Showing posts with label healthy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label healthy. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Beef Bone Broth


BONE BROTH

it's been thrown around as a "SUPER FOOD", but it's nothing new.  really, it's just homemade broth like my grandmother made.  she would often forget the bones simmering away on the stove.  little did she know she was extracting all the healthy nutrients found in those bones...
good broth can be made in a few hours, 

but...this COOKS FOR 2 DAYS !
it's worth it. 

the health benefits?...there are plenty.  i won't list them all. there is plenty of information out there...
i am not a nutritionist, but i DO know this is just good ol' school  
GOOD-FOR-YOU FOOD !

IMPORTANT NOTE... since this post i have found some great info on the subject that changed my broth method... Most importantly to add the vegetables in the last few hours to avoid a possible "burnt" flavor.  
Please read Stupid Easy Paleo.  "Bone Broth 101". Ryan Harvey, from "Bare Bones Broth Co.", is the guest post-er with a wealth of information... also, be sure to read the comments.

the finished product should be like beef "umami"broth.  no distinct flavor,  just delicate, viscous,  smooth, unassuming and dee-licious.  fabulous on it's own OR...use as a blank canvas.
flavor as you see fit.  i chose to freeze half, unseasoned. and throw some demi glace and tarragon in the other half.  i also used some for a "faux-BONE-PHO"...flavoring with star anise, clove, ginger, cinnamon etc...

FYI...grandma didn't have to worry about "organic" and "pasture-raised", but YOU DO!
 i did the best i could.
choose organic, hormone free, natural raised beef and chicken parts.   chicken feet and necks are a must.  they give great viscosity to the broth.


OXTAILS...good choice, i love 'em.
i removed the meat when it was good and tender to eat, then threw the bones back in.


put all your meats and bones into a big roasting pan.  i drizzled a little organic olive oil over everything.  380-390 F.  probably will take about an hour to get good and brown.  give them a check and turn things over half way through.


MEATS AND BONES
use all beef with some chicken parts (feet, necks and backs)
i can not tell you how many pounds of each or the total amount here, but the visual is photo above.

brown everything in 390 F oven for about an hour...check on them and give them a turn or two.
when finished put into large stock pot
BUT WAIT !...don't forget to deglaze the roasting pan.  you don't want to miss out on all that caramelized goodness
ADD FILTER WATER TO THE STOCK POT TO COVER BONES
AND... add a few Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
bring to a boil, then turn down to a very low simmer.
24-48 hours.  mine was about 40 hours.
NOTE...i turned mine off during the night and left the lid slightly ajar.  when i woke up, it was still VERY warm.  then bring it back to a boil and down to a simmer again.
NOTE...i am NOT the food safety police.  you do what you feel comfortable with.

Vegetables/herbs go in the last 4-6 hours
2 carrots
2 celery stalks
1 large onion
5-6 smashed garlic cloves
sprigs of thyme and/or other herbs of choice 


strain liquid into another big pot.
don't toss the bones just yet.
you should to do a "BONE WASH".
there is still good stuff in there.  add a little (few cups at first) to the bones and left-overs.  swirl the water around to wash the bones.  now, strain this liquid into the pot with the broth. don't worry if it looks or tastes watery, you can reduce for extra flavor.

i used cheese cloth for the 3rd and 4th straining, but a regular strainer or colander is best for the first strain and bone-wash strain.

i poured broth into tall soup containers so it would cool faster.
let come to room temp so the fat will separate.
now put in the fridge for a few hours or over night so the fat cap will get solid for easy removal.
throw it in the freezer if not using within the week.
but...if you are ready to consume remove fat cap
(save fat cap for cooking.  great flavor and full of nutrients)
put all gelatinous yummy broth into a pot and reheat to a boil.
simmer for a while if you need to reduce.
NOW IS THE TIME TO SEASON
always season the finished product
i like to enjoy a cup a day so i might season each serving a little different...
salt, pepper, "flavorgod everything"
tarragon is a favorite
try soy and star anise
or a sprig of rosemary
maybe garlic blend and pinch of chipotle....

CHEERS... "A CUP A DAY KEEPS THE DR. AWAY"

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Young Sweet Coconut...It's so good for you


so refreshing...
so beautiful...
so delicious !!!


dice it up and add to fresh coco water or any drink and make a
COCONUT BOBA 


add fresh fruit and drink straight from the NUT !


there's a load of information on the web about the health benefits so i won't bore you with the details but GOOGLE...check HERE for the  benefits of young coconut meat...  and HERE for some some nutritional facts i found at Livestrong.com.


but how do you get into this huge NUT !!!
1st...carve off the top with a big knife.  don't use your best knife.  i bought this cleaver at an Asian market for about 15.00$.  be careful....it's a bit awkward, but it's a lot easier than you think.  usually i put a kitchen towel underneath to cuddle and steady the coconut, but not this time.

carve down to the hard part.  you should end up with the top looking something like this.

"FINDING THE SWEET SPOT"
go around the edge between what you have carved off (the hard shell part) and the white outer skin/hull.  whack a few times around to "score" the hole/lid.  
THE SWEET SPOT...it's odd, but there is one area you will find that the corner of the knife will poke through.  give it a few hard taps to create a crack or hole. pour some coconut water out so you don't spill it all over when prying the top off..
you can now empty all the liquid...OR...just be very careful when prying lid off.


you should get about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of delicious sweet coconut water that is far superior to the store bought you've seen in the carton or can.
there might be little splinters so you should strain the water through cheese cloth.


using the butt of the knife stuck into the sweet spot, pry the lid off.  it should pop open as shown on the photo.  


getting to the meat of the matter...
then with a large spoon, scrape the soft jelly-like coconut meat out and store in your strained coconut water. OR JUST EAT IT !  you should be able to dice the thick part for your drinks.  
the young coconut meat has a very interesting texture unlike any crunchy, crisp coconut you are used to.  it's soft and pliable...almost gelatinous if really young.  you never know what kind you'll get, soft or firm, but it's delicious pure coconut goodness.
fabulous add to food and really fun in drinks.


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Big Green Drink...VITAMIX


HEALTHY HEALTHY HEALTHY !!!
BIG GREEN DRINK

i prefer the VITAMIX method...
WHAT YOU PUT IN IS WHAT YOU GET OUT
maybe someday i might buy a real juicer for something different, but for now i enjoy the vitamix.  it retains all, i mean ALL the nutrients and fiber everyBODY is looking for.

PS...the biggest selling point for me was the clean-up.  no filters, no waste AND you use less and store less produce.  real juicers take up a lot of space on the counter AND you need 3x's the produce.  

PSS...i was told by another fellow juicer that fresh juice (from a juicer) should be consumed right away.  the vitamix green smoothie can sit a day without harm.  so...i make 2 days worth and save on trouble and time.  


INGREDIENTS
right to left
KALE, LIME, GINGER, CELERY, CUCUMBER, MINT, CARROT, SNAP PEAS, PARSLY
not shown...
PEA SPROUTS, GREEN APPLE, ARTICHOKE POWDER and a SHOT OF WHEATGRASS
add some water and ice.


i chop it into large chunks, add water and squeeze the lime.
i add a squeeze of "MIO" Peach Mango non calorie drink for a little sweet/tart.
DON'T FORGET TO ADD ICE.
make sure you start your blender on LOW and turn up the speed. 
TASTE TEST !
feel the side of the container while it is blending.  make sure it stays cool.  the Vitamix is very powerful and can raise heat.  you don't want to heat the mixture.  add more ice if necessary.  blend until smooth.
ENJOY !!!


shot this a while ago for ST. PATTY's DAY

Monday, February 17, 2014

Kombucha brewed with Homemade Mother Scoby and 2nd Flavored Ferment.


FERMENTATION, PROBIOTICS, GOOD BACTERIA?

maybe it's just a "FAD"
(it's reported to go back 2000 years)

maybe i'm looking for "HEALTHY"
(full of probiotics for a healthy digestive system)

MAYBE IT JUST FASCINATES ME

it's like a 3rd grade science project


so...after you've successfully made your own "homemade Mother Scoby", you are ready to brew some Kombucha that you've been paying 3$ - 4$ per bottle.  this is a little documentation of what to expect for the novice brewer...from a novice brewer.
UPDATE...i just posted an EVEN EASIER way to make a Homemade SCOBY HERE


THINGS YOU'LL NEED...
note...this is what i do, but Cultures for Health has great kombucha brewing info.

a SCOBY 
1-2 cups starter kombucha
(this is kombucha from a previous batch or you should receive some with your new scoby)
8 bags of black tea
1 cup granulated sugar
a gallon size glass jar
clean cloth or paper towel and rubber band

isn't she a beauty !

FIRST...brew a gallon of black or green tea, i used black.
boil water.  turn off heat.  add 8 tea bags.  let brew 10 minutes.  remove tea bags.  add sugar.  stir.
LET COME TO ROOM TEMP...important!!!
add sugar/tea to clean gallon size glass jar.

carefully, WITH VERY CLEAN HANDS proceed.  NOTE...you can clean your hands with anti-bacterial soap, but must rinse them very well with a splash of diluted white vinegar and rinse very well again.  scobys do not like anti-bacterial soap.   put scoby into tea mixture (shiny side up, if there is one) with about 1-2 cups of the "starter kombucha"(previously brewed kombutcha).  leave about 2-3 inch head room.  see photos.
cover with double paper towel or clean cloth and secure with a rubber band.
place out of direct sunlight, but in a warm-ish part of the house.  NOT the garage or where any strange airborne weirdness may be floating around.  just a nice clean area is fine.
leave UNDISTURBED.  do not poke at it.
the first brew should take about 10 to 16 days.  you will need to do a taste test after 7 days.  dip a clean (new) straw in, put your finger over the end and draw some liquid out.  DO NOT suck it out with your mouth.  you do not want any contaminates.  if it is too sweet, test it again in a few days.  i have found that 14-16 days works for me.  i have also noticed that a "SENIOR" SCOBY (one that has gone a few rounds) will brew faster than a newish scoby.

BELOW IS WHAT YOU MIGHT EXPECT TO HAPPEN...
      
DAY #1...scoby floating
DAY #2...scoby sank to the bottom
DAY #5...scoby sideways with possible baby scoby growing on surface
DAY #7...scoby is moving back up

i found a great site "Cultures For Health" that has info for trouble shooting.  Scoby on the bottom, sideways scoby and floating scoby are all OKAY.  new baby scoby should form at the surface.

DAY #8 scoby is up top...under the new scoby
DAY #14  new scoby is the top layer about 1/4 inch thick
kombucha seems done.  not too sweet with just a slight effervescence.
time to bottle, add flavors and start second fermentation

2nd FERMENTATION...
for FLAVOR AND FIZZ
first things first...prepare another batch of sweetened tea do this a few hours before you are ready to bottle your second ferment.  prepare sweetened tea as described above and let it come to room temp... so you can put the new baby in and start another batch.  give the mother away, stick it in with the baby in the new batch or store it in 2 cups of the newly brewed kombucha in a smaller jar until ready to use.  some say to keep it in the fridge with a solid lid, some say never put it in the fridge...  mine is in a smaller jar with a breathable top, just waiting....growing, but still looks very healthy.  NOTE...i have since learned NOT to put in the fridge and i now have 3 in the SCOBY HOTEL as shown below.  i have ALSO learned that the hotel will grow another baby scoby.  i have scobys on scobys.
SCOBY HOTEL FOR EXTRA SCOBYS
 you'll always have a scoby for a new brew IN CASE ONE GOES BAD.
remove scoby...ewe
just kidding.  it's really not as gross as i thought it would be.  they might be separate or fused together.  place both scobys on a clean plate while you are bottling...then put them in your new sweetened tea with 1-2 cups of the just finished kombucha.
mother scoby on top, baby scoby under...so weird!
choose lock top bottles for safety and better effervescence.
they should be sterilized...do your best.  i have also used clean bottles from store bought kombucha.  they are much easier to clean and DO hold some effervescence.

again, Cultures for Health has some good ideas and more explicit  instructions.
AND...Caroline Lunger at Mygutsy has a great tutorial for the 2nd fermentation.
Kombucha Girl has a wealth of great information.
Spoon Full of Sugar Free has some great flavor ideas.

CHOOSE A FLAVOR
you can buy some organic juice...make your own flavors.
my first batch i opted for Organic Peach Lemonade...great, but now i make my own.
whatever flavor you choose...the ratio should be 10-20% juice in the bottle you are using. (example of  added juice quantity is in very top photo.)
so far i have used the peach lemonade, crystallized ginger pieces, coconut syrup and homemade ginger vanilla syrup.
after you remove your scobys (new baby and mother) STRAIN kombucha into bottles.   use a filtered funnel for this job.  i use a few layers of cheese cloth.  REMEMBER...save about 1-2 cups to put in your new batch.  seal the bottles and let the them sit on the counter for 3-6 days.  check one of the bottles after 2 days.  mine usually take 5-6 days to regain a little fizz and lose sweetness from the flavored juice..  you want to test for taste, fizz factor AND to make sure they are not going to explode from over fermentation.


NOTE...a small mini SCOBY will form in each bottle and there will be sediment at the bottom.  when serving, use a small strainer for a nice clean experience..

UPDATE....i've made about 9-10 batches now and have found that my favorite flavor is homemade ginger vanilla bean simple syrup with a splash of fresh squeezed lemon.
i let them sit on the counter for about 5-7 days.
SPECTACULAR

GINGER VANILLA BEAN SIMPLE SYRUP

NOTE...i don't like it to be too too syrupy/sweet for this application.
2 cups water
1 big cup of sugar
1 1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
OR 1 vanilla bean pod split
about 3 inches of ginger root, grated
put everything in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.  turn down heat and let simmer for about 5 minutes.  turn off heat and let come to room temp.  taste.  you might like more sugar.
STRAIN BEFORE USING
i add about an inch of this in the bottle along with a good splash of fresh lemon juice.

pardon the lazy iPhone photo, but i wanted to catch the beautiful effervescence...too busy for the "beauty shot".

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Copy Cat Sparkling Daily Cleanse Probiotic Drink


MY NEW FAVORITE HEALTHY DRINK
quite similar to the "Kevita" Lemon-Cayenne Daily Cleanse...
which, by the way, is about 3.25 a bottle.

i was tired of spending all that $ AND i was collecting way too many bottles.  so...i decided to experiment with the probiotic lemonade recipe i found HERE at Flock in the City.  a few red pepper flakes and fresh ginger did the trick.

PERFECT...

tart crisp vitamin C lemon juice
with probiotic whey...
fresh ginger for a zing that will sooth an ailing stomach after a indulgent meal
AND the spicy red pepper will boost that metabolism.

i'll call this
SPICY LEMON GINGER "AID"



SPICY LEMON GINGER-"AID"
or...COPYCAT LEMON-CAYENNE DAILY CLEANSE 
(probiotic...fermented)

2 cups fresh lemon juice, strained of pulp (10-12 lemons?)
1 cup whey from strained yogurt
1 cup organic pure cane sugar
1 cup fresh grated ginger...washed, but no need to peel
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
enough filtered water to fill up 1 gallon jug


put 2 quarts filtered water and 1 cup grated fresh ginger in a pot and heat to a boil.  simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes.  turn off  the heat.  add your red pepper flakes while it is hot/warm.  let it all steep for a little while.  taste it.  you might want to strain it before it comes to room temp due to the "heat-spicy" factor....remember, this will have lemon juice and more water added so it can be on the "spicy"side.  then strain it to make "spicy ginger water".

squeeze lemons to equal 2 cups strained juice.

in a one gallon size glass jar (like the one shown) add strained spicy ginger water, 1 cup sugar, 2 cups strained lemon juice and 1 cup whey.  stir until sugar is dissolved.  now add enough filtered water to fill the gallon jar...leave about 1 1/2 to 2 inches, as shown in photo.  i like to cover the top with a double layer of saran and clasp down the lid WITHOUT THE RUBBER GASKET.  this leaves it "almost airtight" but allows air to escape if necessary so that it will not run the risk of exploding due to the carbonation from fermentation.
leave this out on the counter...not in direct sunlight.  it should take 3-4 days in the large jar.  i like to stir it once a day.  after the third day you will see some action...some bubbles.  this is good.  give it a little stir.  now strain this through some cheesecloth into some airtight bottles (lock-top) that are made for carbonated drinks.  i use a ladle  and a funnel because the one gallon jar is very heavy and awkward.  straining is not absolutely necessary, but it keeps the drink a little more clear of the "white cloud" that can settle at the bottom.  i like to use Grolsch Beer bottles or the 32oz lock top bottles.  leave the filled bottles out for another day or two.  check one after a day and see if you have THE FIZZ FACTOR.  open carefully.  be sure to move these to the fridge.  this will definitely slow any further fermentation and carbonation.  the weather can be a factor.  my bottles take a few more days on the counter when it's cooler.
NOTE...i have left some bottles on the counter for an extra 3-4 days to get some good fizz action.  sometimes i get more fizz if the bottle has been in the fridge for a week.  sometimes i get more fizzz from the larger bottles.  sometimes i get fizz in a reused glass "kevita" bottle.  it all has to do with the sugar content, the ripe lemons, the weather, the timing, the bottles etc....

FINAL NOTE...i am fairly new to this.  i am not an expert.  this recipe and method works very well for me.  if you have any questions i will answer them in my novice way, but please google around for more safety issues and or further information.  try the lovely bloggers at Flock in the City and Food Renegade.  also...if you have any input or tricks of the trade...i would love to hear it.



example of locking top covered with a double layer of saran...NO rubber gasket.  this makes it "almost air-tight", but allows pressure to release so there will be no explosions.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Greek Yogurt Lemon Tart with Rosemary Almond Crust



SWEET
TART
CLEAN
REFRESHING
GLUTEN FREE


sweet tart lemony citrus desserts are so refreshing especially this lovely tart with it's little rosemary kick.
i seem to forget about lemon desserts.  they get pushed aside for the dark chocolate, the savory peanut butter and the gooey caramel goodies.  i often post about bacon, chocolate, pig ears, pork belly and various decadent sweets and savories, but i bet you'd never guess... i actually DO eat a lot of yogurt, egg whites, grilled fish, steamed vegetables, aloe vera, kombucha, blah blah blah...
i call it my "yin and yang theory".
a little good and a little bad keeps everything in balance.

but...about this recipe...
i'd say it weighs in on the "good for you" side.  i found the original lemon rosemary tart on pinterest at Good Things Grow and pinned it to my "must-try" board.  i finally got around to it, but wanted to make a gluten free crust.  i am not gluten free, but i love to experiment and i have a few gluten free friends.
the original almond crust comes to you from Flourishing Foodie.  i love the almond flour crust idea so i just added the fresh dried rosemary...delicious.  the crust was crisp out of the oven and would be perfect served the day of, but alas...i needed to shoot the tart the next day so i stuck the finished product into the fridge.  the crust lost it's crunch, but was still a winner.  i would compare it to a cheesecake style crust.  it holds up and slices well, but got a little moist after refrigeration.  solution?...i added some crispy lightly toasted almond slivers to the servings and "voila"...the crunch was back in the mix..


Rosemary Almond Crust
Gluten Free
almond flour crust original found at Flourishing Foodie

2 cups almond flour
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
pinch of sea salt
1 1/2 tsp fresh oven dried rosemary
1/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
1 egg white
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste

preheat oven to 400F.  lightly butter a 9 inch tart shell.  i used a silicon pastry brush.

in a food processor add almond flour, sugar, salt, rosemary, butter, vanilla bean paste and egg white.  pulse until all ingredients are combined and start to stick together, resembling coarse meal...do not over blend...it will get mushy and ball up.

put mixture into tart shell and press out with your hands and form up the sides of the shell.  create an even layer.  i used a flat glass to lightly tamp  it down.  it will seem quite thin, but will cook to a nice crust as shown.

bake on middle rack for 15-20 minutes, or until it is light brown.  remove from oven and cool completely.


GREEK YOGURT LEMON VANILLA BEAN CUSTARD FILLING
original found at Good Things Grow

1 cup plain greek yogurt
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 to 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste

preheat oven to 350F
place yogurt, vanilla bean paste and sugar in a medium bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined.  whisk in the egg, one at a time, then add the lemon juice and zest.  whisk until completely smooth.

pour into prepared tart crust.  i poured as much as i could and only had 1-2 Tbsp left over.
BAKE at 350F for 25-30 minutes or until the center is set and only slightly jiggles.  mine was in for 28 minutes and i could have pulled it at 26 minutes.  as you see i had a few cracks, but it was not over cooked.

allow to cool completely.  stick it in the fridge for just a slight chill and a complete "set"...i refrigerated mine over night and the crust got a little moist.  it resembled a graham cracker crust, but still delicious.  i think it would be best to slightly chill and serve the day of.  this tart served very well.  it might be a bit more crumbly (not a bad thing), yet...crunchy and crisp if served the day of.

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