Welcome to Simply Wellness Kitchen
Today I made up a new recipe with some lamb chops from our local Double Gum Tree Farm. They turned out amazing! And with kale, onion, garlic, potatoes and sweet potatoes from our local organic farms courtesy of Sage Roots, this qualifys as simple local healthy eating!
My kind of cooking does not need to be followed exactly. Add in your own ideas or use some of these ideas but for a different recipe... just have some fun! I hope you find it useful. And please... watch and let me know your thoughts.
If you'd like a copy of the recipe, take a look below the video. Enter your name and email and viola!
Happy cooking everyone!
“Bone broth isn’t just broth. And it isn’t just soup. It’s concentrated healing.”
– Kellyann Petrucci
When we talk about food being the best medicine, bone broth is near (or at) the top of the list. And the beauty is that it’s not hard to make. The key though, is the ingredients you use. But we’ll talk about that later. Right now, let’s talk about the reason we should all be consuming this amazing tonic.
9 Reasons Bone Broth is AMAZING!
1. Helps heal your gut. The gelatin in bone broth (a hydrophilic colloid) helps to seal the lining of your gut by protecting the mucosal lining.
2. Promotes healthy digestion and nutrient absorption. The gelatin also keeps your digestive juices where they’re supposed to be, aiding in the digestion of nutrients.
3. Reduces inflammation. Which for many of us is a major key to health. Bone broth is a natural supplier of glucosamine, which can help stimulate the growth of collagen and reduce joint pain. It is also full of amino acids that have been found to have anti-inflammatory effects (glycine, proline, and arginine).
4. Encourages bone repair and growth. The calcium, magnesium and phosphorous are great for healthy, strong bones.
5. Helps prevent and fight disease. Not just an old wives tale, research has shown that soup indeed has medicinal qualities for fighting infection by reducing the number of white blood cells (which cause flu and cold symptoms).
6. Good for strong hair, nails, and healthy skin. Both the gelatin in bone broth and the broths ability to stimulate your own production of collagen increases the strength and health of our hair and nails, and can reduce wrinkles and increase firmness of skin.
7. Helps you relax and maybe even get a better night sleep. The amino acid glycine has been found to have calming effects, which can help lead to relaxation and better sleep.
8. Better than supplements. Bone broth is cooked at a relatively low heat, which preserves the nutrients in a way that high-heat extraction used for many supplements doesn’t. It is also more comprehensive in it’s makeup of nutrients as it’s made from whole foods, and isn’t just the parts that we’ve deemed as the “healthy” bits.
9. It’s cheaper than buying broth, and very easy to make. As long as you can get your hands on good bones and a crock pot, the set up takes about 15 minutes and then you just leave it be until it’s done (4-48 hours). And it’s a lot less expensive than buying cartons or cans of broth, which don’t have nearly the same health benefit!
So, how do you make this magical potion? If you search online for bone broth recipes, you’ll find oodles of them. But they all have a few key components: Good bones (i.e. from free-range, organically fed animals is best), a few veggies, water (filtered if you have it), and time in a slow-cooker (4-48 hours depending on the type of bone you're using). You can cook bone broth on the stove, but then you have to be home and watching it occasionally which can be a hassle considering how long it cooks. A slow-cooker or crock pot allows you to set it up, and walk away until it’s done. Here’s my go-to recipe:
Chicken bone broth:
Dump everything into your slow cooker except the fresh herbs. Turn on and leave for 6 - 8 hours. Add the fresh herbs in for the last hour. You will likely notice some frothy bubbles at the top of the pot after a few hours. Scrape this up with a large spoon and discard. It’s normal, and totally fine.
When it's done cooking, strain through a colander, and distribute the liquid into quart jars to refrigerate or freeze. If freezing, make sure you leave enough space at the top for the liquid to expand, and freeze with the lid off to avoid the glass breaking. If you have a dog, you can throw the cooked gizzards onto their food for a seriously tasty treat. And I can usually pick off enough meat from the discarded bones to make a chicken soup.
For other types of broth (beef, fish, pork, etc.) I follow the same recipe but you’ll need to increase the time the bigger the bones. Fish bones (using a whole fish is the best) = 4 hours; Pork & Beef bones = 24-48 hours. Large bones should be hollowed out by the time you’re done cooking them.
Don't be shy! If you have questions feel free to leave them in the comments below, or shoot me a note. But I promise you, if you give it a try, you'll be so happy you started this habit of broth making. The broth is delicious! Much better than anything you could buy in a store. And it will likely become a staple in your house like it is in mine!
The idea for this work came when I moved, with my husband and two young children (then 6 months & 3.5 years), from Berkeley, CA to Three Rivers, CA. In other words, moving from a city where you live within an hour of millions of people, to a small town of just over 2000, which also happens to be 30 minutes from the next small town. Needless to say, it was a change.
Now, I’m not a person who is averse to change, and a lot of it has been very positive. Jonny was no longer working on his Ph.D., which meant no more all nighters; we were no longer crammed into a 700 sq. ft. space; and I no longer had to work full time, which meant I could focus more on myself, my kids and my love of cooking.
But there are many things I miss: Giants games, being within an hour of my brothers and parents, working (I know… the lack thereof is also a benefit, but I am a people person, so shush), and the access to some of the most amazing food in the world. Seriously.
It seems like there are more farmer's markets in the east bay than cities. Pick a day of the week and you can find one. We were lucky enough to live walking distance to two! Plus I could walk to our health food store (which incidentally also had a kick ass butcher), a local bakery, and Trader Joes (I still miss TJs). Shopping was easy! I never had to plan meals more than a day ahead. Fresh veggies and great meat were no problem… But things have changed.
Now living in a small rural community, our closest farmer's market is 35 miles away, there is one (very small) grocery store in town, and any significantly sized food outlet is a 45 minute drive (and even then, they pale in comparison to places like TJs, Whole Foods, or the Berkeley Bowl). For the first few months we lived here our food bill was HUGE, and I felt like I did nothing but drive everywhere! Trying to figure out where to buy things was a challenge, and even though we’re spitting distance to the central valley (one of the countries most prolific farm regions), finding farm fresh produce and meat seemed impossible. I have to confess, I went a little nuts.
But my persistence and scouting paid off: I found a local CSA, which not only delivers fresh fruits and veggies, but also bottled milk from a local dairy farmer; I made friends with the owners of a farm stand that is located closer to my home than the grocery stores where I can get basic local veggies & eggs (farmed by one of the local highschool ag classes!), and I found the best place to buy organic meat, chicken & fish (would you believe that most of what I buy comes from Costco!).
I also modified my cooking habits to begin with raw, whole foods. And the end result? I cut our grocery bill by 20%, and instead of having to make a 45 minute drive (each way) to our closest city on a weekly basis, I only go once a month, which has saved a lot of money on gas as well. Now this took a serious amount of dedication and planning on my part, and I have to plan out my meals by the week; but now that I’m in a routine, it’s really no big deal. Sure, there are times I get home and could kick myself that I “forgot the coffee”, because there’s no going back for a while, but I’m getting better.
Going through this transition has made me appreciate eating fresh, healthy food even more. And I know that it’s something that everyone can do, at least in part, no matter where you live, or what your situation happens to be. So I hope you’ll join me on this journey to eat locally when possible, and find your own healthy options where you live. Who knows… it saved me money, maybe the same will happen to you! And if you need a helping hand, just call! That’s why I’m here.
Now I just have to figure out how to survive 4 months of 100 degree weather every summer. But that’s a different story…