Chicken Bone Broth  {Video}

Chicken Bone Broth {Video}

 

Bone broth is made out of cooking bones along with some vegetables for a lengthy amount of time that turns into a rich and substantial liquid. The idea of cooking for a long time is that in the process, the gelatin from the bones is released, thus resulting in a think (gelatinous) substance. Also, longer cooking time allows the nutrients and minerals from the bones to be released. This is why some health fanatics call it immunity broth.

What bones to use? – really guys, don’t sweat on this one. I usually use chicken bones that I save from using a whole chicken. I save them in a tight container in the freezer so it keeps lot a long time. You could also use beef bones, lamb, duck, pork, PRETTY MUCH ANY BONES! here is another tip I read somewhere. *** You can save cooked bones from your meals *** say what!?! yes, you heard me right. If you are concerned about bacteria or mixed flavors, do not worry. The long cooking time kills pretty much anything that could be there. If anything, it can give some flavor if the meat is roasted or grilled like steak. As a good scientist  I had to test it and did it a few times and it was good, with extra roasted flavor.

What vegetables to use? – up to you, or what you have in your fridge. What I do usually is, I SAVE ALL the scraps of vegetables that otherwise will go to the trash. These include: peels and ends of any vegetables, garlic peels, peel and end of onions, stems of kale, spinach, cabbage outer leaves, herbs like parsley, cilantro, basil, etc. Just make sure the vegetables are either organic and cleaned really well. The way I see it is that every vegetable has tons of nutrients and vitamins, including the peel and the end roots. The longer it gets cooked, the better to allow those nutrients to be released into the broth.

What is so good about bone broth? –  aside from being delicious and is a great base for many dishes like soups, stews, cooking your beans or rice, it delivers a concentrated amount of nutrients and minerals that are extracted from the bones and veggies. Specially collagen, an essential protein found in our skin, joints, connective tissues. Collagen helps healing of the gut lining. Cooking the bones with a splash of apple cider vinegar will help ‘break down’ the bones so that the minerals and nutrients can leach out into the broth. I use this brand of apple cider vinegar.

Benefit of chicken (or bone broth)

  • Boost the immune system
  • Provides extra dose of minerals (calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and more)
  • Provides amino acids, the building blocks of proteins in our body
  • Helps the digestive system
  • Promotes probiotic balance in the gut
  • Reduces symptoms of digestive disorders
  • Healthier joints and ligaments.
  • Healthier looking skin
  • Helps alleviate food allergies

So, really guys, there is no real recipe with this as it is simply simmering a bunch of bones in water and some vegetables for a while. I like to have fun and add different ingredients depending on what is available. Following is a recipe you can easily follow:

Chicken bone broth

  • 2 – 3 lbs of chicken bones (back, neck and feet are best)
  • 5 big carrots (don’t peel them)
  • 5 stalks of celery
  • big chunk of ginger
  • 5 mushrooms ( I use shiitake)
  • scraps of other vegetables (fennel, cabbage leeks, onions, broccoli, kale, chard, etc)
  • 2 tbsp of vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar)
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 5 tbsp Himalayan or sea salt ** (see note below)
  • spices & herbs (peppercorn, oregano, thyme, parsley
  • water to fill up the pot

Wash and scrub the vegetables really well. You can keep the peel, specially if they are organic. You can roughly chop them if they are whole or use the saved scraps.

Place washed and cleaned bones at the bottom of the pot, add the vegetables and top off with water leaving about an inch or so from the top of the pot so it doesn’t overflow. In the video I am using a 10-quart stock pot.

Add the vinegar, spices and herbs, if using any (recommended so it is flavorful)

*** Note: about the salt, I try to use a lot less, because this broth will be used for cooking and for drinking, so I much rather adjust as I cook.

Cover to a boil, once it starts boiling bring down to a simmer from 4-8 hours. It is a long time but your broth will be delicious and full of nutrients. Plus slow simmering ensures the nutrients and minerals leach out of the bones. If you use cartilage rich bones and joints, you will see how these become gelatinous, like j-ello. It is fascinating!

After the time is up, strain to remove all the vegetables, bones and pieces floating around. You can store in the freezer to be used for cooking later on. Gallon zip-lock bags are good, glass containers (but don’t fill them all the way, the glass might crack) or plastic container (that are toxic free).

 

Watch the video and watch me how I made my broth, super simple

 

 

For more recipes and ideas for this winter season, subscribe to get some of my favorites soups. Psst! I even share my favorite Peruvian Soup. Delicious!!!!

 

Stock up on soup recipes!

Subscribe to get my most favorite soup recipes. I am still cooking in the kitchen, so check your inbox in just a few days 🙂

We won't send you spam. You can unsubscribe anytime. Powered by ConvertKit
How to make Sauerkraut (easy recipe)

How to make Sauerkraut (easy recipe)

Probiotics!!!!! wha’t not to love? healthy gut bacteria, easy digestion, protect us from ‘unfriendly’ and harmful bacteria, boost the immune system!….

In recent times, we’ve been hearing so much about probiotics, in foods and in supplement form. Although every person has a different body composition and gut environment, it is essential to always remember a couple of things:

1) The majority of the immune system resides in our gut. 

2) Eating whole foods and staying away from processed foods is the way to go!

And my favorite foods to eat that are loaded with probiotics are fermented foods like SAUERKRAUT. So I had to learn to make it because 1) it is super easy and 2) the store-bought products can contain additives that I just don’t need.

Briefly, SAUERKRAUT 101 – is made out of 3 ingredients cabbage, salt and caraway seeds. But you can add other ingredients too to make it more fun. Foods naturally have bacteria, hopefully more good than bad, and in the fermentation process is when the ‘good or healthy’ bacteria outgrows (probiotic).

There is no wrong way to do it, the only requirement is that you keep everything clean. This includes utensils and the glass container (mason jar) where you will store the kraut. Oh, and I recommend that you get good quality or organic cabbage. 

Ingredients:
1 medium head green (or purple) cabbage (about 3 pounds)
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoons caraway seeds (optional, for flavor) 

Other optional ingredients: beets, ginger, carrots.

Equipment:
Cutting board
Chef’s knife
Mixing bowl
2-quart wide-mouth canning jar (or two-quart mason jars)

Clean the cabbage really well, getting rid of wilted leaves. Washing is not that necessary if it is a ‘clean and good’ cabbage. Make sure all equipment are clean specially the mason jars

Cut the cabbage into quarters, remove the core and cut the cabbage into thin strips. You can also use a mandoline if you have one.

Put the cabbage in the mixing bowl with the salt and start massaging with your hands. It will take some time but what this will do is soften the cabbage while it releases liquid. This is the brine that will help the fermentation process. This can take 10 minutes.

Add the caraway seeds at this point and mix throughly.

Pack the cabbage into the jar really well pushing it down with your fist or a wooden spoon. Leave about 1-inch space from the cabbage to the top of the jar. This is essential because as it is fermenting, the cabbage will bubble up as it is giving off air (or gas) from the bacteria doing its magic. Close with the lid but not too tight. 

Leave in the dark from 1 to 2 weeks, away from the light and heat. I recommend you check every so often to make sure the cabbage is submerged in the brine, you can push with a clean fork.

After a few days you can taste and see how it is. The amount of time will depend in how you want your kraut to taste, the longer the fermentation the more sour it will get. For me, I usually like it at around 2 weeks, then I will transfer the jars to the fridge. 

You can store sauerkraut for several months in the fridge 

Super important tip:  And don’t throw away the juice, it is considered a tonic and has as much benefits as the sauerkraut itself. You can either have a shot of it (heard of gut shot?), use it in vinaigrette or use it in the next batch of sauerkraut you are making. 

 

 

Purple cabbage sauerkraut

Ginger sauerkraut and purple cabbage sauerkraut.

How to use a Neti Pot and clear nasal congestion

How to use a Neti Pot and clear nasal congestion

 

Okay, I gotta be honest, the first time I did this, I literally thought I was drowning. Wait a minute, did I just say that as I am suggesting you try this? Well I am, but be assured that you will feel reborn again. That is if you’ve been feeling miserable with nasal congestion and felt like a big blob of gooey mucus. (get the picture right?)

I was very hesitant when I tried the neti pot for the first time a few years ago. I had heard that this mechanism of flushing the nasal passages helps alleviate congestion when sick, but just the thought of consciously passing water through my nose was just nerving to me. Anyway, something had to be done. My nose was so plugged up that I could’t sleep and the common over the counter ‘remedies’ weren’t helping. So I gave it a try. After that I was hooked, and so happy to have found a natural, drug-free way to ease congestion. Here is the best part guys, it is not restricted to use when sick only, it an be used anytime specially to clean out our nasal passages from pollutants and allergens! 

Basically, the neti pot rinse is a way of irrigating the nose and nasal passages with a saline solution. What the salty water does is looses up any mucus and phlegm (so helpful when sick).Some studies have shown that the neti pot is as effective or more as any medication for nasal congestion. But also, it washes out dust, allergens, pollution, relieves sinus infection and overall, promotes easy breathing. Perfect for allergy season and post nasal drainage that have been bugging me during my sleep.

One thing I must mention is that TO AVOID FEELING LIKE YOU ARE DROWNING like I did the first time 🙁 DO NOT breathe through your nose, breathe through your mouth. 

Tips to remember:

  • use purified or boiled water, NEVER tap water you can
  • mix 1/4 tsp of salt (non-iodized, I use sea salt) per 1 cup of purified water
  • can be used from once a day to maybe once a week
  • depending how you feel you might have to blow your nose quite a few times to remove loosen up mucus

 

In this video I’ll show you how to use it. WARNING: this will be the sexiest you will se me, so control yourself please 🙂

There you have it. Let me know if you use it and how you like it. 

My top 5 (+1) ways to stay healthy through the winter

My top 5 (+1) ways to stay healthy through the winter

Hi y’all,
 
 
Getting sick is no fun, stuffy nose, can’t breathe at night, lack of energy, feeling like a big blob of mucus? Get the picture? Anyway, Well, I’m gonna share with you some of the things I’ve been doing that I strongly believe have helped me stay clear from any bug. 
 
It is winter and that time of the year when people are getting sick E.V.E.R.Y.W.H.E.R.E. and I don’t know but it seems that the cold/flu bug started way before the holidays and is not going away. Lucky me, I’ve been keeping clean from it. Maybe it is the extra vitamin C or chewing on ginger day and night, or the oregano oil I breathe into at night time, but whatever it is, seems to be working 😉 But really guys, I used to get sick all the time, and neither OTC or prescription drugs could get rid of it easily. Now, I don’t remember when was the last time I got sick with a cold or flu, and rarely get a sore throat or sniffles that only last a day or two. 
 
Here is the thing guys, the best thing to combat any cold, bacterial or virus infection is to boost the immune system. Normally the body does an excellent job at keeping us healthy, but if there is an underlying condition with gut health, or we don’t eat a balanced diet, the body is more susceptible to sickness. So it is important to support our immune system.  
 
Why waiting until catching a cold?, the key is prevention.
 
 
Watch this video to get the details, some of these (specially #4 & 5) have been soooo helpful this past week when I was feeling like something was coming up.
 
 
 
 

 

Here is a recap of what I covered in the video: 

 

Promote gut health with Probiotics
No brainer. You’ve heard it before, about 80-90% of our immune system resides in the gut. It is because there are ‘goof friendly’ bacteria that protect us from harmful invaders (bacteria, viruses, microbes), as well as assisting in digestion and nutrient absorption. What to do: replenish yourself with probiotics (healthy bacteria). Eat foods containing probiotics like fermented foods like sauerkraut, miso, kimchi, tempeh, kombucha, yogurt, kefir among others. You could also take a probiotic supplement from a pharmacy, but check the quality and one that has a variety of bacterial strains. I use this one. So healthy gut = strong immunity = no getting sick.
 
Eating anti-bacterial and anti-microbial foods
Certain foods have natural compounds that are healing and can help get rid of harmful bacteria. Not just that, but also, some of these foods are anti-inflammatory as well. This is important because inflammation is another factor that compromises the immune system. When I am feeling under the weather, I make sure I eat more of these foods and encourage you to do the same. Here are my favorites:
  • Ginger – helps the immune system in fighting infection and a few studies have shown that it kills some strains of influenza virus.
  • Garlic – anti-microbial, anti-fungal, supports white blood cell production
  • Onions – stimulate the immune system (for its high Selenium content) 
  • Turmeric – highly anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant  and anti-microbial properties
  • Lemon – lots of vitamin C and high in potassium, antibacterial 
  • Oregano (in oil is best) – this one is a gem, it is anti-everything. It is anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, antiseptic, anti-virus, anti-inflammatory, even some studies have shown that it could have anti-tumor properties. Note that this is about the oil form. Nevertheless the herb in your pasta sauce could be helping too, but I’m sure you would have to use a lot more than a few sprinkles of it. 
  • Mushrooms – help boost the immune system
  • Honey – anti-bacterial, anti-microbial hydrating for the cell, high in antioxidants. But make sure it is RAW because processed honey will not have the same properties.
 
Vitamins & Supplements
I personally use USANA health sciences, my product company; their essential supplements and specially this one, Proglucamune for extra and more targeted immune support. Ever since I started taking them, I have seen and felt a difference in general. Their supplements are high quality (pharmaceutical grade) that target the cells to activate cellular protection and renewal from within. Also, other supplements for the cold include, extra vitamin C like my Usana booster C600 with Echinacea, elderberry, zinc, nothing artificial.
 
Chew some licorice (root, if possible or can find tea bags, both at a health food store) 
Licorice works as an anesthetic and soothes an irritated throat and also relieves a cough. You can chew on dry licorice root or make tea out of it. But guys, I don’t think this is the same as if you are chewing on those gummy licorice candy, sorry. You can find both the licorice root or teas at the health food store.
 
Neti Pot
I love this one because it helps clean out nasal congestion due to a cold or seasonal allergies, by ‘washing’ the sinuses with a saline solution (salt + water). What happens is that the saline solution, as it is going through the sinus cavities, loosens up mucus and phlegm thus relieving the nasal congestion. Watch this video to see how it is done. The neti pot can easily be found at a pharmacy. 
  
Essential Oils
Essential oils are nature’s best medicine, extracted from plants and herbs with healing properties for a variety of health conditions. I use DoTerra and my favorites to keep the cold away are a blend of Immune boosting oils and recently got into OREGANO OIL. Some studies have found over 50 different compounds in oregano oil that are immune boosting. Oregano is also helpful to decongest. I use these either drinking one drop in a full glass (or 2) of water, diffusing at night time and rubbing it at the bottom of my feet at night before bed. 

And the always famous tips from grandma:
 
  • gargle salt, lemon juice and water
  • chicken soup (and here is a recipe I have)
  • Drinking plenty of fluids because when we get sick we dehydrate. Also, water helps loosen up mucus
  • Bone broths (my grandma actually made really concentrated broths from the vital organs of chicken)
  • Stay active (as long as the body allows) so we can sweat out the germs and impurities. You body needs a good flushing through the lymphatic system.
  • Get enough sleep because it is at this time the body is healing and getting rid of any invader (ever wonder why we have a fever usually at night time?)
Forget about Resolutions ~~ How do you want to feel?

Forget about Resolutions ~~ How do you want to feel?

 

Hello friends,

I hope your festivities were great and that you enjoyed your time with family, friends and good food. These past few days have been powerful and productive for me. With the extra days off from work I did some house cleaning, you know, throw out the old to welcome the new. I played in the kitchen, worked on my biz. I did a lot of self-care and my end-of-year reflections and planning for 2017. This was huge! and I will tell you why in a minute.

This was my New Years Eve

Unlike most people I suppose, I was sitting on my computer and with all my journals and planners laid out on the dinning table. But hey! don’t feel bad, it was my choice. Honestly, staying home brainstorming, planning and being productive sounded more sexy. Anyway, so I went down to business (literally).

First, I did this visualization exercise that I want you to try:

Close your eyes, and visualize the person you were back in Jan 2016. What were you most excited about? what were you wearing? did you make any goals for 2016? most importantly, how were you feeling back in Jan 2016. Try to get as many details as you can remember.

Take a deep breath…. inhale… exhale…. do this 3 times.

Now, fast forward to this Jan 2017, how are you feeling NOW? what are you thinking? do you see differences between the person you saw back in Jan 2016 and now? or is it the same person? what will you do this time that will be much different, -or the same? Breathe into it. How does that feel?

From here I went on to my journal and asked these questions:

  • What went right in 2016?
  • What am I proud of? what did I accomplish?
  • What was not good, challenging? (and the lesson behind it)
  • How did I feel about each experience?

Then I went a step further and asked myself, how do I want to feel going forward in 2017? For me, doing this helped me get clear about my mission and what I am committed to: To be confident and own what I have to give to the world. From that place of feeling confident and in touch with my feelings, I started mapping out what I wanted to achieve in 2017. Of course this was after a major brain dump, I needed to empty what was in my mind and put every single thought and idea down on paper so I could visualize things better. This my friend, was not writing down resolutions. It was about writing goals and desires from a place where I am connected with my feelings. Owning those feelings and keeping them present everyday is my north star, the driving force to achieve anything I want.


This visualization helps us see specially the differences, if we have learned or achieved the goals we often set up at the beginning of every year. In the last couple of weeks, I’ve already heard people complaining how they feel stuck, and here goes another year of doing the same thing. It is true for many of us. So it is obvious that if one feels stuck or unhappy about something in their life, it probably means that whatever they were doing was not working, right? So doesn’t it make sense to do something different? Now, you probably might say, it is not that easy. True, but having that limiting belief of doubt and ‘I can’t do it, I am not worthy‘ mindset is not a good starting point either and will keep you stuck… for another year.


It is more painful to feel stuck and we don’t do something about it than knowing that at least we tried.


In the end, as you can see it is not about resolutions. Wonder why they only last a few weeks and never work? Resolutions are just wishful thinking without any feelings involved. Sometimes we make them because they are the latest trend, or we compare ourselves and want to do what the next person is doing. 

I hope you can set aside some time to do this exercise of visualizing a great year ahead of you. Get out of the comfort zone and let your feelings guide you, even if it feels uncomfortable. Uncomfortable = growth​. My hope is that next Jan 2018 we can do this exercise again and see how much we have grown and achieved and are able to manifest whatever we want. 

This is a special time right now, this is the time of REFLECTION and CREATION. Yes, you can create the life you want
 

Here goes to another great year ahead of us. Remember, trust that you can do it, and ask yourself each day: HOW DO I WANT TO FEEL?​ and how that feeling is getting your closer to your goal.