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Beef Bone Broth

Beef Bone Broth

beef stock

If there’s one thing to switch from store-bought to homemade that will yield both endless flavor and provide deep nutrition–it’s bone broths and stocks. Learning how to make these (which in essence typically means just learning to save up the bones from meals you have throughout the month!) is a simple process, with high return on investment. Bone broth provides our bodies with an easily digestible source of gelatin, collagen, minerals and more–nutrients our bodies need and often do not encounter as regularly as we all might hope! From a nutritional standpoint, this is why we add the apple cider vinegar into the cooking liquid; it helps the initial breakdown of the bones and joints, so we can have as efficient of a cooking time as we can while the pot bubbles away.

Beef Bone Broth

PREP TIME: 5 minutes
COOKING TIME: Crockpot: 12-24 hours | Instant Pot: 90-120 minutes
SERVINGS: 3 quarts

  • 2-3 pounds of beef bones, trying to get a variety such as beef marrow, knuckle, rib or neck bones
  • 3 quarts water
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • up to 1 onion, either whole or saved up scraps from other meals
  • up to 2 carrots, same as the onion
  • up to 2 stalks of celery, same as the onion

Combine all ingredients in either a crockpot or an Instant Pot. If in the crockpot, fill to cover with water (can add more or less to accomplish this), turn to low and allow to cook for 12-24 hours. If in the Instant Pot, make sure you haven’t filled past your max fill line (noted along the inside wall of the cooking vessel), set the pot to manual and allow to cook for 90-120 minutes. Once done cooking, you can quick release (might spew some liquid along with the steam) or simply let the Instant Pot naturally release. Transfer to glass mason jars to store both in the fridge or freezer. You can also pour into ice cube trays and freeze, so you’ll always have 1 ounce frozen cubes of the broth to quickly add and melt into any dish (my personal favorite!) Use in soups, braises and stews, or heat up and drink by the mugful with a pinch of sea salt.

 

 

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Beet Kvass

Beet Kvass

kvass1large

Hey guys: Today is the last post Amy K and I have co-written in our three-part series about the beautiful beet! Our first post explained why beets are good for your liver and how to prepare a beet carpaccio salad, and our second post included a recipe for beet greens pesto. Check ’em out and love up your beets!

Kvass is a drink that is lacto-fermented, traditionally made from grains such as wheat, rye or barley. Beet kvass has its roots (hah!) possibly from Lithuania, where kvass is called gira and more variations abound. Lacto-fermentation is the process in which lactobacillus bacteria proliferate in a controlled environment, in this case the salty solution of water, sea salt and beets. After a few days on your counter, the beet kvass liquid is full of good lactobacillus bacteria and is now a probiotic real food, similar to the more popular bottled kombuchas and kefirs out there in stores these days! The good bacteria have been hard at work while they sit on your counter those few days, primarily changing the natural sugars in the beets into lactic acid, an acid which preserves the vegetables and gives fermented liquids and foods that special tang!

But you might be asking yourself “why eat fermented foods?”

Well, not only does the fermentation process break down nutrients into more digestible forms, but it also produces B-vitamins, enzymes, and a variety of healthy probiotic bacteria. Ever wonder why your stomach gets upset and you go running for the bathroom more frequently when you’re taking antibiotics? It’s because those incredibly strong bacteria-fighting machines kill any and all bacteria that get in their way. That means that although the antibiotics annihilated the group A Streptococcus bacteria hanging out in your mouth that was giving you strep throat, they also eradicated the majority of the trillions of healthy bacteria that call your digestive system “home sweet home”. You depend on those healthy bacteria for your digestive system to work properly!

So pour yourself a drink, sit back and relax, and let the good bacteria settle into their new home.

Beet Kvass

2 medium sized beets
1.5 tablespoons sea salt (or 1 tablespoon sea salt and ¼ cup whey (drain about 2 cups of yogurt overnight in the fridge in a cloth lined sieve with a bowl underneath; the liquid that accumulates under is whey, and the yogurt above? Greek yogurt!)
2 quarts filtered water, or a bit less
2 quart-sized mason jars with lids

Wash and peel the beets. Roughly chop into one-inch cubes. Split the beet chunks into both mason jars and evenly sprinkle half the sea salt into each (or, if you are using the whey, split the ¼ cup between the mason jars and note the reduced salt content!). Fill the jars with filtered water, stopping one inch below the lid. Tightly fasten the lids and shake to dissolve the salt in each. Place in a cupboard or on your counter top for two days. Drink approximately four ounces in the morning. After you have consumed the liquid in the jars, you may add more water (no need to add more salt) and make another batch using the same beet chunks two more times.

Pro Tip: Diluted kvass makes a great electrolyte replacement drink with NO sugar!

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Medicinal Vinegar

Medicinal Vinegar

medicinalvinegar1000

Back to school, back to cooler weather, back to… colds. Luckily, I haven’t had to deal with the onslaught of nose-turned-faucet for months–which is why I am such a baby about this most recent cold. But really, who needs to be reminded of what it’s like to have aching teeth, simultaneous hot face and cold extremities all the while pathetically kicking it, quarantined in a sea of tissues? Yeah, no thanks–I’d rather be bounding around in the crisp fall air, chomping on apples and teaching the pooch how to not run into people (to the lady in the dog park–I hope your kneecap is… not black and blue). I continue to try to ward off and exterminate whatever bug I have, which I assume is the same one that’s going around all of the metro area. So it’s kombucha, chomping down pickled carrots and doing shots of its liquid (believe me, it’s quite enjoyable), spoonfuls of the master tonic, and now thyme vinegar, promoted for its antiviral and antimicrobial properties. Join me, won’t you? We can round out the day by chewing raw garlic until we’re cross-eyed.

Medicinal Vinegar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 heaping tablespoon fresh thyme or dried thyme, chopped or whole

Combine vinegar and thyme and store in a cupboard for two to three weeks, shaking every few days. It is best to use a glass jar with a plastic lid (or use plastic wrap between the vinegar and a metal lid) because when you shake the vinegar it will splash onto the metal and create a reaction you just don’t want. Store in the fridge for up to six months.

Take a few teaspoons at a time–either plain, mixed in water, or mixed in water with equal or lesser amounts of raw honey. Take up to three times per day. Do not let vinegar sit around in your mouth–it is acid, and will erode your tooth enamel after time. Just drink water after your dose, and your chompers will be fine.

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