Last month I attended Louise Hay’s I Can Do It! conference with my good friend and partner in “life is stranger than fiction,” Annette Varoli. We were in the presence of amazing, energetic speakers such as Wayne Dyer, Cheryl Richardson and Caroline Myss. Louise Hay gave a fabulous keynote address on Saturday morning which included her top 10 daily self-love tips. Number 7 on the list was “Bone Broths and Green Drinks.” Sometimes I forget how this simple advice has such a profound effect on our health. I consume green drinks regularly, but I only think of using bone broths when I’m making soup or cooking up a whole grain such as brown rice or quinoa. A vibrant woman in her 80s, Louise drinks bone broth every day. While taking notes, I thought to myself, “why don’t I do that?”
You may be wondering why Louise drinks bone broth (also known as stock) daily? Traditionally, we used all parts of the animal in cooking including the organs and bones because of their health and flavor giving properties. In fact, it was deemed wasteful NOT to use the entire animal. Bone broth provides bio-available nutrients such as calcium, magnesium and potassium. It aids digestion, strengthens cell structures, reduces allergies and boosts the immune system. Because it is rich in collagen which contains two important amino acids, proline and glycine, bone broth nourishes the bones, tendons, joints, mucus membranes and even the skin. Want to loose wrinkles, stretch marks and cellulite? Help yourself to a daily cup of bone broth!
So how does one make bone broth? To make it easy, Louise, keeps a large ziploc bag in her freezer. Each time she has some vegetable scraps or bones, she throws them in the freezer bag. When it’s full, she makes a pot of nutrient-rich stock. Here is what you do next:
- Once you have collected your poultry, beef and/or fish bones and veggie scraps, throw them in a pot and fill with water.
- Add 2 TBSP of vinegar or wine (I like to use raw apple cider vinegar). Let the concoction stand for 30 minutes to an hour.
- Bring the stock to a boil and skim any “scum” that rises to the top. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6 to 24 hours. The longer you simmer, the more nutrient-rich and flavorful the bone broth becomes
- After the bone broth is complete, remove the large chunks of bone and vegetables and then strain. Cool the strained broth in the refrigerator until the fat rises to the top and congeals. Skim off the fat and pour the bone broth into freezable containers.
- You can also strain the broth and then pour into freezable containers before cooling. Donna Gates feels the layer of fat protects the broth and that you shouldn’t remove it until you are ready to use the broth.
Consume the thawed broth within 5 days. You may be able to extend the life of the broth by a few more days by re-boiling it.
Bone broth can be consumed by itself as a tea or used as a base for whole grains, legumes, soups and vegetables. Enjoy this healthful and tasty superfood as often as you can!
It’s that time of year again when we begin to think about cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, sweet potato souffle, baked corn, collard greens, sauerkraut, oyster dressing and TURKEY. Unfortunately, so many folks get caught up on which color meat to eat from the turkey that they forget to consider the quality of the bird! One of the most important aspects of the Thanksgiving turkey is the TASTE. There are a variety of heritage breeds out there that are known for their deliciousness! There are a variety of factors that influence the flavor of the turkey including the age of the animal, how it was raised and what it was fed. When turkeys are foraging for insects and grubs in the grass, they tend to have a deeper, richer flavor.
If you were planning to order a Butterball from the grocery store, think again. This year, consider a pasture-raised turkey from your local farmer. It’s widely known that turkeys are a good source of protein, selenium, vitamins B3 and B6, phosphorus and zinc. If you’re new to pastured-raised turkeys, you may not be aware that studies have shown they are able to produce conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) from the grass they eat. This fat is known to aid in weight loss, balance blood sugar levels, fight cancer due to its antioxidant properties and enhances the immune system. In addition, pasture-raised turkeys are higher in Omega-3s, vitamin A, vitamin E and folic acid than their Butterball counterparts. This makes pasture raised turkey an excellent choice for your Thanksgiving meal!
In addition, there are benefits to pastured turkeys because of what’s NOT in them. Most commercial turkeys contain antibiotics, hormones, arsenic (small amounts can be found in the pesticides that wind up in many of the commercial feeds) and chlorine (birds are soaked in high levels of chlorine to kill pathogens). These practices, combined with the health benefits of pastured turkeys, make the quest for them worth it.
So perhaps you’re sold on a pastured turkey for Thanksgiving but aren’t sure how to procure one. Fortunately, there are a variety of healthy, local sources out there waiting for your order! For the past two years, I have purchased my pastured turkeys from Lynne Ferguson of Ferguson Family Farms. She’s dedicated to providing a quality product from an animal that is happy and healthy. Lynne knows that you are what you eat! If you’re not in the Baltmore/DC area, check out your local farmers market or search for poultry farmers in your area on-line through Eat Wild.
Because the texture and flavor of a pastured turkey is different than your standard supermarket bird, I’m sharing a few tips from Bechard Family Farms on how to cook a pastured turkey. The key to a moist turkey is perfecting the brine and not overcooking it. My family generally incorporates water, brown sugar and kosher sea salt in the brine, but I recently found this delicious recipe from The Pioneer Woman that I had to share! My husband, Joe has had a great deal of luck the last couple of years using the rotisserie attachment on the grill. After basting it with olive oil, butter, sea salt and pepper, he and my mom throw the bird on the rotisserie for 3 to 4 hours or until the internal temperature reached about 160 degrees.
While perusing Rita Calvert’s, The Grassfed Gourmet Fires It Up!, I discovered The Whole Holiday Bird on the Grill: Brined Heritage Turkey with Chunky Cherry Glaze. Yum! This recipe appears on Homestead Gardens blog so that you can enjoy it now if you don’t have the book (which I highly recommend).
Also, just because the turkey meat is gone, it doesn’t mean that the joy of the Thanksgiving meal is over. If you usually toss the carcass, think again. A mineral rich bone stock with your leftover organs and turkey carcass is just what the doctor ordered. The stock makes a nutrient-dense base for your favorite soup, grain and bean recipes. I use this recipe each fall to make my stock for the winter. It’s nutritious and adds a rich flavor to my favorite recipes.
If you explore centering your Thanksgiving meal around a feathered friend from the pasture, I do hope that you’ll post a comment about your experience here. Happy Turkey Day!