Saturday, November 19, 2016

When the moon hits your eye...like a big pizza pie!

      I had such a hankering (real word) for pizza the other day!  However, I am trying to avoid gluten...and cooked tomatoes are not my friend of late.  What to do??  Then I remembered that my husband had brought home a gluten-free pizza mix.  Then I found some wonderful ideas for alternatives to tomato-based pizza sauce.  Then I found the uncured pepperoni and some quality mozzarella cheese in the fridge.  Dang!  Let's make some pizza :)
 
 
Sorry for the blurry photo....
Although this is certainly a "processed" product...there are very few ingredients!
(Almond flour, arrowroot powder, flax meal, cauliflower, baking soda, 
organic oregano & garlic...and cream of tartar.) 
It is vegan, grain-free, dairy-free and soy-free :)
I needed to add apple cider vinegar, oil and water to the mix.
I used Bragg's Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar and some avocado oil.
Super easy!  I used a bit of coconut oil on my hands to spread out the dough :)
I pre-baked the crust for 5 minutes before adding my toppings.
 
Here's my pepperoni! 
 
 
My non-tomato "sauce" is a combination of olive oil, a balsamic vinegar reduction (boiling until it becomes a thick syrup) and some garlic powder.
 
Here comes the cheese... 
 
And now...for the finished product fresh from the oven!
Bubbly cheese, savory pepperoni, the interest of oil and vinegar...and a crisp almond crust:)
 
Let's eat!!
 
Credit for the alternative sauce goes to...
 
 
 


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Bone Broth Benefits!

      So...what is bone broth?  Simply put, it is the slow-simmered broth of chicken (or beef) bones, some veggies, some herbs and the all-important raw apple cider vinegar.  The end result is a nutrient-rich liquid with a myriad of health benefits. I recently made a batch of chicken bone broth using breast bones and chicken feet.  Yes...I said feet :)  I will share more about that in a bit.  If you can't get your hands on some feet (snicker)...other chicken parts work well.  You can use a whole chicken...or bony chicken parts such as: necks, backs, breastbones and wings.  When I roast a whole chicken, I always save the carcass and freeze it for my broth. 
As always, try to source the highest-quality parts and pieces you can find! 




      In actuality, what I made was more akin to chicken stock.  Both broth and stock begin with water, onions, celery, carrots, black peppercorns and various herbs (parsley, thyme, bay leaf).  Broth is usually created with a whole chicken...then strained to produce a clear liquid.  Stock, however, is made with bones.  As the stock ingredients slowly simmer, the nutrients in the bones are extracted with the help of the vinegar.  The finished product is not meticulously strained...and it forms a gelatin when refrigerated. 
That glorious gelatin holds a variety of healing properties!
 
 
 
      The jiggly gelatin is actually denatured (altered) collagen that is extracted from the bones you are simmering.  The raw apple cider vinegar "draws out" minerals from the bones and the veggies.  If you acquire high-quality bones...and feet :)....and you simmer low and slow....you will produce broth/stock that gels properly.  Only broth created in this way can offer the health benefits I am going to share.  Let's get going...
 
**Traditional bone broth contains four crucial amino acids...proline, glycine, glutamine          and alanine.
Proline supports collagen and cartilage production so that your joints move freely and your skin glows with health.
 
Glycine helps to manufacture other amino acids...as well as being vital to hemoglobin production. It also help in the synthesis of bile salts that enable you to digest fats. 
 
Glutamine is the preferred nutrient for the cells in your gut....which turn over rapidly.  This amino acid not only nourishes gut cells; but it can heal damage, as well :)
 
Alanine supports important liver functions...and it helps to build muscle mass.
 
**Properly made bone broth contains water-trapping molecules called proteoglycans.  Within your body, these molecules are found all over, under and around the collagen-infused fiber networks in your skin, cartilage and bones.  Proteoglycans acquire and hold water.  Many of us are dehydrated on a daily basis...and we don't sense thirst until we are already water-deficient.  Maintaining hydration from within your body helps to keep your cells fluid, flexible and young!  Lubricated joints, muscles and bones move freely.  Proteoglycans have also been shown to decrease inflammation and strengthen your immune system.
 
      The nourishing and healing bone broth benefits are many and varied.  Traditional bone broth is truly a super food :)  It is the epitome of simplicity...with the potential to increase the quality of life of those suffering with auto-immune disorders, infectious diseases, digestive issues and cancer.
 
You can create this treasure! 
Pour yourself a mug...and then savor the nourishing warmth :)
 
**I wish to thank Sally Fallon Morell, and her book....Nourishing Broth!