Archive for Recipes


Healing Bone Broth

Posted by: | Comments (0)

When we are sick, we need a good healing broth that feeds us without making us digest much to get it into our body. It is a good idea to make one or more of these in advance and have them in the freezer ready to go. I recommend letting them defrost in a bowl of hot water or on the counter and heating them up in a pot rather than using a microwave. I don’t use microwaves due to the chance that they might change or reduce the healing qualities of the broth.

I use the old bones I have saved in the freezer from roasts, turkey and chicken carcasses, and other good bones. I try to get organic or at least humanely raised meats to use. For this purpose, maybe you can at least get good bones from the healthiest sources you can find. Using the best veggies and ingredients obviously will be the best for you when you and/or your family is sick, however some broth is better than none! You are looking for rich, condensed, unprocessed nutrition to feed you at a cellular level.

Put your bones and even some veggies in a roasting pan in the oven at a low temperatyre (250 degrees) for a few hours or until they are nicely browned and NOT scorched or BURNED! Add water or broth at the end to loosen up the lovely browned bits on the bottom of the roasting pan. Get out your biggest soup pot/stock pot and transfer everything from the roasting pan to the pot, cleaning out all the wonderful stuck bits with the liquid. Crack or break as many bones as you can since you want the marrow in the broth. Place on the stove burner.

Thoroughly wash some veggies of choice (carrots, potatoes, etc), an onion, and some garlic cloves. Roughly chop them and add to the pot. Throw in a handful of fresh parsley, a couple of bay leaves, some pepper corns, and other similar seasonings if you want to. Use just enough filtered water to cover the bones and veggies and after it has come to a boil, skim all the foam off (if any) and throw it away. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to very low. Simmer the pot of bones and veggies for a few hours until the bones are falling apart and the meat is falling off of them. I actually use a potato masher during the cooking process to help get all the goodness out of the bones, meat and vegetables.

When it is well cooked, place a large colander over another pot or heatproof bowl and with a slotted spoon, or strainer, scoop the bones and veggies into it to drain. Do not pour directly  into the colander or it will splash hot broth on you. When you have finished pouring all of it through the colander, drain the broth you gathered back into the soup pot through a finer strainer, cheese cloth or old thin dishtowel, to make sure all the bone bits are removed. Throw away, or compost, the remains in the colander after you have pushed on them to remove as much broth as possible.

When you place the broth in a container or two and put it in the refrigerator it should jelly completely. This tells you it is full of protein. This is a very good healing broth and can be eaten as is or vegetables can be added at will. It’s also good as a cooking broth for other dishes, of course.

For vegetarians who eat butter and eggs, use butter to roast some veggies, and use good tomatoes as a broth base. If you use fermented soy products, make sure they are organic or at least non GMO. Tomato broth will jelly all by itself when it is made with heirloom varieties, which is how we used to make tomato consume. There is nothing like having some (even small) amount of animal protein to help re-energize the body. (See Sally Fallon’s book “Nourishing Traditions” for more info on this.)

You can also make a ‘white’ broth by not roasting any of the bones or vegetables. It’s just not as rich tasting although equally nourishing.


Toxic Food? What To Do!

Posted by: | Comments (0)

You know, it’s scarey out there when you’re looking for good clean food. The chemicals, pesticides, toxins, and altered substances in our food are making us sick. Maybe some iffy ingredients once in a while would be OK. Maybe our bodies could rid us of the toxins we ingest if it were just a few. Now, though, babies are being born with 200 or more chemicals in their little bodies before they draw their first breath. If more are added every time we eat, how will the body ever get rid of all those toxins?

This cumulative toxin load is sending many of us into ill health. This is showing up in so many different ways, it’s hard to keep track. My suspicion is that it shows up in which ever place in the body is the weakest. For some it is allergies; for others it is diabetes, heart trouble, obesity, and lung trouble; and in others it is behavioral issues from ADD/ADHD to Depression. I know this may sound far fetched, so check it out yourself.

I looked up sodium benzoate in Wikipedia, a very common preservative for acid foods including fruit juices and soda pop. When combined with ascorbic acid it breaks down into benzene, a known carcinogen. When combined with certain food dyes, it has been linked to hyperactivity.

OK. What to do. Well, the answer is to change the way we eat. That feels like a very tall order! We go to the grocery store and buy the things we know our family loves, the foods we love, and just want to grab it and go. In our busy lives we don’t want to have to think about anything else. We’ve got the routine down and want to leave it all on auto-pilot. But we are getting sick, especially our children!

Since I know a lot of people in this predicament I’ve decided to devote a series of blogs to this topic – not the toxic part – the part about how to change. So let’s get started. What comes first?

1. Talk to your family and take a poll of their all time favorite foods. Find out what each person feels is the ideal meal and write it down.

2. Convert all the processed foods into their whole food equivalents. (Potato chips becomes sliced potatoes plus oil and salt.)

3. Have each person make an ideal menu for one day. Make this into a list of the basic ingredients – or have them do it if they are old enough.

4. Keep it simple!

Let me give you an example. I like spaghetti with garlic bread and salad. I find organic sauce on sale for $2.99 which is less than most of the other brands.  Most pasta is just wheat: $1.00 a pound (remember less ingredients is better). I read the bread package and find that house made Italian and French breads have the fewest ingredients, pick the one with no canola oil at $1.99, and move on to the salad. The only hurtle in this meal is the packaged salad dressing. Make your own or get a plain olive oil vinaigrette. Also use butter with no hormones, or olive oil, with the garlic to spread on the bread. Dried garlic is better than the chopped preserved garlic.

Honestly, the most potentially toxic foods are the most processed and have the most ingredients.  Think about your foods and what you are putting in your mouth. Go back to the basics. Most of our comfort foods are all basic anyway, so learn how to make them from scratch with whole foods and you will actually save money!

Most of all, start small. Each change is one step in the right direction, so just do it. You can move a mountain with a teaspoon, you just have to get a spoon and begin!



Posted by: | Comments (0)

One of my favorite gifts this Christmas is a book by Sandor Katz “Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods”. I had forgotten how much I love all those fermented foods, and how easy it is to make them at home. What I didn’t know was how very good they are for our digestive tracts! However they have to still be alive to help us out. This means unpasteurized, and fresh so that these little organisms can re-populate our systems with the good stuff every day.

We don’t realize how dependent we are on these good guys until we start having them again – whole and living – and feel the changes for the better in our guts. There are many different ones in every culture around the world (pun intended). There are the vegetable krauts and kimchis, miso, tempeh, yogurt & kefir, cheese, pickles, meads, wines, and beers. There are also breads, vinegars, soy sauces, and fish sauces. The reason that they are always found on the table in many cultures, including ours just a few decades ago, is because they aid in digestion and elimination – not to mention helping manufacture B vitamins!

But those little organisms have to be live! So it being winter and loving all the heavier foods of winter, I decided to start some sour kraut in a crock on the counter in the kitchen! I’ve made kraut before, years ago, in a #10 crock with a large number of cabbage. It was for the whole winter and little did I know that by canning it, I was killing the best part! So this is a very small batch, less than one large cabbage, layered with sprinkles of sea salt and kosher salt.

A week later when I remove the weight and the plate which keeps the kraut under the brine, it has begun to ferment. The taste is a little bit sharp, salty, and still definitely crunchy to the teeth. Already the kraut tastes yummy and I can hardly wait to see how it tastes next week. I may have to try it every day!

After reading this book, I’ve discovered why my beet borscht was never the right amount of sour. I fiddled with the lemons and the yogurt or sour cream, and still not quite right. Now I find it contains saueruben, or fermented beets, done just like the cabbage kraut! I’ll let you know how it turns out after I’ve fermented the beets for a month or so…

Consider this to be another way to get back to basics and begin to enjoy real, live foods again. We all know the industrialized, factory foods are making us sick; now lets get some real and healing foods back in our lives and on our tables. Start anywhere, making sure the yogurt you buy is alive, making your own sourdough bread, starting sour kraut, eating unpasteurized and/or raw milk cheese. Or there is always making beer at home!