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Monday
Nov302015

Raw Eggnog (with an Optional Kick)

 

I usually do not recommend or drink much alcohol.  It is a rather toxic substance after all and can be especially difficult on your digestive system and liver.  I do know that many folks who care about their health do enjoy partaking in some alcoholic beverages, especially around the holidays.  In this delicious eggnog recipe you can easily omit the alcohol and make a batch to share with the kids or those abstaining from alcohol and still spike some for an extra special treat for those who do wish to partake.  The great news is that the quality raw eggs and dairy pack such a wallop of nutrition that this recipe is one of the best buffers you can provide your body if/when you do indulge in alcohol.  Enjoy responsibly!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups raw whole milk (or combination of raw milk and raw cream to yield a thicker, creamier eggnog)
  • 1 cup heavy raw whipping cream, divided into 2 equal parts
  • ¼ - ½ cup raw honey, divided into 2 equal parts 
(mild-flavored honey is preferred, use less and see how you like it since you can always add more if it’s not quite sweet enough)
  • Up to 1 cup rum*
  • Up to 1 cup whiskey (no need to use your single malt here - blended is fine!)*
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or ½ tsp vanilla powder (or more, to taste)
  • Ground nutmeg for garnishing each cup

Detailed Instructions:

With this execution, you are aiming to blend the ingredients gently and slowly to preserve fluffiness and body. A good whisk for the stirring and a high speed mixer for the egg-whites and cream helps this process immensely. For the quick instructions, skip these 10 steps and see below.  

If you want the most decadent cup of eggnog ever…follow these steps:

1. Separate eggs into yolks and whites in separate bowls.

2. Beat egg yolks with 1/2 of raw honey, set aside.

3. Beat egg whites until stiff, then mix in other 1/2 of raw honey. 4. Pour the yolks into the whites and fold together slowly and gently.

5. Stir in rum slowly*.

6. Stir in milk slowly.

7. Stir in whiskey slowly*.

8. Stir in 1/2 of cream slowly

9. Whip rest (1/2) of cream and fold it into the mixture carefully.

10. Serve at room temperature or chilled (your preference, I prefer room temperature) by ladling the eggnog into cups and sprinkle nutmeg on the top.

*For non-alcoholic eggnog, substitute a cup of milk and/or cream for each cup of alcohol removed.

Quick Instructions:

If you’re in a hurry and don’t feel like doing the extra work of beating the egg yolks and whites separately, and folding ingredients together, here’s the quick and easy version:

1. Simply blend the raw milk, eggs, honey, vanilla, and optional alcohol until smooth.  You can use a handheld mixer, a Vita-Mix, or just a regular blender.  Allow the foam to settle before serving or not – your preference. 

2. Pour the eggnog into cups and sprinkle nutmeg on the top. 

This quick method will not produce the more decadent texture as the detailed instructions above, but it will still be tasty and is super easy! 

I enjoy them both, especially when someone else agrees to clean up the kitchen after I make this beverage.  ;-) 

I hope you and your family and friends will enjoy this treat this holiday season as well!

Thursday
Nov262015

Discover the Miracle of Life with Stella

 

Are you looking for a way to communicate the importance of gut health to a child in your life?  If so, I encourage you to check out Janice Condon’s Stella’s Adventures in the Incredible BioTerrain. This book translates the importance of our gut in a fun and accessible way for kids of all ages. Parents, you can inspire your children to eat ferments, take probiotics and make good food choices by introducing them to how the gut really works.  

Like Summer, author Janice Condon overcame her own digestive health challenges with the help of WAPF principles.  She was inspired by her grandchildren to educate the next generation on the importance of gut microbes with this book.  The book is fun and includes characters like Abby Acidophilus and Benny Bifidus, the King of Poo. Watch the video below to learn the Acidophilus Hula, and click here to order the book for a kid or kid at heart who could benefit from its teachings. Janice is offering a holiday special, so act now!

 

Monday
Oct122015

Recipe: Healing Bone Broth

Bone broth is one of the most important foundational foods for healing your gut and boosting your energy.  When consumed at regular therapeutic doses, this restorative food provides more sustained gut healing benefits than many of the pharmaceuticals some patients have been prescribed before they come to work with me.  In addition to strengthening the digestive tract, properly prepared bone broth (see recipe below) also benefits your veins, arteries, muscles, tendons, skin, and bones.  It boosts your immune system while providing an easily assimilated protein-rich, energy-boosting tonic that increases endurance while providing important nutrients and delicious flavor.

There are many variations for making bone broth and I share more about other delicious and time saving methods with participants in my classes and programs.  In the recipe below, I share a simple version that you can make with either a whole organic chicken, or leftover bones from past chicken dinners. I recommend that you save the bones left over after your family eats the meat off the bones of any animal in a freezer baggie, labeled with the type of stock you want to make from it, in a designated area in your freezer just for these occasion of making homemade bone broth.

Bone broth assists our bodies in healing from chronic digestive disorders such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and other long term digestive issues.  It’s simple and easy as most of the time spent making it is hands off time, while the pot slowly simmers on the stove top and the nourishing smell of chicken broth permeates the air.  Bone broth is an essential ingredient in my kitchen and I hope it is or will be in yours too!  If you choose not to make it yourself, you can always buy traditional bone broth from the great folks at Bare Bones Broth.

Bone Broth Recipe

Makes ~1+ gallons of finished broth, depending on how many parts and pieces you use and if you poach an entire chicken in your stock pot.

Ingredients:

  • 1 organic whole chicken (~ 5 pounds), giblets removed and/or
3-4 lbs of bony chicken parts (necks, backs, breastbones and/or wings) saved from left over chicken bones from past chicken, turkey, or other poultry meals or whole packages of raw poultry parts. If you don't have a scale at home, this equals out to a few generous handfuls of bones, give or take.  If you have plenty of room in your pot to cover with at least an inch of water over the top of your bones while still leaving yourself a headspace of an inch or two to prevent any liquid from bubbling over and making a mess of your stove, I encourage you to go for it.  Note: Using raw and cooked parts will result in a stock that is less clear.  Clear stocks are desirable
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar (I prefer apple cider vinegar)
  • 4 quarts filtered water (or more as needed to cover bones and chicken)

Optional, but tasty additions:

  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 bunch parsley

Directions:

  1. Place bones and all vegetables except parsley in a large stainless steel pot.
  2. Cover with filtered water and add 2 Tbsp vinegar. Let stand for 30 minutes to 1 hour. This acidic solution helps release the nutrients from the bones.
  3. Bring to a gentle rolling boil. Remove the scum that rises to the top with a large slotted spoon, and discard.
  4. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6 to 24 hrs. Keep in mind that the longer you cook the broth, the more savory and mineral-rich it will be! If you are looking for a reduced, more concentrated broth, be sure to simmer uncovered.
  5. 10 minutes before finishing, add parsley. This helps release additional mineral ions into the broth.
  6. Remove chicken pieces with a slotted spoon. Strain the broth carefully into a large bowl. If there is a lot of sediment in your broth, it can be helpful to first line the strainer with a thin cotton kitchen towel or cheesecloth.
  7. Place in the refrigerator until broth cools and fat rises to the top. This fat can be reserved for cooking purposes.  
  8. Pour stock into glass jars. Store in the refrigerator for about one week or freeze for later use.

Enjoy in soups or sip on this Gut Healing Broth in the morning.

Sources:

Wednesday
Aug192015

Recipe: Simple Roast Chicken

Some variation of this go-to recipe is one of my top approaches to preparing a whole chicken.  It is simple and satisfying, just what I’m looking for in the kitchen!  Roasting the whole bird provides a few meals made at one time in one dish, which saves time with less dishes to wash and leftovers to enjoy throughout the week.  Stay tuned to learn what to do with the valuable bones.  Save them in a bag in the freezer for now.

Serves ~6

Ingredients:

1 organic whole chicken (about 5 pounds), giblets removed
1-2 tablespoon butter*
1/8 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 lemon, sliced

1-2 cloves garlic, minced
 or sliced

Some Variations:
*Alternatively, you can use ghee.  If you are sensitive to dairy, substitute coconut oil or olive oil in place of the butter or ghee.
~Add in other seasonings that sound good and provide variety on your table.  Some of my favorites are thyme, rosemary, and/or tarragon.
~Add sliced onions with the lemon slices into the cavity of the bird for added aroma and flavor.

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Ready the pan you want to use to roast the chicken and place it by the sink.  This step helps you avoid dripping raw chicken juices across your kitchen counters, floors, etc.
  • Rinse chicken under cold running water and after drip drying over the sink, place it in the roasting pan. 
  • Optional step: Use a paper towel to pat your chicken dry, which allows the fat to adhere better.  Note: Using paper towels on raw meat is one of the few tasks I use a paper towel for in my kitchen.  Most jobs get cleaned up with reusable cloths.
  • Cooks Choice: You can either lift the skin above the breasts of the bird around the large neck cavity and insert the butter and prepared garlic between the skin and the meat with your hand, LIKE SO, or you can cut slits in the skin of the chicken and press in the garlic.
  • You can slather or drizzle the outside of the bird with more of the fat of your choosing if you would like.
  • Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper and rub seasonings over the chicken.
  • Insert lemon slices inside chicken cavity.
  • Cook for about 1 1⁄2 hours or until chicken is cooked through and has reached 165 degrees. Check the temperature after an hour to avoid overcooking.  Moist and just done meat is what we’re aiming for here.  For those using a convection oven, the cooking time will be significantly less. 
  • Remove chicken from oven and let cool before enjoying.
Monday
Jul272015

3 Tips for Eating Ferments Without Regretting It: #3 Brine Shots!

Tip #3: Brine shots anyone? 

I've shared my sauerkraut recipe, plus two important tips (here's #1 and here's #2) for eating ferments like kraut without regretting it. Here is your third and final additional tip with a simple 2-3 ingredient recipe to help make life-giving ferments a staple in your life.

For some folks who are dealing with more severe gut and overall health challenges, it may be best to start with fermented sauerkraut juice and skip the roughage (cabbage) for a period of time, depending on your particular health concerns and the severity of your issues.  Sauerkraut juice is also an excellent tonic for those suffering from sluggish bowels, This includes the common perception of constipation in which no stool moves from the bowel for a day or longer (a serious bowel health issue to remedy) as well as some version of the more typical scenario in which only a small amount of stool is passed and the individual does not feel fully evacuated. In conjunction with acupuncture, other dietary, lifestyle, and supplement recommendations, I repeatedly hear many reports back from happy patients that microbial rich sauerkraut juice helped them regulate their bowels.

 

Making Sauerkraut Juice

Ingredients:

  • 1 organic, medium/large green cabbage
  • 1 TBL sea salt
  • 1 TBL sauerkraut juice from a previous homemade or store bought batch of authentically prepared sauerkraut (optional, but definitely recommended if you have it)

Special Equipment:

Juicer (see Notes below) 

Preparation:

  1. Core and chop cabbage into pieces that will easily fit through your juicer.
  2. Juice the cabbage pieces.
  3. Stir in one tablespoon of sea salt (or a little less if the cabbage wasn’t that large), to taste. I use Real Salt (read more about salt choices here).
  4. Stir in optional sauerkraut juice from an older batch to get a faster ferment since the bacteria from the previous batch act as an inoculant to kick the party off. This serves to protect your ferment and works great when you are in a hurry to get some delicious sauerkraut juice.
  5. Leave on the counter for a few days (temperature dependent) until it starts to smell like regular fermented sauerkraut.
  6. Refrigerate. The flavor improves over time and the sauerkraut juice will last many months in your refrigerator or cool cellar.
  7. Bottoms up! See last note below…

Notes:

  • I have some patients who do not have a juicer who have told me they simply dump the sauerkraut out of a jar (homemade or store bought) into their blender and pulverize it into a mush.  They then pour this slurry into a medium sized metal strainer and use a wooden spoon to mash as much juice out of the slurry as possible.  Bam, sauerkraut juice!  The remaining pulp can be eaten by other, less sensitive family members (including some canine or feline family members) and incorporated into foods in all sorts of ways.  My favorite is in some properly prepared grain free crackers.
  • If you have bowel regulation issues (too sluggish, too loose, or marked fluctuations, abdominal discomfort or pain, etc.) schedule an appointment with me so you can get that turned around
  • If you tend toward loose stools already, proceed with caution in consuming sauerkraut or sauerkraut juice since the billions of microorganisms in the fermented brine will likely get things moving in your gut.  This is a highly medicinal food and needs to be treated as such.  Enjoy responsibly. 
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