Tag Archives: bone broth

Mother Nature Flipped the Switch

Mother Nature has flipped the switch from Summer to Fall here in Minnesota.
It’s a cool rainy day, so it’s the perfect time to work in the kitchen!

Fall is time for soup!  And every good soup starts with stock packed with flavor and nutrition.  Meat stock a.k.a. bone broth is truly a healing super-food and should be part of everyone’s repertoire.  I drink a half cup for breakfast nearly every day and feel incomplete without it.

It’s the secret ingredient to an awesome beef stew – the gelatin in the broth gives the sauce that silky, satisfying texture.  Mmm…beef stew…*drool*…  Better get started!

List for today:

Beef Stock (Bone Broth)
Hamburger Patties
Beef Roast
Vegetable Beef Stew
Acorn Squash
Liver
Bacon

Advance prep for the week’s meals makes life easier, especially for lunches away from home at work and school.  And dinner is on the table and into our hungry tummies much faster.

BACON

I bake my bacon. Get the Coleman 3-packs from Costco, and a whole box fits in the oven at once (on 3 trays).
Put it in the fridge and there’s always bacon at the ready!

LEEKS

My co-op had the BIGGEST leeks I have ever seen – I just had to get them!

BEEF

Low and Slow: a rump roast and beef stew with carrots, celery, mushrooms, onions, bok choy, sweet potato and LOTS of leeks! After 4 hours at 250F the meat is so tender you can cut it with a SPOON.

My reward at dinner time:  *beef bliss*

Beef 2

Rainy Days Are Made For Cooking

Holy Moly, did we get some RAIN last night and today!!  Complete with Flash Flood and Tornado watches.  Rainy days are the perfect opportunity to spend time in the kitchen.

What’s cooking?

Beef bone broth, mushrooms & onions with banana bread baking in the oven and a tray of “Caveman Crack” chillin’ in the fridge.

rainy day 007

Winter Beauty Care

Baby, It's COLD outside!  (-10F)  Gee, I can see my breath.  Why can't the camera?!

Baby, It’s COLD outside! (-10F)
Gee, I can see my breath. Why can’t the camera?!

Winter has returned to Minnesota, with sub-zero windchills and frost on the porch windows.  We got lulled into a false sense of optimism by a January thaw complete with rain and patches of green grass peeking through the snow cover.

But mid-winter in the Northland is brutal, with temperatures down to the -40s, strong winds and air so cold and dry it can snatch your breath away.  It leaves normally healthy skin raw and hair charged with static, standing on end. Makes you want to hibernate until Spring!

What’s a girl to do?  Or anyone for that matter?

First and foremost, nourish your skin and hair from the inside out.  Eat foods rich in healthy fats and collagen (bone broth, avocado, bacon, ghee, coconut milk and coconut oil).  Avoid dehydration by consuming adequate fluids.  I am a huge Tea Lover and always have a tea pot on the warmer when there is snow on the ground.

As tempting as they are, avoid hot baths and showers.  Hot water depletes the skin of oils and moisture, making it more vulnerable to dermatitis.  Less frequent bathing can also be helpful.  To prevent hair static, skip the blow dryer and apply a touch of coconut oil to tame the frizzies and fly-aways.

Reexamine the products you use to clean up and care for your body.  Harsh detergents not only dry your skin and hair, but many contain chemicals that contribute to toxic burden.  Be sure to read every product label and especially avoid sodium laurel sulfates (SLS), parabens, formeldahydes such as quatermium, and other synthetic compounds.  We should avoid these always, but especially when we are under stress.  See Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep guide for product safety ratings.  Minimize the number of commercial products you use  and either make your own or eliminate their use altogether.  I like the California Baby Shampoo, Conditioner and Calendula Cream for gluten-free, safe personal care products.  Magnesium Oil makes a great spray-on deoderant that doubles as an essential mineral supplement.

A very effective and safe option for cleansing and moisturizing is coconut oil.  It can be used on face, body and hair for cleansing, moisturizing and detoxification (oil pulling).  Just rub a small amount between your hands to melt it, and apply anywhere you need moisturizing or protection.  It is naturally anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal.

Although coconut oil works really well, my FAVORITE lip balm on the planet is RALLYE Balm by Red Apple Lipstick.  I use it on my lips, under my eyes and on my cuticles.  It’s gluten-free, paraben-free and all-around fabulous – as are all of their lip and eye products!
[In the photo above, I am wearing Crush On Me lipstick and Metropolis lip gloss to protect me from these harsh winter winds.  And just for fun – TutuCute, Buttercream and Iced Mocha on the eyes, with Espresso applied wet as liner.]

Liz Wolfe of Cave Girl Eats just released her new Skintervention Guide with expert guidance to achieving Paleo perfect skin.  I highly recommend it!  She discusses the same points outlined here, but in far greater detail. (Of course!  I only have so much space in a blog post.)  She reviews nutrition, digestion and face/body care routines and products.

A key practice I had temporarily given up for convenience is the oil cleansing method, but will be mixing a new batch tonight.  This cold, dry air is just too much for my skin to compensate.  So back to the basics I go.  Hmm…I am seeing a pattern here…sugar detox, skin care change, decluttering…

Time to once again Simplify My Life.  More on that in an upcoming post!

Chicken Soup Time!

Chicken Stock 001

Well, it seems the news reports are true: we have an especially bad cold and flu season upon us.  Our family has avoided most illness for the past two years, other than a minor cold.  But despite all our good intentions and efforts to stay healthy, we got hit this past weekend with some sort of virus.

Granted, we did not suffer nearly as much or as long as our friends and neighbors – but it certainly wasn’t a pleasant weekend being stuck on the couch, too tired to do anything more than eat chicken soup and watch movies.  Needless to say, the chicken stock has been depleted.

So, it’s time to replenish the chicken bone broth supply!  The photo above shows (4) small roasted chicken carcasses/necks with mirepoix, ready to simmer overnight.  I follow the same process outlined in my beef bone broth recipe.

There’s just nothing like chicken soup on a cold Minnesota winter day – period.

 

Time to Heal (bone broth recipe)

So many people are sick today for so many reasons.  Where does one begin?  At the source – the gut.  As followup to an earlier post containing a video interview with Dr. Natascha Campbell-McBride (a MUST-see!), let’s talk about healing protocol – whether it’s a chronic illness or the most recent round of stomach flu.

Healing one’s gut involves a 2-prong approach:  First, remove the irritants contributing to “leaky gut” syndrome.  Eliminate sugars, grains, legumes and dairy from the diet to halt the progression.  Second, consume nutrient-dense healing foods to provide the building blocks for the body to heal. Two of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet are organ meats and bone broth.

I learned to make this life-giving liquid gold from a chef at my local food co-op (many thanks, Greg!)  and have had great success with the process he taught me.  Both beef and chicken stocks are rich, tasty and turn to solid gelatin in the fridge – a sign of plentiful collagens and other amino acids.

Bone broth also contains large amounts of bio-available minerals and compounds that build the immune system.  Have you ever heard traditional chicken soup referred to as “Jewish penicillin”?  There’s a reason for that.

The process begins at the butcher’s counter: bone selection.  My local co-op has bags of mixed beef bones and chicken carcasses minus the legs, wings and breasts especially suited for soup.  For beef stock, select a mix of leg/knuckle and neck bones if available – choose a few with a small amount of meat on them for better flavor.  Neck bones provide nerve tissue, an added benefit.

bone broth post 1 - selection

Next, prepare the pan for roasting. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange your mirepoix (carrots, celery and onions in a ratio of 1:1:2).

bone broth post 2 - mirepoix

Place the cooling rack in the sheet pan and arrange your bones atop, placing the larger ones on the outer edges to encourage even roasting.  Salt generously with Pink Himalayan Salt (mined from ancient sea beds and contains 82 trace minerals found in our blood).

bone broth post 1a - selection

Roast the bones about 30-45 minutes at 400F turning once.

bone broth post 3 - roasting

Place roasted bones, veggies and accumulated juices in stockpot.

bone broth post - 4 vinegar

Fill the stockpot with cold (filtered) water and add more salt and 1/4 cup vinegar to draw out more minerals from the bones.  I like to use coconut vinegar as it is neutral-flavored, but some like apple cider vinegar or wine.  **Cooking is chemistry: by adding an acid (vinegar or wine) the positively charged hydrogen ions will bind with the negatively charged mineral ions and suspend them in the broth – ready for your body to use.**

Simmer in stockpot overnight with the lid on.  As fresh herb flavor can easily be cooked out, I add them near the end.  Turn off the stove and add fresh thyme, parsley and a dried bay leaf to steep.  Let the broth cool to warm before removing/straining bones, veggies and herbs.  Chill for several hours until solidified.  Defat by removing the top layer of hardened fat from the gelatinous broth.

bone broth post 5 - defatting

I like my broth concentrated for more compact storage, so I boil it down before pouring it into freezer-safe containers, chilling, then freezing for longer-term storage.

bone broth post 6a - storage

I have made turkey and chicken stock from leftovers (carcasses), and that also works well.  Since they are pre-roasted, I just add fresh veggies to the bones in the pot and follow the same process from there.

I like to use bone broths in soups/stews and stir fry, as well as drink it straight for breakfast.  Use it any way you can – any time you can.

So, there you have it: a nearly fool-proof method for great tasting, super-nutritious bone broth! (a.k.a. meat stock)  To your health!