Thanks goodness!! I love that word is starting to finally get out about bone broth. And with good reason (see benefits here). It’s so good for us that one doctor that I work with, Dr. Taz, wrote a whole book that includes a gut healing diet includes consuming bone broth on a regular basis. Another doctor at the office, Dr. Zach, gives some of his patients a recipe for bone broth (I love that!). It’s THAT good for us! And not only is it a super health food that can heal your gut, but it also can help joints, improve digestion, strengthen your immune system, and did I mention that it combats wrinkles, cellulite and weight gain? Bone broth anyone?!
It’s funny, not too long ago people would ask me with a slight smirk, “what is bone broth and why in the world would you drink it?” You would think I’m drinking blood or something. Anyway, fortunately because many are now learning the benefits, the questions have gone from “what” or “why” simply to “how” or even “where”? So I wanted to break it down for you all, step by step.
I am going to show you how to make chicken bone broth (instead of cow bone broth) since, we eat chicken for dinner about once a week, and it is a lot easier to find organic chicken or chicken bones.
We typically use a whole chicken, but you can cook with parts of the chicken with decent size bones and joints like legs or thighs.
The simplest way I have found to make bone broth is by using a slow cooker. Start by placing your whole chicken in the cooker and add any veggies or spices you like (see my recipe below for what we use). It is not necessary to add liquids at this point as you’ll get them naturally from cooking. We love to dip our chicken pieces into the juices once it’s cooked!
Cook your chicken on high for about 4 hours or low for about 6 hours. If you cook it on high, the chicken will fall off the bone and be more like shredded chicken. If you cook on low, you’ll have full pieces to pull, so decide what you prefer before choosing what temperature to cook your bird.
Once it’s done, tear apart the meat and set aside. Next break the bones apart (so you can get the nutrients from the bones and joints) and add about 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar and enough extra water to just barely cover the bones. Cover and cook on low for 8-12 hours. The longer you cook it, the better it is for you and the stronger the flavor.
Then, the easiest way to transfer the broth is to use a large bowl and a strainer. The best strainer to use is mesh but I didn’t have mine at the time of the picture.
Place the colander over the bowl and then pour the chicken broth and leftover bones/meat. Dispose of the bones and then you have your bone broth.
If you used a non-mesh colander like I did, then you may still want to strain it before you drink or cook with it. I used a small strainer before placing the broth in big jars. This was a slight pain, hence why I got this strainer on Amazon recently.
Next, you can either save it in big glass jars and put it in the refrigerator for about a week or you can freeze them for about 6 months. If you are going to freeze them, be sure you don’t fill it to the top or the glass might break.
When freezing the broth, I like to use silicone muffin cup holders. They are great for for individual size portions.
So, to answer some of the “where” questions. So if you would rather buy your bone broth, Pacific has a good one that you can get at Whole Foods, when you can find it. Vitacost.com, one of my favorite online food retailers, has it too. It’s not as nutritious as homemade, but it’s not too bad either. It’s actually made with organic chicken, spices and apple cider vinegar. And it contains 9 grams of proteins per serving which means it was cooked low and slow enough to get protein from the bones.
And another option, if you want to buy it, but you want it there are a couple of places that I’ve heard about recently.
I will typically only make things when I can’t purchase them in stores. Good thing for me (or my husband) that they don’t sell paleo muffins or other paleo treats around Atlanta. Otherwise I’m sure I’d spend a small a fortune weekly.
Yes, you can find gluten free granola, but there are not many that are also grain free. I recently saw that Whole Foods carried a grain free granola, but it was $10 fora mere 7.5 ounces! Wow. Not only am I not going to pay $10 for granola, but I can assure you, there really is no better granola than the recipe in my Super Paleo Snacks book. Buttery, crispy, crunchy, sweet and a touch of salty. But, don’t just take my word for it. The recipe is below 🙂 I hope you all enjoy it.
As you can see in the pictures below, I made and sent this granola to some high-profile food bloggers. If you guys know any influential, vocal foodies that I should send a copy to, please don’t hesitate to let me know. I would certainly appreciate it! Oh, and for what it’s worth, apparently Super Paleo Snacks is #1 new release in Appetizers on Amazon. I’m not exactly sure what that means, but I’ll take it!!
Lastly, many of you have already purchased my book and some of you have even written me a review on amazon. From the bottom of my heart, I want to give you a big huge THANK YOU! Of course, if you liked the book and haven’t yet written a review, I’d be ever so grateful if you took 2 minutes to post a review on Amazon (or Barnesandnoble.com, or both by cutting and pasting, yes now I’m getting greedy!)? It could be a one sentence or even just a one word review. I would SOOOO greatly appreciate your help and support!
It’s so easy to write a review, and it won’t take any time at all! Here is the link. Just click on “CREATE YOUR OWN REVIEW” and you’re good to go. I can’t wait to see the reviews. Thank you guys so much!!!!
After 40(ish) years, I’ve learned to keep my resolutions pretty simple. According to a Forbes.com post, just 8% of us achieve our resolutions. I’m sorry, but that really stinks. I think a big part is that we don’t always make realistic goals. Sometime we just need to start with baby steps. Maybe instead of saying that you’re going to work out 6 days a week, 1 hour each day, maybe do about 20 minutes worth of HIIT (high intensity interval training) 3 days a week. They say that 20 min of HIIT is better than an hour of cardio anyway! And, instead of going on an extreme “diet” (which rarely works anyway), or doing a “cleanse”, try to just eat REAL food (by taking out most of the processed stuff). Or, try to take out one type of food — maybe an allergen or trigger food like sugar or gluten or dairy? Depending on your needs, pick one and really stick with it for at least a month, or at least long enough to see how much better you can feel without that irritant.
Who knows, you might feel so good that you decide to workout 4 days a week for 30 minutes a day. Or, instead of just taking out sugar, maybe you’ll want to remove you now want to eliminate gluten as well. Let’s just keep getting better, one step at a time….
One thing I have learned this year (I’m getting to my resolution, I promise) is that I have a MTHFR mutation. Did you know that as much as 30-50% of us have at least one gene mutation? So, what does that mean?
My body doesn’t absorb nutrients like B vitamins like folic acid into methylfolate quite as efficiently as someone without mutations. There are two main mutations (C677T and A1298C) that can cause a list of health issues such as:
Here is a great podcast called MTHFR Made Easy by my favorite Sean Croxton from Underground Wellness. This is also a good post that describes the mutations in more detail.
If you would like to get tested, make an appointment with your holistic MD or Naturopath Doctor (ND), or even possibly your MD or OBGYN (call ahead). Or, you can do it yourself by using labs like 23andme.com.
Anyway, one of the best things I can do for myself is to eat more greens. While I love my salads, there is no way I’m going to ingest nearly enough leafy greens, so this is where my resolution comes in…
A few years ago I got a Vitamix. I was so excited to make smoothies, but at the same time, I was overwhelmed with smoothie options. Do I use spinach or kale, bananas, apples, or pineapple? How about celery, cucumber, or carrots? Flax, chia or hemp seeds? Do I need coconut water or almond milk? Parsley? Lime juice? Cacao? Ugh, there are just way too many options!! So…after a few months thanks to the paradox of choice, I stopped making smoothies. If it’s not quick and simple (if you read this web site, you know that is how I work when it comes to food), I’m just not going to do it. Sad but true!
So, I had to think to myself, what is my purpose with a smoothie? My purpose was pretty simple….lots of green, little sugar, delicious taste. Hmm, I can do that.
Anyway, my resolution has been (I started a month early) to drink 1 green smoothie at least 5 days a week. And so far, so good! I keep it simple by doing things like storing my kale in the freezer and using jarred organic lemon juice from Whole Foods. Whether or not this fits into your resolutions, it’s worth a try. My son now loves this smoothies and drinks them with me. As for me, I’ve come to crave it every day single. My goal was 5 days and I’ve been drinking it 7 days just because it makes me feel so good, it’s easy to make, and I love the taste. I think this is a resolution that will last! At least…that’s my plan, so take that you measly 8%!
If you love things like mint chocolate chip ice cream, then this is your snack. We love these things year round, which is why I put them in Super Paleo Snacks. But they just seem very festive and appropriate for this time of year. And, (I know I say this a lot but it’s true) they’re so easy to make! See the pictures below for proof. Anyway, I hope you love these things as much as we do!! They really are fantastic!
Using a food processor, grind the nuts and pepitas together until they are finely chopped. You don’t want a flour-like texture, so be sure not to blend too much. Then add the rest of the ingredients into the processor and blend until well combined.
Next, remove the mixture from the processor and use your hands to roll the into golf ball sized dollops. If they are sticking to your hands too much when rolling them, put them in the refrigerator for a few minutes, clean your hands off and then continue to make the rest of your balls. Enjoy!
Oh and apparently Sam Flax has some cute little containers so again, if you are thinking of using them for teacher gifts or what have you, you can get these for about $2 a box!
Oh, and one other gift besides the mint chocolate chip balls could be…a snack book maybe? Just a thought!
Store them in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container for up to 2 weeks or on your counter top for 4-5 days (but there is no way they are going to last that long without being gobbled up!!)…
Unless it were up to George and apparently he isn’t really a big fan…
Mint Chocolate Chip Balls
Reminiscent of Girl Scout Thin Mints, these bite-sized little treats will make your taste buds want to sing around the campfire. With a crunchy texture and a minty-sweet taste, this snack will be loved by all. And unlike many Paleo snack balls (or bars) that use high glycemic sugars, like dates, these will keep your blood sugars stable.
Oh my, this is going to be a crazy week for all of us, right? Since time is going to be short, I thought I’d try to keep dinner as simple as possible. To be honest, I still haven’t figured out our main meals but at least I’m good to go on our veggies and appetizers. The good news is that none of these veggies have to be chopped (as long as you have access to a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s). Easy and delicious! I hope this helps you all just a little bit. Maybe when I can really get my stuff together and figure out the main dinner portion, I’ll post that too.
Tuesday: Sauteed Shredded Brussels Sprouts (from Trader Joe’s) – Just heat up a large pan on high, add about 1 tbsp of ghee and add the shredded brussels sprout, some salt and pepper, and some garlic and onion powder and cook until brown (about 10 or so minutes). You could always get fancy with it and use this recipe.
Wednesday: Broccoli and Tessamae’s Balsamic Dressing (Whole Foods or online). Steam your broccoli, put it in a large bowl and pour about half a bottle of Tessemae’s on it.
Thursday: Sweet Potato Fries. Whole Foods has diced pre-cut fresh sweet potatoes in the back, and Trader Joe’s typically has them, as well. Also, many other grocery stores will have them pre-cut in the frozen food section, or you can just use a mandolin if you have one). We love these things! Lately I have had these ready for my kids’ after school snack. They’re crunchy, sweet and salt, and great with cinnamon, too.
Friday: Oh, Friday. Sorry, I’m not cooking Friday! But…if you really want a whole week’s menu of sides, I’ll give you one more. It’s another family favorite, and ridiculously simple to make. It’s seasoned green beans. We get organic pre-packaged green beans from Whole Foods or Publix. All you need to do is take about 1 1/2 tbsp of ghee or grass fed butter and put in a medium pot. Melt and then add the bag of beans. Stir around so the butter covers the beans and they start to turn brown (for about 5 or so minutes). Then add 1 cup of chicken broth, some salt, garlic and onion powder and cook on low for about 25 minutes or until desired tenderness and enjoy! That’s simple enough, even for a Friday dinner!
That’s it! I hope this might help you get through this busy week with all of the holidays approaching. Have fun and happy holidays!