Tag Archives: low-carb

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.”

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Stealthy Veggies: Cauliflower Pizza Crust

The grated cauliflower florets being dried are on the left. Once dry, mix in with remaining ingredients.

The grated cauliflower florets being dried are on the left. Once dry, mix in with remaining ingredients.

Well, most of my blog posts involve recipes that are fairly simple and easy to make, but I am letting you know right now that this is not one of them! Ha! I wanted to give this recipe a try because I am all about adding veggies into a meal wherever I can, but I am not sure how often I will be making this one in the future.I tried this twice in the last week and both times found it to be just “okay” after a very labor-intensive preparation process.

By using a cauliflower crust, the pizza is relatively low- carb compared to a conventional pizza, which is typically not desirable for the competitive athlete, who depends on carbohydrates for fuel and recovery. However, those with celiac disease can enjoy as many slices of this naturally gluten-free pizza as they want!

Anyways, I thought the idea was an interesting one so I still thought I would share it with you. Inspiration was found here for the crust, and here for a yummy basil, nectarine and balsamic pizza. Let me know if you have a better experience with this than I did.

Finished crust, ready for your creative decoration

Finished crust, ready for your creative decoration

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 C plain nonfat greek yogurt
  • 2 C grated cauliflower (I used my food processor and it only took a few seconds to grind each cup)
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning ( I used this.)
  • Your choice of pizza toppings, check out the two variations I tried below
Thin layer of pizza sauce, chopped spinach and basil leaves, sliced tomato & goat cheese. I would recommend less cheese, this was too much!! Oops.

Thin layer of pizza sauce, chopped spinach and basil leaves, sliced tomato & goat cheese. I would recommend less cheese, this was too much!! Oops.

Directions: Pulse cauliflower in food processor 1 C at a time until it is grated as much as possible. Press each batch between a towel or paper towel to remove as much moisture as possible (this is the time consuming part!), allow to air dry further if you are doing other tasks in the kitchen. Combine with egg, yogurt, and seasoning in a bowl and mix well. Spread onto a pizza pan and bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Add toppings and put back in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!

Also worth mentioning about this pizza “crust” is that it definitely does not have the same flavor, texture, or strength that a normal crust would have. I thought it tasted good and provides a good alternative for those looking for low-carb pizza options, but the crust is kind of crumbly and falls apart easily. The basil, nectarine, and balsamic pizza was delicious!! Amazing flavor combination–try that one! A final warning is that your kitchen WILL smell like cauliflower for the rest of the afternoon. I bet you are just dying to make this now after the glowing review I have given this recipe! : )