I am quite fond of sweet potatoes, especially the purple ones. They are less sweet than their orange family members, with a delicious flavor. Like all sweet potatoes they are not part of the nightshade family (Solanaceae) but belong to the morning glory family (Convolvulaceae). My favorite one is the Stokes Sweet Purple Potato, particularly for this recipe. They got their name because they were first grown in the Stokes County in North Carolina. In California organic ones can be found in many stores. Their purple color indicate a high content of flavonoids known as anthocyanin which is a powerful antioxidant also found in blueberries, acai berries, black currents, or red cabbage.
Freshly baked these potato dollars are crisp outside and soft inside. Their taste and the sugary smell when they just come out of the oven remind me of cookies! Yummy and nutritious cookies, though! The next day they are more moist. To make them crispy again they can be toasted. We often have them for breakfast, together with raw cultured butter.
Why organic raw cultured butter? Butter from grass fed cows is a veryimportant source of fat soluble vitamins such as true vitamin A (retinol),Vitamin D, and K as well as trace minerals like manganese, zinc, chromium and iodine, especially when the cows feed on green grass. Weston A. Price writes about this in his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration where he emphasizes that adding green pasturage yields in higher amounts of these fat soluble vitamins.
Butter from grass-fed cows has a good amount of CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) which has strong anticancer properties. Other fats in butter are lauric acid which is a medium chain fatty acid and known to be antimicrobial and antifungal, otherwise only found in coconut oil, as well as butyric acid (a short chain fatty acid) which has antifungal properties as well as antitumor effects. Additionally, butter has small but nearly equal amounts of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.
Pesticides and other environmental poisons can accumulate in fat, so it is important to look for butter from organic or pasture-raised cows as pasture is usually not sprayed.
Cultured butter is made from fermented, or soured, cream by adding beneficial bacterial cultures which help to break down the trace amounts of lactose sugars before consumption.
Raw butter is not heated and contains active enzymes and a broad spectrum of naturally occurring beneficial bacteria which makes it easy to digest. Besides, raw butter contains the Wulzen Factor which is called the “antistiffness” factor because this substance protects from calcification of the joints and hardening of the arteries.
If you want to read more about the health benefits of butter then go to Dr. Axe’s article about butter or to this article by Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig, PhD.
Now, are you convinced about butter, especially raw butter? Then try this great combination of sweetness and cultured abundance, and let me know how you like it!
Wash purple potatoes. If preferred the potatoes can be peeled. Slice potatoes and lay on parchment paper. Depending on thickness bake for 45 – 55 minutes at 375F. Let cool.
Enjoy with raw cultured butter!
Wash your purple potatoes, especially if you don’t peel them.
Lay on parchment paper and brush with coconut oil.
Bake for 45 – 55 minutes at 375F.
Let cool down a bit, or completely, and enjoy with raw butter!
Basic Broth Made In A Pressure Cooker
What is more nourishing than a warm cup of broth on a cold day or when you are hungry? What feels better than a healing cup of chicken broth when you have the flu, or you just feel rundown? What smells better than to open the lid of a pot with freshly made broth?
Barely anything I would say. Yes, I love my broth, as you can tell. I use it for cooking soups, stews, rice or just drink it on its own.
There is a reason that broth makes us feel good, as the health benefits of broth are numerous! Here are just a few facts about broth:
- Broth contains a lot of minerals – calcium, magnesium, potassium and trace minerals – although the calcium content is not very high unless you grind some of the leftover bones into the broth. What is more important is that the minerals from broth are highly absorbable and are balanced with a range of other minerals, especially trace minerals.
- While minerals make bones hard, collagen keeps them resilient. About 28% of a bone is collagen (the rest is 50% minerals and 22% water). Cooking breaks down collagenous protein from bones and cartilage intogelatin. Gelatin contains an amino acid profile which is not only important for building our own strong bones, joints, hair, skin and nails but also for our overall well-being.
- One of the main amino acids in broth is especially important for the gut, where our immune system is at home. Glutamine is an amino acid that feeds the lining of the gut helping the villi of the small intestine to heal and grow, and therefore improves digestion and nutrient absorption. Many supplements that address leaky gut contain glutamine as a main ingredient. Glutamine stimulates immune cells and helps to protect us against illness and disease. Glutamine also cuts cravings for sugar and carbohydrates!
- Glysine is the simplest of all amino acids and a main player in many processes in the body, such as detoxification, sugar metabolism, production of bile salts to digest fats, reduction of inflammation, and wound healing.
- Gelatin has the unusual property of being hydrophilic, even after it has been heated. This means it attracts and holds liquid, in this case digestive juices. This is very important, as it improves the digestion of cooked meals when raw food is missing or limited in a meal.
- Although gelatin is not a complete protein, it has a meat sparing effectby allowing the body to more fully utilize the complete proteins that are taken in. This makes it economical for the environment by saving meat and using the whole animal, and also for your budget, as bone broth is inexpensive to make.
- Broth is a staple in many Asian countries where soup is often traditionally served with every meal, including breakfast.
- If you want to learn more about the many benefits of bone broth then read Nourishing Broth, An Old-Fashioned Remedy for the Modern Worldby Sally Fallon Morell and Kaayla T. Daniel. This book covers the science, the healing power of broth, as well as numerous recipes.
- Or watch this video – Bone Broth and Health: A Look at the Science – where Kaayla T. Daniels talks for about 45 minutes about broth.
To get a rich flavor and a lot of gelatin my favorite way to make broth is with a pressure cooker. The process is much faster than with a slow cooker and I think the broth results in a better flavor. Besides, when it comes to nutrients the shorter cooking time results in less destruction of heat sensitive vitamins. To read more about pressure cookers go here.
Stock or broth? Traditionally stock is made more from bones and broth more from meaty parts. In my kitchen I just use the term broth no matter whether I use a fresh whole chicken to start with, or the leftover bones from a roasted chicken.
Variety is a good thing. For chicken broth (or chicken stock) any bony chicken parts, such as necks, backs and feet (so much gelatin!) can be used, or as well as a whole chicken. For beef broth knuckle bones make the most gelatin-rich broth while marrow bones give a delicious flavor. Shanks have more meat but sometimes also a good portion of marrow and cartilage. My favorite beef mix contains knuckle bones and shank bones. Broth can also be made with carcasses and/or bones from turkey, duck, lamb, pig’s or calf’s feet, or fish heads and trimmings for fish stock.
Mixing is allowed, too!
Amounts vary. In general I try to fill the pot at least half with bones and vegetables, often more. Then I add water up to the 2/3 line, the maximum recommended level on most pressure cookers. If your broth ends up too thick you can always add more water afterwards, or if it is too thin, you can boil it down.
Quality is key, as always when it comes to food. Choose organic or grass-fed bones, organic or pasture-raised chicken. Chicken stock made from non-organic chicken parts might not gel.
Reusing bones and making another batch also makes very good broth although the flavor of the first batch is usually the best.
If broth simmers for many hours, typically in a slow cooker, then it is critical to skim the broth when foam appears in the beginning of the cooking process. This foam contains impurities which can cause an off flavor if cooked for too long. For basic broth in a pressure cooker I often omit this step because first, the overall cooking time is often less than an hour and second, the pressure cooker tends to let these impurities sink to the bottom of the broth and stick to the pot. Sometimes I skim beef broth when I plan to cook the broth for many hours, but I barely ever skim chicken broth. I have never had this bad flavor using a pressure cooker.
After straining the broth and letting it cool down to room temperature it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for many months. Another way to store broth is the following: If the broth has a nice layer of fat on it and the jar top of a mason jar is sealed when the broth is very warm, and then cooled down, it will keep for several weeks in the fridge.
No space in your refrigerator to store the broth? Sometimes I have a pressure cooker going on my stove all week long. I am continually taking broth out, and adding more good stuff in, like new beef bones, carcasses from roasted chickens or more vegetables. As long as the broth is brought to a boil once a day in summer and every other day in winter it will be fine. In case you forget about it on the stove and worry whether your good broth has gone bad, trust your nose. It will smell bad. Especially when you heat it up again. It will smell really bad!
If no pressure cooker is available then a regular stock pot or a slow cooker are alternatives. Usual cooking times are 8 to 12, and up to 24 hours for the slow cooker on a low setting. If you use a stockpot on the stove then let simmer for a minimum of 2 hours, or longer if you are able to watch the pot. Check from time to time and add more water if needed. Keep it on a low simmer.
I always make my broth in a pressure cooker because the flavor is so superb. I even brought a new one over from Germany this summer. A big one, just for making broth. It took quite a bit of space in my luggage. But well, don’t we have to do whatever it takes to make us happy in the kitchen?
The Nourishing Yogini
Recipe for making broth with a pressure cooker
1 whole chicken, or various chicken parts, or
a mix of beef bones (knuckle bones, marrow bones and/or shanks)
or any bones/carcasses of your choice
2 – 4 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar
2- 3 celery sticks
1/4 celery root (optional for extra flavor)
1 leek (optional)
1 – 2 tsp black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1 small piece of lemon rind
1/2 – 1 inch long ginger root piece
Making Chicken Broth:
Once the chicken has cooled down take it apart and save the meat for later. Strain the broth.
You also can just eat parts of the chicken and veggies as is, together with the broth. With sea salt that’s a quick and nourishing meal.
Making Beef Broth
Come back after half an hour, or the next morning, and voila, here is your delicious bone broth!
After removing the bigger bones and pieces from the pot with tongs strain the broth. If you want to use the broth right away a fat separator is very handy to get the clear broth and fat separated.
If you don’t have a fat separator let the broth cool down to room temperature and put it in the fridge. The fat on the top will get hard and will be easy to remove if you prefer to do so.
The word ‘aura’ gets flung around a lot these new-age days. But, what exactly is the aura? How can we understand the importance of a healthy aura? And how do we attain it through a yogic approach?
Years ago, I started seeing colors around people’s heads. I had a feeling I was seeing auras, but it wasn’t until I began my training in Kundalini Yoga that I learned more about the specifics of the aura, and how strengthening our aura can enhance our quality of life. Read more
I started dietary cleansing after having two children. One of my good friends, also with two small children, looked amazing while I was feeling quite frumpy. She was brilliant in her skin, eyes, hair, and energy level, literally from the inside out. I asked, “How do you do it?” She giggled and said she and her husband had just finished a Standard Process cleanse and never felt better. They had done it yearly for the past three years, cleansing for 21-days, and saw it as a nice way to reset the body. Her husband was a chiropractor and ran group cleanses annually, prescribing them for anyone facing ailments from cancer to depression and anxiety.
“What is a Standard Process cleanse?” I asked, quite intrigued as the holiday heavies left me feeling like spam was packed to my thighs. She described how this system included supplements to take the edge off hunger, made of all organic and dehydrated foods, herbs and roots. Then, they basically ate vegan for 21-days. She mentioned the first four days are a little tough but then the body starts to adjust and thrive on unlimited amounts of veggies and fruit.
To this day, I look forward to my annual 21-day cleanse in January. Standard Process is my Read more
- We are always capable of more than we think we are.
- We think we know a lot but we do this to protect ourselves from feeling so little control over all the things we don’t know.
- Living by a set of ethical guidelines reduces suffering exponentially.
- When relating with others, especially during challenging times, it’s effective to imagine what it’s like to be that person (accompanied by the understanding that we’ll never really know what it’s like to be someone else).
- Mick Jagger was right. You can’t always get what you want but you get what you need.