkey contains 149 calories.

Fat and Cholesterol

One serving of buffalo meat contains 7.21 grams of fat, and about 55 milligrams of cholesterol. To put that in perspective, the same serving of 90 percent lean beef contains about 10 grams of fat and about 65 milligrams of cholesterol.

Quick Roast with Veggies


  • 4lbs buffalo roast
  • 1 onion diced
  • 5 carrots sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 5-7 medium potatoes squares
  • 5 sticks of celery sliced 1/3 inch thick
  • 1 Tbsp. beef base or 2 beef broth cubes


Preheat oven to 325°F. Place roast in roaster with lid. Place 1 inch of water in the bottom of the roaster. Sprinkle roast with black pepper, add base or broth cubes to the water, then sprplaced diced onions on top of the roast and in the water. Cover and cook for 1 1/2 hours, Then remove from oven, add carrots, potatoes and celery in the water and cover and place into oven for another hour until roast is completely cooked.

Source: Great Plains Good Health and Wellness Program: "Tradition and Nutrition feed your DNA" gptchb.org

Quick Buffalo Stew


  • 2lbs ground buffalo
  • 2 (16 ounce) cans mixed vegetables
  • 2 (16 ounce) cans chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 6 cups of water


In a large soup pot, cook ground buffalo between low and medium heat, stir until brown. Add water, macaroni, vegetables, and tomatoes. Stir ingredients together and season to taste with salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer until macaroni is completely cooked.

Source: Great Plains Good Health and Wellness Program: "Tradition and Nutrition feed your DNA" gptchb.org