Bone broth and meat stock are commonly used interchangeably even by chefs – this information relates to Traditional foods as opposed to the culinary definition. Where the bones are sourced from is really important so get the best you can – grass-fed, grass-finished is optimal – Healing foods need to come from ‘clean’ sources. It turns out Grandma really did know best and now science confirms that bone broth and meat stock are healing elixirs. Grandma didn’t consume processed foods and was intuitively tuned to creating nutrient dense foods – foods that were made with love and care and nourished the body and the spirit. Homemade broth contains minerals and nutrients that the body can easily identify and absorb. Bone broth is one of the cornerstones of basic health and healing in my opinion. Cultured and properly prepared foods along with exercising free will are crucial as well. The more we do to heal ourselves the greater the chance of optimal health. Bone broth has been used to heal and nourish for thousands of years in many cultures around the world. “Eat what ails you” – an interesting old piece of folklore and similar to the homeopathic philosophy “Like cures like”. Modern research proves that when we eat a specific part of an animal it nourishes the same part of our body. Another old adage is “You are what you eat” but it is more accurate to say “You are what your body absorbs”. We are sponges – what do you want to soak up?! Ø  A note on Meat Stock – if you have any nervous system issues you will need to begin with meat stock (stay posted).

Beef and Lamb broth

Beef and Lamb broth

Skim the scum

Skim the scum

Liquid gold

Liquid gold

 

GELATIN – the end result and the goal of making BROTH:

  • Gelatin is the food term referring to extracted collagen (there are no plant sources of gelatin).
  • Gelatin from homemade broth is superior to commercial gelatin (which is mostly derived from skin).
  • Contains building blocks of cartilage and connective tissue.
  • It is a digestive aid.
  • Treats hyper & hypo-stomach acidity, colitis and Crohn’s, blood disorders, diabetes, muscular dystrophy, painful joints, diabetes, cancer, heart ailments…
  • Is a home remedy for joint pain.
  • Is not a complete protein but acts as a protein sparer – important during fasting or during rapid weight loss from illness so the body doesn’t cannibalize itself.
  • Fights infections and inflammation – very supportive to immune system
  • Used as infant formula and for those who are dairy intolerant
  • Is an electrolyte.

IMPORTANT COMPONENTS OF GELATIN

COLLAGEN:

  • Needed for building bones, cartilage, skin, arteries, corneas, placentas – ALL connective tissue in the body
  • Supports joints and ligaments (including the ones that hold teeth in place).
  • Reduces cellulite (cellulite is from a lack of connective tissue – not from having too much fat).
  • Helps to relieve joint and muscle pain – used in treatment rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Protective to the lining of the stomach and beneficial for gastric ulcers.

MINERALS FROM THE BONE:

  • Easily absorbed calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and other trace minerals – so important in our mineral deficient modern diet

MARROW:

  • Gelatin contains the stem cell factors from the red marrow which support your own immune function and blood cell formation.

CARTILAGE:

  • Reduces joint pain and inflammation.

Ø  Cartilage – recently has been used for treatment of bone disorders and cancer.

AMINO ACIDS:

  • Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins which play a crucial role in formation of almost all tissues and cells and biological processes.
  • Essential for wound healing and tissue repair.
  • Amino acids proline and glycine + hydroxyproline are used to manufacture our own collagen.
  • Glycine and proline are abundant in bone broth. They are involved in many processes crucial to a healthy body and brain and they are anti-inflammatory.
  • Involved in liver detox, regulating blood sugar, decreasing anxiety, proper digestion (and help villi to heal and grow).
  • Needed for strong bones and teeth, healthy skin and cartilage, muscle growth and repair, wound healing, RNA/DNA production.

Edgar Cayce (the “Sleeping Prophet” whose extraordinary psychic readings have often anticipated modern medical science by decades) had good things to say about gelatin and digestion. In his readings he recommended that gelatin be consumed to help the assimilate vitamins, assist in gland function and optimize energy and health and that raw vegetables and salads should be eaten with gelatin.   And one more really important note – Fat-soluble activators (vitamins A & D) are crucial for the assimilation of amino acids and are found exclusively in animal fats. This is why we put cream in borsht and gravy on meat and potatoes. Include other sources of vitamins A and D in your diet, such as butter, egg yolks and cod liver oil – and enjoy!!   Never reheat in the microwave – it becomes toxic!

HOW TO MAKE BONE BROTH                                                                                                    (processing times vary depending on the type and size of bone used):

  1. Soak bones in water plus a little vinegar to assist in the release of minerals.          -Roast meaty bones from beef, lamb, bison etc. for improved colour and flavour (larger bones – longer cooking time).                                                                                            -fish bones don’t require the sit time                                                                                                    – if using a whole chicken or bones with meat, roast for the same reasons.
  2. Bring the water to a boil and skim the scum (may contain toxins and important for flavour). Add a variety of vegetables and herbs and allow to simmer/roll 6-72 hours (depending on the type of bone and desired result). When the connective tissue has dissolved, the broth is done.
  3. Strain the broth from the bones and vegetables. Once chilled it should be ‘jelly-like’. It will keep in the fridge for about 5 days – longer if re-boiled. Leave the layer of fat on top to ‘seal’ it and it will keep much longer.

Follow me on FaceBook Thermo-My-Recipes Canada  (especially if you own a Thermomix and want to convert recipes)

MUCKIES – are they a MUFFIN or a COOKIE?

We are so fortunate to be able to grow winter squash here in Canada. It has so many delicious applications – soups, casseroles, risotto, lasagna, cookies, muffins, desserts…. It can be a substitute for bananas in recipes – like this one I adapted from ‘2 Nourish’ by Rachelle Sereda in her banana muffins.  Winter squash is rich in vitamins A (from beta carotene), B6, C, and E, as well as magnesium, potassium, and manganese.

Making the puree from scratch (as seen in my last post) is so easy that there is no need to ever used the canned product again – well if you have a Thermomix of course:)

‘Muckies’ have become one of my favorite baked goods. I prefer to use either Queensland Blue squash or  sugar pumpkin  – I leave the skin on. This recipe can be made with or without eggs – it’s excellent for gluten free and dairy free diets.

I love to play with recipes and I encourage you to do the same. This recipe is very forgiving – make it your own!

 

 

 

 

MUCKIES
Adapted from 2 Nourish by Rachelle Sereda – a muffin recipe made like cookies
INGREDIENTS
400 G PUMPKIN,SQUASH or SWEET POTATO PUREE
70 G MELTED BUTTER OR AVOCADO OIL
100 G BUCKWHEAT (or any flour)
100 G UNSWEETENED SHREDDED COCONUT
60-100 G COCONUT SUGAR (OR 150 G MAPLE SYRUP)
1 T CINNAMON
1 T BAKING SODA
100 G RAISINS, CHOCOLATE CHIPS OR NUTS (OPTIONAL)
METHOD
1. MILL BUCKWHEAT 10-15 SEC/SPEED 10.
2. ADD COCONUT, CINNAMON & BAKING SODA. MILL 12-15 SEC/SPEED 10.
3. ADD REST OF INGREDIENTS. MIX 6-20 SEC/REVERSE/SPEED 4-6 WITH AID OF SPATULA IF NECESSARY. (DEPENDS IF ADDING RAISINS – DON’T WANT TO MUSH THEM)
4. DROP ONTO COOKIE SHEET TO MAKE 12 ‘COOKIES’.
5. BAKE AT 350F FOR 27-30 MINUTES.
6. STORE IN FRIDGE OR FREEZER

 

PUMPKIN PUREE

There are so many reasons to make your own pumpkin puree from scratch – and with a Thermomix, there is no reason not to! It takes only a few minutes. I have been using a variety of squashes and I prefer to use ones that don’t need peeling. Wash and take the seeds out , cut into chunks and let the machine do the rest. It freezes well but if you’re using it for soup there is no need to pre-cook it.

   

 

 

 

 

Once you have the puree made, it can be used in cookies, muffins and even in your coffee or tea to make a pumpkin spice latte. Oh, I almost forgot, you can simply enjoy it with butter:)

PUMPKIN/SQUASH PUREE
600-800 G pumpkin or squash cubed into about 2” chunks
1. Place the pumpkin chunks in the bowl and chop 6 sec/speed 6.
2. Cook for 9 min/90C/speed 3-4. Assist with the spatula if necessary.
3. Puree on 1 min/speed 10 until smooth.
*400 G is approximately equivalent to 1 small can.
*Freeze extra in a wide mouth jar.
*sugar/pie pumpkin, Australian blue pumpkin and some summer squashes are thin skinned and don’t need to be peeled.

 

SAUERKRAUT IN A JAR

I strongly believe that the best nutrition available comes from food we have prepared in our own kitchen. There isn’t a supplement that is as easy for the body to absorb and assimilate as homemade foods like sauerkraut and bone broth. Of course supplements have their place, as do drugs, but if we rely on them for our nourishment we will fall short of good health.

Fermented and cultured foods provide loads of beneficial bacteria (and sometimes beneficial yeasts, viruses and fungus’s) that assist us with digesting our food and supporting our immune and detox systems. Homemade is key here. Sauerkraut on grocery store shelves has been processed with heat – all the beneficial, live organisms have been destroyed. If you want to purchase from a health food store, check the cooler – they may have some that hasn’t been processed (thus the reason for needing refrigeration).  But honestly, making it yourself is a snap. Of course I use my Thermomix  so the chopping takes literally seconds; the whole process takes at most 30 minutes. I also chose to inoculate with a starter culture to ensure that it is heavily populated with the ‘good guys’.

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Getting a variety of sources of probiotic foods in the form of kefir, yogurt, sour dough etc, will help to establish a healthy gut flora. It’s may be much easier than you thought and I will be giving classes on an ongoing basis. There are far reaching benefits to having these goods guys living you and I believe this is foundational to healing.

until next time, PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD; LOVE WHAT YOU EAT; BE KITCHEN SMART!

 

LEEK AND POTATO SOUP

Potatoes have nourished for us for a very long time(7000-10,000 years) and are one of the most common and important food sources on our planet. Properly prepared, they are a nutrient dense food. Store them in  cool dark place (light causes them to produce more alkaloids and go green and bitter) and don’t eat them if they have spouted.

Cooked potatoes (not fried!) are very high in antioxidants and glutathione. Glutathione is poorly absorbed in supplement form so it is crucial to get it from food. Bone broth is another great source of this  master antioxidant and detoxifier. (more to come on glutathione in future posts).

Again, the source is of utmost importance. Modifications to the potato have taken place because of pests like the Colorado Potato Beetle. Genetic material is inserted into the plant which causes disruptions in the digestive system of the pests. Imagine what this does to our digestive systems!?..

Grow your own or purchase at the farmers markets. Eating local in Canada this time of year is easy and so nutritious!

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We will be making this healthy and tasty soup at the very first Thermomix Cooking class in Calgary. So if you want to shift into eating whole, real food in the easiest, most pleasurable way, please join us! There are so many wonderful foods I wouldn’t go to the effort of making I didn’t have this amazing machine!

 

 

 

Wild and Free!

Chokecherry syrup is one of our favorite treats provided from the prairies here in Southern Alberta – it’s wild and free! August is harvest time for this wild and free fruit – but pay heed to the name – transforming it into syrup takes the ‘choke’ out of it. It’s delectable on toast or buckwheat pancakes.

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CHOKECHERRY JUICE

  1. Wash in cool water and pick out leaves and any fruit that floats to the top. Drain.
  2. Place in a large stainless steel pot and just cover with filtered or spring water.
  3. Bring to a boil and  simmer 15 -30 minutes until soft.
  4. Cool and strain through  a cloth, cone-shaped fruit press or jelly bag. When extracting juice from chokecherries DO NOT crush the seeds – they contain a cyanide-forming compound which can cause illness or death if eaten in large amounts. .

One pound of chokecherries will yield close to 2 cups of juice. I had  two 1 gallon pails more than 3/4 full of ripe chokecherry’s and got 14 cups of juice.

CHOKECHERRY SYRUP

  • 12 cups chokecherry juice
  • 4 cups sugar

Combine ingredients and bring to a boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into hot, sterilized canning jars (place clean jars in a 220F oven for 10 minutes to sterilize). Seal with two-piece canning lids (boil for 5 minutes in a sauce pan to sterilize).

Healthy Mouth

I dedicate this blog post to the late dentists Dr.Hal Huggins, the Grandfather of holistic dentistry and Dr. Weston Price, the ‘Isaac Newton of Nutrition’. I am grateful for their labors of love in discovering the issues that arise from toxic dental materials and practices.

There are several foundational pillars that are required for healing – mouth health is one that everyone needs to be aware of. I am not an expert in this area – I simply shine a light on it. Unless and until the mouth is cleaned out, healing cannot be complete. Mercury/silver fillings, root canals and cavitations can be deadly as they continually pollute the body and eventually overwhelm the immune system. It is also imperative to find a dentist who knows how to properly address the removal and recovery process. Even if you have a ‘clean’ mouth it is important to consider if your parents had ‘toxic’ mouths when you were conceived.

Dr. Weston A. Price (1870-1948) wanted to know why his patients had dental decay and physical degeneration. He travelled the world to study isolated human groups eating their traditional foods – they typically had beautiful straight teeth free of cavities, stalwart bodies, resistance to disease and fine characters. He analyzed these foods and found that them to be nutrient dense with minerals and fat-soluble vitamins from animal foods. He is well known for his contribution to nutrition – he also made other monumental discoveries. Find much more info at: http://www.westonaprice.org/

Dr. Price also conducted extensive research into the destructive effects of root canals, mercury fillings and cavitations. We are finally getting it, or at least some are. Thankfully there are holistic practitioners who treat their patients following his guidelines. The principles of holistic dentistry, based on the research of Weston Price and Francis Pottenger, are as follows:

  • Eat nutrient-dense whole foods, properly grown and prepared.
  • Avoid root canals. If you have root canals that you suspect are causing disease, have them removed by a knowledgeable dentist.
  • Avoid mercury (amalgam) fillings. If you have amalgam fillings, have them removed by a holistic dentist who specializes in mercury filling replacement.
  • Orthodontics should include measures to widen the palate.
  • Extract teeth only when necessary, and then in such a way as to avoid leaving the jaw bone with cavitations, which can be focal points of infection.

Hal A. Huggins (1937-2014), has so far been the most controversial dentist of our present time. He furthered Price’s work and took a stand on the use (or misuse) of mercury in fillings in conventional dentistry. He had been in practice since 1962 and had a post–doc Master’s at the University of Colorado with emphasis on immunology/toxicology. He successfully pioneered treatments for autoimmune diseases caused by dental toxins and personally treated over 5,000 toxic patients. There is a volume of info on his website: https://www.hugginsappliedhealing.com/ plus he has written several invaluable books (which you can also see on his website).

Focaccia… (Almost)

Focacia3Focaccia Bread….Almost

I’ve been playing with Focaccia bread recipes and have gone down many rabbit holes to come to this conclusion – I’m not going to heat the olive oil that is synonymous to Focaccia Bread.

Although there is a ton of info on the net saying that it is ok to heat olive oil, I’m leery about doing that. Most focaccia recipes bake at 400-425F – which eliminates many of the benefits of a good olive oil. Having said that, olive oil is the safest of ‘vegetable’ oils to use when it is fresh, cold pressed, extra virgin. But it’s very difficult to determine the quality of the oil, never mind that other lower grade oils are often added. Plus it’s more likely to contribute to weight gain. Bring on the butter (or coconut oil or tallow or lard…)!!

The fat is easy to switch out in Focaccia so I’m using butter and coconut oil. These are saturated fats and are very stable – they don’t break down even when heated to high temperatures (again the quality and source matters). Plus saturated fats are used by our muscles for the purpose of providing energy so are less likely to cause weight gain!J

Of course we all know by now that using refined vegetable oils are out of the question so I’m not even going to mention them.

Many of my clients stay away from bread after completing our weight loss/detox protocol. Often it is possible to ‘have your bread and eat it too’ on occasion if ingredients are chosen wisely.

A note on flour – there are a couple of options that are better than regular flour. Choose organic so that there is less concern of chemicals. Unless you are willing to soak and/or sprout the grain or sour your dough (which would be VERY awesome!) white, unbleached flour is an okay way to go. The bran has been removed which is where the phytates (anti-nutrient) are contained. The enzyme inhibitors haven’t been neutralized but healthy gut flora can greatly assist digestion – great reason to eat your probiotic foods!

This recipe is adapted from the Thermomix ‘The Basic Cook Book’ and is on the recipe chip (note that this is a half portion). Man, the Thermomix makes bread making a snap – and it turns out every time!

Focaccia Bread page 222

30 G parmesan or any dry cheese (optional) (Grana Padano works great too)

300 G unbleached organic flour

10 G extra virgin coconut oil

1 t fast acting yeast

1 t sugar

½ t salt

190 G warmed water (purified of course)

Topping:

1-2 T each fresh parsley, sage, rosemary (dried herbs can also be used)

30-40 G melted butter

Course unrefined sea salt

Olives, tomatoes, more cheese (all optional)

 

Follow the instructions on the chip with these variations:

  1. If using fresh herbs chop them first while the bowl is clean and dry. Drop them from your fist onto the spinning blades speed 8 (they can be added while the dough is mixing or on top). Set aside.
  2. Weigh the cheese into mixing bowl (if using) and grate 10 sec/speed 10.
  3. Add the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, coconut oil and water and knead 3 min (as the chip says).
  4. Drop directly onto a pan lined with parchment paper and shape into the size of circle or square you desire. Cover with the Easy Mat or cling wrap and proof in a warm place for ½ hour (takes less time when warm water and quick yeast are used).Focacia1
  5. Push holes into the dough with oiled fingers or use a Docker to poke holes (I don’t have a Docker so I used chop sticks). The goal is to create holes for the butter — do not to punch down the dough.Focacia2
  6. Preheat oven to 375F.

Topping:

  1. Weigh in the butter and melt 2 min/50C/speed 1. (this is instead of the chopping onions stage on the chip instructions)
  2. Drizzle the melted butter over top letting it seep into the holes.
  3. Sprinkle with course sea salt. Add olives and cherry tomatoes cut in half or garnish with anything you like. Works great as a pizza!
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool before cutting.

Cuppa’ Coffee

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Coffee is good for you. Coffee is not good for you.

So which is it?? That depends on you and the quality of the coffee and water you choose to drink! As with every food, listen to what your body is telling you and educate yourself on what REAL food is. There are many variables and this interview with Chris is worth 25 minutes to get some perspective:

http://chriskresser.com/rhr-is-drinking-coffee-good-for-you/

I love my morning cup of coffee. I don’t do it because I need the boost – it’s a ritual – Me timeJ. Always start with the highest quality ingredients possible because you deserve the best!

The basics of making coffee:

  1. The coffee:
  • Choose whole bean – grinding at the time of usage offers greater assurance of freshness. Ground coffee can be rancid while still on the store self (rancidity = inflammation).
  • Choose organic – coffee crops are heavily sprayed with pesticides (pesticides destroy good gut flora and put extra strain on your detox systems).
  • Fair trade – consider the fact that you vote with your dollar. Is it important to you that workers are treated fairly?

 

  1. The water:
  • Pure, clean water.
    • Spring water is great. Bottled spring water is good too (as long as you know the source and are sure it’s not just bottled tap water).
    • O. (reverse osmosis) is ok if you re-mineralize it (1/4 t of unrefined sea salt per gallon).
    • Filtered is good too if the system removes the bad stuff.

 

  1. Temperature:
  • Start with room temperature or cool water.
  • Heat to 90C. Consume within 20 minutes for optimal flavour.

Notes:

  • Flavoured coffees are usually lower grade beans.
  • Refrain from using sweeteners and flavourings as they often contain hidden chemicals that can be downright dangerous. Some research suggests that even dairy can interfere with the therapeutic benefits of coffee.
  • Coffee freshness is effected by oxygen, light, temperature and humidity. Once the original package is opened, store in an airtight, solid colored container in an area that has a stable temperature (not the fridge or freezer).
  • The experts suggest using 1:16-18 ratio coffee to water. 10-15 G coffee and 250-350 G filtered water per serving is in the ball park. It’s a matter of taste and personal preference so play with it the proportions.
  • If using distilled water or R.O. (reverse osmosis) be sure to re-mineralize with something like unrefined sea salt– minerals are essential for proper extraction.
  • Never reheat or microwave! Hopefully you own a Thermomix to reheat in.

 

A note on tea:

I also brew loose tea in my Thermomix. Having the ability to control the temperature is a great benefit.

It’s important to know where the tea you are consuming comes from even if it’s organically grown. The tea plant naturally takes up heavy metals and toxins like lead, arsenic and fluoride. The quality of water counts here too. Fluorinated, chlorinated and chloramine treated water (i.e. tap water) adds to the list of contaminates that the body has to deal with.

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AMAZING TM COFFEE

For 2 servings:

  1. Weigh in 30-40 G whole, organic coffee beans.
  2. Grind 20 sec/speed 8-9.
  3. Brush down and add 700-800 G pure water.
  4. Brew for 7-8min/90C/speed 2.
  5. Pour through a reusable coffee filter directly into mugs or a coffee press.

For 3 servings:

  1. Weigh in 60 G whole, organic coffee beans.
  2. Grind 20-30 sec/speed 8.
  3. Brush down and add 750-1000 G pure water.
  4. Brew 6-9 minutes/90C/speed 2. (Time is relative to the temperature and amount of water)
  5. Pour into a 1 litre coffee press and serve.

For 6 servings:

  1. Weigh in 90 G whole organic coffee beans.
  2. Grind 20 sec/speed 8.
  3. Brush down and add 1500-1800 G pure water.
  4. Mix 5 sec/speed 3.
  5. Brew 8-12 min/90C/speed 2.

For lattes and power coffees:

  1. Place filtered coffee back into the TM bowl and add milk, butter and/or coconut oil.
  2. Bring back up to 70-80C (depending on how hot you like it)
  3. Froth for 20 sec/speed 8.
  4. Serve in your favorite mug and enjoy!SONY DSC