Tag Archives: nutrient-dense foods

“Mom! Is that butter?!”

Was the call from my eight year old son this morning. I had just offered him a graham cracker that was covered with what we call “Nature’s frosting”: butter. Organic butter, that is…a good half inch high. Why did he question whether it was butter, you ask? Ah, the tale I will tell! Can anyone guess?

Organic butter: White :(

Organic butter: White ūüė¶

The COLOR. The color of the butter was very light yellow to almost white. The color my son is used to seeing is YELLOW. Is this significant? YES. The color of the butter will let you know that the cows ate GRASS. We KNOW that what cows eat is highly significant: to the cows, the Earth, and our bodies.

What is very interesting to me (and should be to you also) is that the butter was ORGANIC. This is significant also… It tells you that even though butter may be organic, it in no way means it comes from grass-fed or pastured cows. (It does currently guarantee that the grains the cows are fed are organic– which will guard you from the GMO-laden feeds used in conventional dairies. ) Why should you care?

Folks all over the country are starting to wake up to preferring grass-fed or “pastured” dairy products including butter, milk, cream and cheese. Grass-fed or pastured dairy is nutritionally superior to dairy that comes from grain-fed operations. And not only that, but it also comes from cows that are raised on pasture, as Nature intended them to be… Not in the confinement feeding operations (CAFOs, confined animal feeding operations) that became so popular in this country in the eighties.

Beautiful YELLOW grass-fed butter!! Homemade!

Beautiful YELLOW grass-fed butter!! Homemade!

So in this case, “the eyes have it”: rich, yellow butter IS better. And use it liberally, folks. Nature’s frosting.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Food, Health and Wellness

Learn to cook for the GAPS Diet! Cooking Immersion Weekend!

 

Gut and Psychology Syndrome CoverOne of the best diets to heal a leaky gut and gut dysbiosis…as well as the myriad of symptoms that result from these conditions…is the Gut and Psychology Syndrome (aka “G.A.P.S.”) diet. I have been teaching how to cook for the diet for about 5 years now, having developed one of the first sets of cooking classes for it. I have offered these classes individually over a series of weeks, and also all together over a weekend workshop as far away as California, Massachusetts, and Maryland. This coming weekend, and next month, I am inaugurating a new method which I am calling “Cooking Immersion Weekends”.

The Cooking Immersion Weekend grew out of the desire to provide a way for individuals to experience learning and cooking with all the techniques needed for the diet at one time, with other people, and with a resource right with them to answer any questions. (Me.)

I have broken up the weekends as makes the most sense: one for the “Intro” diet and another for the “Full” Diet, as cooking for them is very different. The Intro Immersion Weekend will take place this weekend, 4pm Friday through 1pm Sunday, September 2-14, 2014, ¬†in a retreat setting at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, CO. The Full Immersion Weekend will take place same times and place, on October 3-5, 2014.

My desire and intention for those that join me for these Cooking Immersions is that they leave feeling fully confident in their ability to implement the healing protocol when they return home. (You all know how much I love to make things easy for folks and to take the mystery out of seemingly complicated cooking techniques!)

These are very hands-on weekends; we spend a lot of time in the kitchen together. ūüôā ¬†And though those of you who have been cooking traditional food for a while will have a broader knowledge base than those who have not, cooking for the GAPS diet is very different than cooking from Nourishing Traditions. So….

You are invited to attend one or both of the weekends!

Still on the fence? Here is what Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride wrote about my cooking classes: ¬†” Dear Monica,¬†I just want to thank you for your wonderful GAPS cooking classes! I am getting excellent reports from the GAPS Practitioners and patients! Everybody who attended your classes leave very inspired and ready to cook good food.¬†Thank you!”

CGPs (Certified GAPS Practitioners) are especially welcome, as knowing how to cook for the diet is critical to its success.

You may register for the September 12-14 Cooking Immersion Weekend here.

You may register for the October 3-5 Cooking Immersion Weekend here.

 

Looking forward to cooking with you!

 

 

Please note: Gut and Psychology Syndrome is the trademark and copyright of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. The right of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Patent and Designs Act 1988.

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under GAPS, Health and Wellness

Meat Stock…What it is, and Why I Love it! And you will, too…

I LOVE meat stock. I love meat stock. Meat stock.

I also love bone broth. But meat stock is different than bone broth.

In the world of stock and broth…I am speaking especially to those following the GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) diet…and those who are consuming a lot of stock on a daily basis…to heal their guts, to take in electrolytic minerals, to supply them with easily absorbed nutrients…somehow “meat stock” has been missed. And what a fatal flaw that is, because meat stock makes your life sooooo much easier-both for those on the GAPS diet, and for those of us other folks, who are just trying to eat well to be well.

Image

Meat stock is a treasure in the world of nutrient-dense foods… for those of us who are “real foodies”, Weston A. Price-ers, “traditional foodies”…and anyone who is wanting to make the most of their food dollar and their health. Most of us, that is.

The clue is in the words…”meat” stock and “bone” broth. They say a lot about the differences between the two. One is made from meat that has some bones; the other is made from bones. One is cooked for a relatively short time; the other for a very long time, sometimes up to 72 hours!

The gift of meat stock is threefold: it gives you a meal to eat and gelatinous broth to drink. Then it gives you bones you may use as boney bones for bone broth! What a deal!!

So here’s how it’s done. Please take care to use the best quality poultry or meat that you can buy. That means pastured poultry or grass-fed meat. It matters…to the Earth, the animals, and to our bodies.

Meat Stock by Monica

Obtain 2-3 pounds of meat with a bone in it. (This can be legs or thighs or quarters of a chicken or turkey or other fowl…it can be a whole or half chicken cut up. Please include the skin. Lamb shanks…beef shanks…ox tails…meaty neck bones…you get the idea.) Place the meaty bones in a 4-6 quart Dutch oven. (You may also use a crock pot if you prefer; this will lengthen the cook time. See below.)

Cover with water. Usually 1.5-2 quarts of pure, cold water

Add herbs that you love. Fresh rosemary or thyme…tied is best, so you may remove them later…and a slight handful of black or green peppercorns, whole.

Add any vegetables that you love…the usual candidates are carrots, celery and onion, but you could add other veggies if you like–mushrooms, zucchini. (Do not use potatoes or sweet potatoes or any starchy vegetables…they will cloud the stock. Stay away from broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage at this stage, they will turn the stock bitter, and you will wind up throwing it out. Boo. ūüė¶ ) If you use carrots, celery and onion, I would use 3, 3, 1 or 3, 2, 1 or so. Onions can overpower if you add too many.

Bring to a boil over high heat.

Skim and discard any scum that surfaces. 

After you have skimmed most of the scum off of the top of the water, lower the heat to a simmer and cover the pot. (Note: do not spend a lot of time on this. You can lose some of the glorious fat if you do. Hint: wait until there is a good amount of scum on the surface, and then begin to skim. It will look like white foam, and may become quite thick depending on the quality of the bones you used.)

Cook, covered. 

If it is poultry, cook 1.5-2 hours.

If it is lamb, cook 3-4 hours

If it is beef or bison, cook 4-6 hours, or longer (8-10 most)

(If you are using a crock pot, double the hours approximately.)

Serve. 

When you serve, serve the meat and the vegetables and a cup of stock on the side to drink. (Remember to add good quality Celtic sea salt and pastured butter or ghee. The salt will give you trace minerals your body needs, and the healthy fat will help your body to absorb the vitamins from the food.)

Mmmmmmmmmmmmm so good and healing and warming on these cold, snowy Winter days.

And if you are interested in learning more, check out my book on Meat Stock and Bone Broth! 

Image

Gelatinous meat stock

NEXT

Save the bones for your next round of bone broth. If you don’t have enough to start a batch right away, (approx. 4 pound of chicken bones or 7 pounds of beef or bison bones), you may wish to store them in a freezer bag once they’ve cooled. For more information about making bone broth from those leftover bones,¬†check out my article, Healing Soups series: Let’s Step Back to Stock¬†https://simplybeingwell.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/healing-soups-series-lets-step-back-to-stock/

Enjoy!!

18 Comments

Filed under Food, GAPS, Health and Wellness, Recipes

Dairy-free/Casein-free Pate’ Recipe!

While teaching a Liver Pate’ class on Saturday, I had a student who was casein-free. So we experimented together, and stumbled upon a delicious dairy-free/casein-free chicken liver pate’ recipe! I am using the “/” because one can make it either way…completely dairy-free or just casein-free (by using ghee).

So here goes. The recipe is written as it was made. I have included options in parentheses for you to try on your own. Keep in mind that when you are switching out fats, the flavor of the fat will color the flavor of the pate’. Enjoy!

Dairy-free/Casein-free Chicken Liver Pate’

makes about 2 cups

3 T bacon fat (or schmaltz, tallow, lard, duck fat, coconut oil. To make casein-free, use ghee.)

1 pound chicken livers from pastured hens!

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (or brandy, cognac or white wine. I have also used port in a pinch!)

1/2 tsp dry mustard

1/2 tsp dried rosemary (can crush if you desire in a mortar and pestle)

1 tsp green peppercorns, crushed or ground

4 cloves garlic, smashed, peeled and chopped

1/4 cup coconut cream! (or ghee, if just casein-free)

Celtic sea salt to taste

To seal:

bacon fat, melted 2-4 T (can also be schmaltz, tallow, lard, duck fat, coconut oil. To make casein-free, use ghee.)

Check chicken livers. Throw out any livers that are pale or gray. I like to rinse them under cool water. Some people like to cut them up; I like to put them in the pan just the way they are. Some people like to cut off the fat; I like to leave the fat unless it is hard or tough. You decide what you like! (It’s all going to be whirred around and chopped up in the food processor anyway!)

Warm the healthy fat of your choosing in a large skillet until melted. (I like cast iron.)

Add the chicken livers and saute’ until browned on the outside over medium low heat. This should take about 7-8 minutes at most. (Don’t overcook livers; they will toughen and the flavor will become too strong. I like mine a bit pink inside.)

Add the seasonings and the vinegar or brandy. Cook for a minute or two, until the vinegar or brandy reduces. Add chopped garlic at this point, stir and turn off the heat.

Allow to cool.

Pour into a food processor along with celtic sea salt and coconut cream. (You may use the cream that is at the top of a can of coconut milk or make your own from “Let’s Do Organic” Coconut Cream found in most natural food stores.) Process until smooth.

Taste and adjust seasonings. (You may wish to add more garlic, more rosemary or coconut cream at this point.)

Spoon into a crock, ramekin, jar, or bowl of your choice. Smooth the top and pour on melted fat to seal. Place in the refrigerator for a few hours, so the pate’ will set.

Note: pate’ that is sealed with a fat layer on top will last up to 3 months in the refrigerator. (I have also frozen pate’ successfully.) Once you break the seal, eat within a week.

20120403-170125.jpg

8 Comments

Filed under Food, organ meats, Recipes

Ditch the Hummus: Three Nutrient-Dense Dips your Kids will Love and so will You!

Hummus has become a favorite snack food for kids and adults alike…it is touted as a health food because it is low fat. That alone should send up warning flags and caution nutrition-savvy moms not to buy it often. Or at least prompt them to add a bunch more EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) to it before serving. Every time I see kids digging into hummus–in their lunch box, at snack time, or served as a “healthy snack” for kids at school–preschools especially–it gives me pause. This is not to say that hummus every once in a while is not a good thing. ¬†Once a week, twice a week, maybe. But every day? As “the” go-to snack? I think not.¬†¬†Let’s talk about why all this hummus eating gives me pause, and then I’ll offer three kid-tested tried and true delicious, nutrient-dense dips to serve in your home.

First of all, our bodies thrive when they are given a variety of foods and a variety of tastes…And also, I would bet that most of the hummus served is store-bought, which means that the garbanzo beans or chickpeas that make it up have probably not been soaked in a way to neutralize the anti-nutrients in them. (All legumes, grains, nuts and seeds contain anti-nutrients which must be neutralized prior to cooking in order to make them digestible to humans. More on that and how to soak beans and whole grains may be found¬†here¬†and¬†here¬†and here.) So all that hummus you and the children are eating is full of anti-nutrients. Doesn’t sound like something I would like to be serving my child every day. Not to mention the gastric distress of improperly soaked beans. (Once again, folks, flatulence IS NOT normal. It is a signal that the body is having a hard time digesting what you are eating.) While garbanzos are very high in calcium, phosphorus, ¬†potassium, iron and vitamin C, making them almost a super-bean, they are also high in omega 6 fatty acids…yes, the fatty acids you don’t want to consume a lot of.

If you are going to eat or serve hummus, soak your garbanzos well and long…1 cup dried in warm filtered water to cover along with 2 T of lemon juice or whey..for 24-48 hours. It is best to rinse them 2 or 3 times during the 24-48 hours, replacing the lemon juice or whey each time. I always say, “soak long!” Then drain, rinse, put in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and skim and discard any scum. Cover, and simmer for about 6 hours. If all that isn’t enough, (yes, this is a labor of love, folks!) be sure to take off the skins of each bean before you eat them or puree them into hummus. Your body just does not need all that fiber. I like to kid people and say that they need to pick off the skin of each individual bean one by one; a very mindful exercise. ūüėČ Remove skins easily by placing them in a large bowl, covering them with cold water, and rubbing handfuls together. Then pour off the water and the skins into the sink, taking care not to lose the beans down the drain. Do this several times until all the skins have been removed. ūüôāgarbanzos

So……..here are my healthy, nutrient-dense dip alternatives. Kids can’t get enough. And neither will you. These dips satisfy our need for healthy fats: extra virgin olive oil provides oleic acid, a stable monounsaturated fat and antioxidants. ¬†Flax oil provides much needed omega 3s (especially if you eat out a lot or consume prepared foods often).¬†Remember, growing children need fat–for brain and nervous system function, for endocrine system development (read hormones), for every ¬†cell of their body. So don’t skimp on the healthy fats!¬†The dips are enzyme rich, and work synergistically with the other foods you are eating so that you feel satisfied after your meal. Raw egg yolks (please purchase only eggs from pastured hens!) provide the cholesterol needed for mental development, carotenoids, EFAs, vitamins A, E, D and K, calcium, iron,¬†phosphorus, zinc, and more. Talk about a super food!!! (For a great analysis of the nutrients in egg yolks, see Chris Masterjohn’s The Incredible, Edible Egg Yolk.) Anchovies¬†are an¬†excellent¬†source of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as calcium, selenium and niacin. And they are low in mercury toxicity. Roquefort contains immune system boosting lauric acid, also found in buttermilk, breast milk and coconut oil. All of these ingredients will contribute to a more focused, calm and robust child. And a more focused, calm and robust you. Try them and see!

What shall they dip in the dips? Organic carrots, celery sticks, romaine lettuce leaves, cut up bell peppers-all colors, radish coins, slices of apple (skin on), baby spinach leaves, raw broccoli and cauliflower…skip the pita bread and chips! (Don’t get me started on the anti-nutrients in grains and grain products…or the fact that almost all whole grain products available in stores have not been prepared in a way that they are even digestible…or the allergies connected to them, etc etc etc!) Children–and you–just don’t need the grains that are store bought. Veggies are full of live enzymes, vitamins, and antioxidants. And they have plenty of fiber, too!

Fave Dip No. 1:¬†Anchovy Dip! Don’t let the name scare you off. Name it something else if you need to, like “my favorite dip” or “yummy dip”. (You can’t even taste the anchovies, honest!)

Makes about 1 cup

1 jar or can of anchovies (I like to use the ones rolled in capers for extra zing)

3/4 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil (expeller or cold-pressed and in a dark bottle–remember, oils go rancid in light–and heat and air!)

1 tablespoon flax oil–expeller pressed (Barleans is a good brand)

1 tablespoon lemon juice, from an organic lemon

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, raw

1 or 2 egg yolks (pastured, please)

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, peeled and mashed

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste (best salt I know due to high trace mineral content: Celtic Sea Salt by the Grain and Salt Society)

(Options: feel free to do 2 T of lemon juice and drop the acv, or 2 T acv and drop the lemon juice. Also, can substitute red wine vinegar for either the lemon juice or acv. )

Place all ingredients in a wide-mouth glass jar. Use immersion blender to emulsify–this will become as thick as a dip. Deeeeeelicious!!

Fave Dip No. 2: Blue Cheese Dip

Yes, the children will love this!

Makes about 1 cup

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (see note above)

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, raw (see notes about switching out all or some acv with lemon juice or red wine vinegar–all delicious)

1 tablespoon flax oil, expeller pressed (see note above)

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

4 tablespoons Roquefort cheese plus additional for chunks (all “blues” are not the same; Roquefort provides immune boosting lauric acid as it is made from sheep’s milk. Other blue cheeses do not.)

Place all ingredients in a wide-mouth glass jar. Use immersion blender to emulsify–this will become as thick as a dip. Add more chunks of Roquefort after you have blended it.

Fave Dip No. 3: Caesar Dip! Yes, just like the salad dressing only thicker! Feel free to thin out with additional olive oil or lemon juice (or water if need be) to use as salad dressing

Makes about 1 cup

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice (see note above re: substitutions)

1 tablespoon flax oil (see note above)

2 egg yolks, pastured

1 jar anchovies (see note above)

2 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed

2-3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a wide-mouth glass jar. Use immersion blender to emulsify–it will become as thick as a dip. Taste and add more Parmesan or garlic if desired.

And yes, these dips travel well in lunch boxes. Just add a cold pack, or place in a thermos when you take them out of the refrigerator.

Note: when refrigerated, these dips will solidify. Simply take them out of the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before using, stir well with a fork, or run the jar under warm water for a few minutes. (Take care not to go over 118 F or you will lose the valuable enzymes!)

Enjoy!!!

18 Comments

Filed under Food, Recipes

I found the perfect bones…and my new favorite soup: oxtail!

Oh yes…it was a bit of an accident, but a happy one at that…I found the perfect bones for GAPSTM stock! I found the perfect bones for a nutrient-dense stock! I was in my local butcher shop, my local grass-fed only butcher shop and there they were…on the top shelf, calling to me. But first things first.

What is GAPSTM and what is the perfect stock for GAPSTM? I call GAPSTM a healing protocol. Short for the Gut and Psychology Syndrome, it aims to heal the gut lining and cure all sorts of dis-eases in the body including Autism, ADD, AD/HD, Aspberger’s, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, depression, allergies and auto-immune disorders. I have been making stock for a long time, and GAPSTM stock, or stock you make for yourself when you are on the GAPSTM diet is a special kind of stock to me. I will endeavor to explain.

When you make ‚Äúbone broth‚ÄĚ, or ‚Äúnutrient-dense stock‚ÄĚ, your goal is a volume of gelatinous stock (or a demi glace, but that is not usual.) Bones and vegetables are discarded after a long ‚Äúrolling‚ÄĚ or simmering‚Ķoften 40-60 hours or more. When you are making GAPSTM stock, there are five things you are looking for: the stock, gelatin, tendons, meat and fat. You make the stock so that you may drink it or use it as the base of soups and stews. You may eat the gelatin in cubes if the stock is made well, just like jello! (Believe it or not, that red dye no. 5, high-fructose corn syrup laden cherry jello they serve to convalescing patients in hospitals has its origin in real gelatin from real stock! It is a truly healing food! How far we have digressed‚Ķ) You are also to eat the tendons, the meat and the fat. It takes a special kind of bone to give you tendons, meat, and fat. And I have found it. The ox tail. (The bison tail works, too.)

Ox tails or bison tails make the best stock because they give everything you need: stock, gel, cartilage and tendons, meat, and fat. And oh, do they give FLAVOR.

So back to my story. A package of ox tail called to me from the top shelf of the refrigerator. I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was. Rich, red meat, beautiful white fat throughout, and lots of cartilage and tendons. I salivated as I saw it and I salivate as I write now.

I had never made oxtail soup or oxtail broth. I had never seen oxtail. I remember having oxtail soup when I was young, but when I asked mom about it the other day, it was a packaged soup mix. So I was on my own.

I consulted some cookbooks and then decided to strike out on my own‚Ķand it was tremendous. Stupendous. Unbelievably delicious. Deeply nourishing. The whole family delighted in it. My six year old said his ‚Äútummy was dancing‚ÄĚ it was so happy. It was ‚Äúthe best soup I ever made‚ÄĚ. Soooooooooo on to the recipe.

Oxtail is so heavy in fat, that you will have to cool it before you use it in a soup. So it’s a two step process, like any other good soup. Make the stock and then make the soup. But you’ll be saving and eating much of what you made the stock with.

Recipe I: Oxtail Stock

2 pounds of oxtail or bison tail, cut into 1 inch pieces

3 carrots, scrubbed and coarsely chopped

3 celery ribs, coarsely chopped

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

You may choose to brown the oxtail before you make the stock. This will serve to intensify the flavor and color of your stock. Variation 1: Place the oxtails on a sheet pan and bake in a 350 F oven for 30-45 minutes, or Variation 2: melt some tallow, lard, or pastured butter in a skillet and brown both sides of the oxtail.

If you brown the oxtail, be sure to scrape all the juices and fat into the pan. Do not discard them.

So put the oxtail into a 6-8 quart Dutch oven and cover with water. Add the vegetables. Bring to a boil, skim and discard the scum. Lower heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 20 hours.

Strain and cool. Reserve all the meat and discard the vegetables. Chop the meat and fat and tendons and keep in a bowl or container while the stock cools. (Note: this step may take several hours or overnight in order to allow the fat to cool and harden.)

When the stock has cooled, take off the layer of fat and reserve for cooking (or adding back in to the oxtail soup when you make it.)

Recipe II: Oxtail Soup

2-3 quarts oxtail stock (or beef stock if you don’t have oxtail stock)

2-3 carrots, finely diced

2-3 celery ribs, finely diced

1-2 medium potato or turnip, finely diced

thyme, about 2 tsp dried or 2 T fresh

Celtic salt, to taste

freshly ground pepper

cayenne pepper, pinch

port or brandy, 2 T, (optional)

tomato paste, organic, about 3 T

reserved oxtail meat and fat

Place everything into a soup pot except the tomato paste, optional port and meat. Bring to a boil and skim and discard scum. Lower to a simmer and cover. Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

Add tomato paste and stir until incorporated. Add optional port and meat and allow to heat through, about 4-5 minutes.

Serve with prepared horseradish, fresh ground pepper and sea salt. You may wish to add a tablespoon of fermented ketchup to your bowl just prior to that first bite! I did!

Hints: Grow Your Soup!

So you’ve enjoyed your first night of oxtail soup (or any other stock based soup) and there is a bit left, but not enough for another meal. Add more stock-oxtail or beef in this case- and a bit more tomato paste and thyme. It will not be as thick, but it will taste as good!

Another hint: if you need a hearty second meal, add some soaked wild or brown rice to the hint above. Now you’ve got a stew!

20120202-231923.jpg

This is a square of oxtail stock. I cut a square of gelled stock out of the bowl.

52 Comments

Filed under Food, Recipes

Healing Soups series…let’s step back to Stock.

Can’t believe I started a Healing Soups series without first writing about Stock…aka, meat stock…bone broth. Maybe it’s because I am immersed in stock right now, (not literally, don’t worry!) I am making stock like crazy for a little boy who has had the flu, and for the rest of us who want to stay well…I am teaching a Making Stock GAPS ™ Style tomorrow morning in Westminster, CO, and I am readying for my stock class which I will be teaching at the Fourfold Path to Healing Conference in Baltimore one week from today. So…….I thought I’d share with you an article I wrote for Edible Chesapeake Magazine, which was published in November 2009. It appeared under the Cooking Fresh heading. Unfortunately for those in the Chesapeake Bay watershed area, Edible Chesapeake folded a few months later. ¬†Here’s the article. I hope you enjoy it!

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s Healing Soup. hmmmm…..wonder what it will be?! ūüėČ

Nutrient-Dense Stock…the Foundation of all Great Soup

By Monica Corrado

Mmm…mmm, there is nothing like a bowl of homemade soup when the weather starts to chill, and there is nothing better than soup made with homemade stock. Stock made well is a nutrient-dense elixir that gives a great bang for your nutritional buck: It is high in calcium and other minerals your body needs that are easily absorbed, it can reduce the amount of protein you eat, and the gelatin has been known to help heal many digestive and other disorders, including anemia, diabetes, colitis, rheumatoid arthritis and even cancer1. Gelatinous stock is liquid nutrition for lactating mothers, menopausal women and children, whose bones are growing. It is also a perfect first food for infants.

As in all things, the quality of in the raw ingredients determines the quality of the final product. Bones from a grass-fed producer is the key to a rich, gelatinous stock. Bones from cows raised on feed-lots and chickens raised in cages just do not gel. You will need two types of bones for your stock: what I like to call ‚Äúboney‚ÄĚ bones, like marrow and knuckle bones; and ‚Äúmeaty bones,‚ÄĚ such as chuck ribs or neck bones. Boney bones yield gelatin and minerals, while meaty bones will ensure rich color and flavor.

Next, the vegetables. Again, source counts. In these days of depleted soil, even organic vegetables can be low in minerals. Look for vegetables from farmers who add vital nutrients back into the soil, such as biodynamic farmers. If you can’t get biodynamic, grow your own, or go to a farmers market for fresh, local produce. Check with the farmer to find out what he or she is doing to help heal the earth.

1 ¬†For more information about the use of gelatin to heal the digestive tract and other disorders, see Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, ADD, ADHD, Dyslexia, Depression and Schizophrenia, by Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD; ‚ÄúWhy Broth is Beautiful,‚ÄĚ in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, Spring 2003, by Kaayla T. Daniel, MS CCN; Gelatin in Nutrition and Medicine, by N.R. Gotthoffer; Hydrophilic Colloid Diet, by F.M. Pottenger, MD; Restoring Your Digestive Health: How the Guts and Glory Program Can Transform Your Life, by Jordan Rubin, NMD and Joseph Brasco; and the Weston A. Price Foundation at www.westonaprice.org.


 

the pot ready to roll

A pot of beef stock, ready to "roll"!

Beef Stock

about 4 pounds boney bones, marrow or knuckle bones

about 3 pounds meaty bones, chuck ribs or neck bones

4 quarts pure water

3 celery ribs, coarsely chopped

3 carrots, coarsely chopped

3 onions, coarsely chopped

¬ľ cup raw vinegar, such as apple cider vinegar

Roast meaty bones in the oven at 350 degrees until browned, about an hour or so. Meanwhile, place boney bones in a large, heavy stock pot with the vinegar and water and let soak for 1 hour. The vinegar will act on the bones and help to draw out the calcium and the gelatin for a rich stock. When the meaty bones are browned, add to the pot, along with any accumulated juices and the vegetables.

Bring the pot to a boil; skim the scum, and lower to a simmer. Do not cover the pot. The stock should be fairly still on the surface with movement underneath. (I call this ‚Äúrolling‚ÄĚ.) Roll the stock for a minimum of 24 and a maximum of 72 hours, and then strain. The longer you roll the stock, the more concentrated it will become. (Be sure to keep the bones covered with water throughout, unless you want a demi glace.) Pour into a low pan to bring to room temperature quickly (within 4 hours), and then cool in the refrigerator. Remove fat from the top of the stock and save to cook with later. As a saturated fat, beef tallow is one of the healthiest fats to cook foods at high temperatures. Under the fat you will find thick, rich gelatin. If the stock has not gelled, you may wish to add a good-quality gelatin to the stock when you use it in recipes. (Bernard Jensen produces a high-quality gelatin; see http://www.radiantlifecatalog.com.)

12 Comments

Filed under Food, Recipes