Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Boosting Immunity with Grass Fed Organ & Bone Broth

When cold and flu season makes its rounds, the first thing that comes to mind is homemade BONE BROTH. The simple nutrient-dense mixture of slow cooked antibacterial herbs, pastured bones and organ meats, makes for one powerful immune boosting superfood!

Bone Marrow and Beef Heart Broth
Recently, I've been making the highly flavorful bone marrow and beef heart combo soup broth. If you're in the Bay Area, Ca, I highly recommend sourcing your grass-fed meat from Brandon Natural Beef - the company recently added Grass Fed Slow- Cook and Organ Cuts to their product list. And you've already seen me mention that Jerky Chews are made from Brandon Natural beef, too.

While you will find pre-made broths in cans and boxes sold in supermarkets, keep in mind that those preservative-laden and over-salted soups will never come close to the nutrient profile of a homemade gelatin-rich broth that's actually health-promoting.

Don't take my word for it, try preparing this super easy recipe tonight!

  • 2 lbs of marrow bones (feel free to use any bones from pastured animals; necks, feet and wings of free range chickens yield lots more gelatin)
  • 1/2 of beef heart (optional, but healthy for the heart & tastes delicious when prepared in the broth) 
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped in half
  • 2 whole carrots
  • couple of garlic cloves
  • 1 whole onion
  • 1 tbs of apple cider vinegar (helps to draw minerals from bones for better calcium absorption)
  • water
  • salt and pepper to taste (optional)

Place the marrow bones and heart in a large pot or crock-pot. Add vinegar and cover with water. Bring to a boil. A large amount of scum will float to the top; remove with a spoon before adding in the rest of the ingredients: vegetables, herbs and salt. Reduce heat and simmer stock overnight (8 - 24 hours). 

Once ready, you'll find the broth rich in gelatin and containing lots of fat solids at the top. That would be tallow and can be used as great cooking fat. You can also just strain the fat with the rest of the vegetables, which are usually discarded as their flavor and nutrients get absorbed in the broth.

You can now drink the clear broth anytime of the day or add it as the base for sauces, stews, and soups. Enjoy the heart as is or add it to a meal with a homemade sauce. I like to chop up small portions of the heart to combine with my omelet the next morning. Remove the marrow from the bones and spread it over your omelet; remember to devour with the same appreciation as these Paleo Girls! The lucky pet who gets the bones will live a very healthy life.

Such simple recipe for preparing bone and organ broth can be made any time of the year to help prevent and treat infections.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Cooking with Grass Fed Jerky Chews

In recent years, jerky has been popularized as nutritious protein after a workout, snack on-the-go, and perfect nosh to take outdoors/camping. However, back in the day, the purpose for drying the meat was to preserve it for a later cookery as refrigeration was not available. When the dried snack is rehydrated in water or broth, it can be added with any desired spices and ingredients to provide a satiating meal.

Some of my favorite family stories are of my grandmother's childhood during World War II. Her family would make the most appetizing dishes out of minimally preserved/canned ingredients. It's just the cutest thing when she bites into Jerky Chews and asks, "Can I soak it in water and cook you a meal?"

I would love a meal made from Jerky Chews, especially when I have no other protein left in the house. I got so busy that I forgot to place an order with Brandon Natural Beef; check them out Bay Area, Ca, as they have tongue and other awesome cuts available this season.

But for now, I will scavenge for ingredients I already have and combine them with my 100% grass-fed beef source - Jerky Chews (also made from Brandon Natural Beef) - Original with Lemon flavor to be precise.

Here's a simple recipe you can enjoy while camping or at home: 

  • 1 cup chopped jerky (2oz bag of Jerky Chews)
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (TJ's Organic Diced & Fire Roasted is tasty)
  • 3 farm-fresh eggs (I used duck eggs thanks to the Mountain View farmers market lady who sells bigger-yolk duck eggs for the price of chicken eggs)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Sea salt to taste (optional)

Soak the chopped jerky in water overnight. Heat the pastured butter in a skillet. Squeeze out the moisture from jerky and add it to the skillet along with tomatoes and salt. Cook for a few minutes and then stir in whisked eggs. Continue to stir very slowly over low heat and you got yourself scrambled eggs with delicious chews.


Meal made from rehydrated (soaked in water) Jerky Chews