Tag Archives: homemade

To-Go Mug of…Broth?

Health trends are designed to be magnetic, and I admit, even I can’t resist. No matter how much my photo (3)Nutrition professors beat it into my head that there is no magic elixir for health, vitality, and longevity, my curiosity always gets the best of me. I just HAVE to see for myself what the latest buzz is all about. This fascination with topics in the foodscape is what makes me confident, and thankful, that I have landed on my dream career path. So, what is quickly swooping in to overtake the juicing trend of 2013? Bone broth.

Bone broth is slowly simmered over a period of 12-48 hours in a large stock pot on the stove or in a crock pot. Various recipes exist, but the main components are bones (chicken, turkey, or beef short ribs, oxtails, knuckles, neck bones, and feet), some type of acid (apple cider vinegar, wine, or tomato paste), roughly chopped veggies (celery, carrots, onion), and enough water to just barely cover the ingredients. For a deeper flavor, bones are often roasted in the oven for an hour before putting them in the broth. The acid promotes bone disintegration for release of nutrients. You can find the recipe I followed here, or feel free to explore others, such as this one from the NY Times.

Let’s get this out of the way first-I will not waste your time, enticing you with health benefits that may or not be supported. Very few scientific studies have been done on bone broth and it’s associated advantages. That being said, the broth DOES have ties to long standing traditions in many cultures, who believe strongly in it’s nourishing power.

Broth is cornerstone of the Paleo diet, in large part because of the evidence of its existence during prehistoric times. The broth seems to move throughout history while maintaining a steady presence in cultures from all parts of the globe. A similar light soup was part of many traditional Chinese meals for digestion, palate cleansing, and simply as a drink. In the Caribbean, “Cow Foot Soup,” rich in collagen is consumed in the morning for fortification and alleviation of a range of ailments. A comparable Sopa de Lima exists in the Yucatan, while there is Seolleongtang in Korea. In the U.S., chicken soup has been used to remedy the common cold for generations. Today, celebrities such as Divergent star, Shailene Woodley, and athletes such as LA Lakers star, Kobe Bryant, swear by the concoction. Restaurants, such as New York’s Brodo, JoLa Cafe in Portland, and Red Apron in Washington D.C., all serve up cups of this warm, comforting, and savory liquid.

While the Weston A. Price Foundation has completed analyses illustrating Bone Broth’s ability to decrease inflammation, improve dopamine levels, and help with digestive problems such as leaky gut syndrome and IBS, bloggers cite numerous additional perks including joint health/ relief from arthritis, improved wound healing, strengthening of the immune system, rebuilding of bone, shinier hair, prevention of wrinkles, elimination of cellulite, calmer nerves, and an overall deeply nourished body. The idea is that through long-simmering and bone disintegration, amino acids and nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, collagen, chondroitin, and glucosamine, are available in higher quantities than traditional broths.

At the end of the day, author of The Nourished Kichen, Jennifer McGruther, sums it up best in an article by NPR. ” The real benefit of bone broth is that people are returning to the kitchen to prepare homemade, whole foods from scratch. There are always benefits to cooking foods from home, and that’s exactly what we’re seeing with bone broth.”

Beet That Holiday Bulge

IMG_4117

Pureed beet pizza sauce

If you haven’t caught on by now, part of what I love about cooking is the chance to experiment! Because so many people find eating healthy to be flavorless and boring, I embrace the challenge of finding new, and I admit sometimes unusual, recipes to satisfy their cravings without leaving them saddled with guilt and love handles.

If the eggnog and holiday cookies got the best of you, and even if they didn’t, try this yummy pizza recipe that is loaded with flavor… and vegetable superpowers : )

Instead of regular tomato sauce, this recipe uses pureed beets. Like most vegetables, beets have numerous health benefits. The nutrient, Betaine, found in beets has been shown to prevent inflammation and protect cells from environmental stress. If you are an athlete, consider making beets a part of your training regimen as they have been shown to improve performance by increasing tolerance for high intensity exercise and decreasing the oxygen cost of low intensity exercise. The effect of drinking beet juice 2-3 hours before workouts is not minor. According to Runner’s World, performance is increased 12-14% which translates to a 1-2% decrease in race time. For more details on the ergogenic properties of beets, click here. Or, ask Olympic marathoner Ryan Hall who is reportedly a fan of the juice.

To make this pizza, I made a homemade crust out of 100% Whole Wheat flour and pre-baked the crust before topping it. Directions for making the crust can be found here. For the sauce I pureed 1 can of beets in a food processor with 3 cloves of garlic, 1 tbsp olive oil, juice from half a lemon, and a dash of salt. Next I piled on spinach, organic shredded cheddar cheese, diced mushrooms, and olives. Bake for 10-12 minutes @ 350 degrees and enjoy!

Homemade Hummus

It’s great with crackers, chips, raw veggies, and spread on sandwiches, its hummus! This healthy dip has gained substantial popularity over the past few years, becoming a food eaten by many. Buying a container of hummus at the grocery store can cost anywhere from $2.69- $4.39. Why not make your own at home? Not only does it tend to be cheaper, but it can be fun to create your own varieties and flavor combinations.

There are a few staple ingredients in any hummus recipe: tahini (a paste created from ground sesame seeds), olive oil, beans (traditionally, chickpeas), cumin, salt, and lemon or lime juice. You can get creative by using different kinds of beans, herbs and spices, and adding other extra ingredients. Some unique examples include beet hummus, edamame hummus, pumpkin hummus, and avocado hummus. The sky is the limit!

IMG_0642

Directions: To make one standard-sized container of hummus, pulse one can of beans in a food processor until smooth. Add 2 tbsp of tahini, 1 tsp cumin, juice from 1/2 a lemon (most recipes) or lime (more common with black bean hummus), a dash of salt, and 1 tbsp olive oil. Pulse until well combined. Spoon into tupperware, and refrigerate.

I chose to make black bean hummus because it is my favorite. I followed the steps above, then added chopped cilantro from the garden, and a few jalapenos for a kick.

I chose to make black bean hummus because it is my favorite. I followed the steps above, then added chopped cilantro from the garden, and a few jalapenos for a kick before pulsing in the processor one last time. I garnished the top with a little more chopped cilantro.