whole foods and beyond....nourishing the body, spirit and soul

Monday, October 26, 2015

chicken broth

>> fall is in the air<<

 i'm so ready for the newness of the season! when were not getting our cozy fix with things like my pumpkin spice muffins, were warming up with a nourishing mug of bone broth! one of my favorite ancient traditions to bring into our modern world, is the routine use of bone broth. as i have said before, *every single traditional culture*, had their own recipes for bone broth! this practice  ensures that all the  nutrients found inside the bones, ligaments and organs of the animal do not go to waste.

there are many different ways to prepare bone broth, using whatever meat, vegetables and herbs you have available.  the most important thing is to choose organic meat, since conventionally grown livestock are swarming with toxins due to factory farming, improper diet, antibiotics, hormone injections etc… the basic steps are simple and in essence, the liquid created is a very high concentration of vitamins and minerals that are easily absorbed during digestion, making it a "superfood" that should be consumed daily. the high gelatin content is soothing to the digestive tract, offering restorative healing to the often forgotten organ, our intestines.

mmmm can you smell those flavors bubbling away?!

i have found the perfect rhythm to keeping my deer pack well fed on broth. every two weeks i buy one whole organic chicken. it usually costs right around twenty dollars. if the cost were less than this, i would certainly buy once a week, as i did while living in germany. but for now, forty dollars a month seems just right. each time i make broth, after i strain the liquid, i gather the extra bones and freeze them. this bag of frozen bones will be added to my next batch of broth. it is said that you can actually obtain nutrients from the bones until they crumble. so to make sure that each batch i make has optimal nutrients and flavor, with out having to buy two whole chickens for each batch, one whole fresh chicken and one set of bones will cook together. i know we are getting deeply nourished, and the flavor can't be beat!! 

my fresh chicken and previously frozen bones getting to know eachother

my favorite days are when broth is simmering away in my crockpot, filling my home with the cozy scent of crisp autumn breezes. i can hardly wait to open the lid and ladle out a big mug to sip! as traditional societies used broth as the base for soups, sauces, and grains, i do too, but nothing will beat drinking it straight! i love to stir in an organic raw egg yolk, and a tablespoon of grassfed butter…and listen to my body thank me for choosing true awesomeness ;)

chicken broth

whole organic chicken
frozen bones from previously cooked chicken (see above)
3 tbs raw apple cider vinegar
3 stalks celery
3 carrots
1 bunch parsley
1 head garlic
1 onion
1 apple
1 bay leaf
1 tbs sea salt
filtered water

*remove whole chicken from packaging and rinse. place in crockpot along with frozen bones.
*rinse all vegetables/herbs and chop in half. i like to leave the skin on the apple, onion and garlic. toss in the crockpot.
*add bay leaf and salt.
*pour in filtered water until everything is covered.
*add vinegar and place the lid on. let sit for thirty minutes before turning the heat on as the vinegar begins to draw nutrients out of the bones.
*turn crock pot on lowest setting and allow to cook for 12 to 24 hours. (as foam rises to the top during the first few hours of cooking, scoop this out and discard, as these are impurities.)
*strain and discard vegetables.
*seperate meat from bones. i love using the meat to make chicken salad with my traditional mayonnaise
*freeze the bones in a ziploc bag to save for next batch. finally, store broth in the refrigerator in a covered container. (the fat will rise to the top making it easy to skim off when you're ready to use. as long as this layer is intact protecting the broth from air, it will keep for six months. when fat layer is broken, it will keep for one week.)

 bone broth is truly the magical tonic missing from our modern world. if you haven't started already, add this nutrient dense liquid to your diet and see what you have been missing out on!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

nourishing chocolate mousse pie

one supplement i try to sneak into our diet around every corner, is gelatin. to learn why, you can read my post about the amazing benefits of grass fed gelatin, and why it's so vital to our health. we reap the benefit of gelatin and many other nutrients by drinking our  bone broth regularly. along with that, fun treats like this one utilize the silky, whipped texture gelatin offers, while nourishing our bodies….and our sweet tooth too!

you know i like to go big…i topped this pretty lady with some homemade ice cream for extreme decadence!

im a lover of real food. i'm a lover of chocolate. and most important, i'm a lover all things mousse. 

this is what happens when my sweet tooth wins…caramel drizzle!!! and sea salt of course!

nourishing chocolate mousse pie

1 1/2 c almond flour
3/4 c grassfed butter, melted (coconut oil can be substituted for dairy free version)
1 tbs coconut sugar
dash sea salt

#dessertgoals. light, airy and whipped texture.

1 can organic coconut milk
1 1/4 c dark chocolate chips
1/2 c soaked chia seeds (soak 1/2 tbs chia seeds in 1/2 c water until gelled)
1/4 c water
2 tbs grassfed gelatin
2 tbs coconut sugar
1 tbs vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt

combining my chocolate and coconut milk. i like to use ghiradelli brand.
*prepare the crust first. melt the butter and mix all ingredients together. grease an 8 inch pie plate or 8x8 baking dish. press crust in an even layer and bake on 350 for 12 minutes. allow to cool while preparing filling.
*in a double boiler, gently heat the coconut milk.
*add the chocolate chips and stir until chocolate is melted through. set aside.
*in a small bowl, combine the gelatin and water. set aside for five minutes for the gelatin to bloom.
*add all filling ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth.
*pour over cooled crust.
*now the hardest part…chill for at least two hours before digging in!!

go ahead…make this masterpiece! don't forget to instagram and hashtag it #MyNourishedVibes before you devour it!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

benefits of consuming gelatin

 some of the things we eat on the regular at "la case de deering," like my traditional mayonnaise and my liberal use of grass fed butter, are scoffed at by many on the standard american diet. although we live in the "information age,"the rejection of these nutrient dense foods, in exchange for fake-toxic-food-like-substances, is all the more evidence that we are really living in the "great forgetting."

for the entire history of humankind, up until the last 200 years or so (which is like the blink of an eye on the time line) the goal of life was harmony and wellness for all, not the accumulation of green paper and the things it can give you. tribes passed along the information needed for robust health from generation to generation for thousands of years. this was our wealth. sadly as most of these indigenous cultures have been wiped off the face of the planet in the last 150 years (by genocide or assimilation to western civilization), much of the truths that should be simple, foundational basics to the human diet, have vanished with them. 

fortunately for us living in the modern world, so many of these truths were preserved in the book "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration," by Dr. Weston A. Price. you haven't read this book yet?! what are you waiting on??? as Dr. Price studied indigenous tribes all around the world in the early 1900s and meticulously documented their diet and lifestyle, he found one nutrient all tribes liberally consumed, despite their distance from one another and difference in local produce.

gelatin! what???….

yes, my friend, gelatin is a real food and is nutrient dense. no, i'm not talking about the little powered packets sold next to the jello, im talking about the nutrient found inside the organs, tissues and bones of livestock.  since our modern society does not consume these parts of the animal on a regular basis like our ancestors did, (great time to note, people groups living by ancient traditions were never vegan)  most americans are deficient in this nutrient. gelatin is mainly made up of the amino acids glycine and proline, which are needed for new cell growth (think hair, skin and nails!), and valuable immune strength.
some more benefits of consuming gelatin include:

>>source of collagen. collagen is too large to be absorbed by the skin, making it pointless in all the "anti winkle" and "anti aging" creams! our skin receives the anti-aging benefits of collagen by consuming gelatin internally.<<

>>contains specific amino acids that help build muscle.<<

>>supports the growth of skin, hair and nails.<<

>>aids in the reproduction of skin cells. it tightens loose skin, while preventing wrinkles and also causes scar tissue and wounds to heal faster<<

>>supports joint and bone strength.<<  

>>soothes the digestive tract, while aiding in regularity.<<

>>fights inflammation.<<

now that the vault of wisdom has been unlocked, and you know the benefits to consuming gelatin, let's talk game plan for getting this nutrient into you... 

eat organ meats:
organ meats from free range, humanely and organically raised animals not only contain gelatin but also vitamin k (necessary for other vitamins to enter the cells), and a host of minerals. if you're into "liver and onions," then go for it! if your squeamish like me, prepare these meats the way my sweet sister has done for me. ask your butcher to grind the organ meats up, and then you can mix them into other ground meat and season very liberally to cover up their strong taste.

supplement with grassfed gelatin powder:
gelatin powder is a convenient way in our modern world to obtain this nutrient. companies like "vital proteins" and "great lakes gelatin" are reputable companies that only create their gelatin from grass fed livestock, not chemicals like the packets found in the jello aisle. the bones and tissues of the animal are boiled to extract the nutrient, and then dried to create the powder. added to smoothies or other drinks, this adds a thicker texture. i add a tsp of this powder or the similar collagen powder to my version of bulletproof coffee every morning!

regularly consume bone broth:
on top of obtaining the incredible amount nutrients found in the organ meat, every single culture had their own recipe for bone broth. once the meat was consumed, the bones and "scraps" were added to water with a mix of herbs and vegetables. left to slowly boil, the nutrients then seeped into the liquid to create bone broth. this liquid can be drank straight (my favorite way!), used as the base for soups and sauces, or even used to cook grains.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

vegan "cheddar" flax crackers

i'm working over time ensuring my kids that store bought crackers are "yucky."

it's literally my full time job.

when words won't work, i just have to come up with a new recipe. thank god for the magic combination of red peppers and garlic! these two mixed together create an epic cheddar flavor…giving me one more weapon  to win the gold fish battle. 

simple ingredients with bold flavors

if you're in the mood for a sweeter cracker, find my recipe for cinnamon zucchini flax crackers here, as well as the reasons we try to avoid store bought crackers.

chia and flax seeds gelled together

red pepper and garlic blended smooth to create the tang of cheddar

vegan "cheddar" flax crackers

4 c spring water
2 c whole flax seeds, soaked
1 1/2 c ground flax seeds
2 tbs chia seeds, soaked
1 1/2 red bell pepper
5 cloves garlic
2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp coconut oil
15 drops trace minerals (optional for added nutrients)

so cheddary! so crackery!

*place whole flax seeds, chia seeds and water in a big bowl. stir well and leave to soak for at least two hours. 
*when ready to prepare the rest of the recipe, blend red pepper, garlic and sea salt together until smooth, using just enough water to keep the blender moving.
*pour the pepper mixture into the gelled seeds and mix together. 
*slowly fold in the ground flax seeds, adding more if the mixture is too wet.
*grease a large baking sheet with the coconut oil (or prepare your dehydrator) and spread the "dough" in an even layer. turn the oven on the lowest setting and leave in the oven for 24 hours or until crackers are fully dry. half way through, i like to flip the dough upside down to help dry out quicker. 
*break into pieces and store in an airtight container.

**note: 24 hours is quite a long time to use up the oven! feel free to take these crackers out and do any other cooking you need to do, and then reset the oven and place them back in, without worry of messing them up!**