This week I have been exploring the key reasons you want to ensure you are getting good levels of potassium in your diet (https://www.facebook.com/warmlynourished/). Its wonderful to know that this vital mineral is naturally contained in most of the foods we eat. The trick is eating whole foods and not packaged foods which also contain a great deal of sodium.
To end this weeks discussion, I am leaving you with one of my favorite recipes, a dip. The classic Mexican guacamole – which is made with avocado, a rich source of potassium and to it I add tomato also a good source. The combination is perfect for parties and of course Mexican food night at your place with other homemade Mexican food goodies. I hope you enjoy it!
Salsa and Guacamole recipe - Potassium
- Salsa Fresca
- 2 medium tomatoes, finely diced (you can remove the seeds)
- ½ white onion, finely diced
- 1 – 2 Jalapeño peppers (small green chilies with medium heat) seeded
- ½ cup chopped fresh coriander
- 1 lime juiced
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- pinch ground cumin
- pinch of salt ( or to taste)
- 1 med avocado – flesh and seed removed from skin (reserve the seed)
- Juice from ½ of a lime cheek – you might need more
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- ½ to 1 quantity Salsa Fresca (tomato salsa)
Make it like so....
- To Make the Salsa Fresca:
- Combine all the ingredients. Can be made a up to 2 days ahead of when needed. Note, you can increase the heat by using hotter chilies like habanero.
- To Make the Guacamole
- Combine the avocado flesh, lime juice, and salsa. You can do this with a potato masher, mortar and pestle or use your HANDS (best tool). Adjust seasoning according to your taste.
- Add more salt, lime juice or chilies.
- Transfer to your serving bowl and add the seed to the centre before covering. The seed helps the avocado from discoloring. Allow to set for 30 minutes or longer to develop flavour.
How to Make Bone Broth
Bone broth can be literally just bones cooked in water. However, I make my bone broth with bones and vegetables (I think it’s the chef in me) I like the depth of flavor. There is also some growing thoughts that suggest combining bones with vegetables creates a synergistic effect, resulting in a healthier broth. I suspect that is true and it sure helps with creating your signature flavor. I believe strongly that food is thy medicine and follow the teachings of Weston A. Price and lady named Sally Fallon. Sally is a huge fan of using animal parts like feet and neck that might be hard to get. Try if you can, I normally can find neck but have issues finding a clean source of chicken feet.
The chef in me also likes the idea of browning the bones and vegetables before adding the water and aromatics (parsley stalks, pepper corns, bay leaf). This adds richness to the finished product that I really love. And when you are sipping your broth you can really tasted the difference. Additionally I add some raw apple cider vinegar (with the mother). Be careful not to add too much water, you just want to cover the bones and vegetables.
What if you are a vegetarian/Vegan? Well there is a mineral broth to suit you too. When I need a vegan broth my go to is from Rebeca Katz. Rebeca Katz and her Magic Mineral Broth. Enjoy it’s a winner and loaded with great healing minerals.
Now for the best bit….how I make bone broth
Browning the bones and chicken necks for bone broth
Simmering Chicken Bone Broth. Used all sorts of extra vegetables for deep flavor.
Adding in Vegetables and herbs to the start of the bone broth.
The wonder of making your own Bone Broth
Making your own bone broth can be deeply satisfying. I use my broth to cook with - saute vegetables and as a base for soup as well as beverage. I also add a little to my dog, Chloe, bowl. She really loves it and I get the bark reward from her.
- • 1k or (or more) of bones from a healthy source
- • 500g chicken necks + 2 chicken feet for extra gelatine (optional)
- • 2 cloves of garlic
- • 1 onion
- • 2 carrots
- • 2 stalks of celery
- • 1-2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar (Raw)
- • Optional: 1 bunch of parsley stalks, 1 teaspoon peppercorns, 1 to 2 bay leaves. You'll also need a large stock pot to cook the broth and a strainer for the finished product.
Make it like so....
- 1. If you are using raw bones, especially beef bones, it improves the flavor to roast them in the oven first or you can brown them in the pot you are planning to make the broth in. If you use the oven then place them in a roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes at 180.
- 2. Then, place the bones in a large stock pot (I use a large lobster pot I purchased in Boston years ago). Pour water over the bones and just cover them and add the vinegar. Let sit for 20-30 minutes in the cool water. The acid helps make the nutrients in the bones more available.
- 3. Rough chop and add the vegetables, no need to peel the onion or garlic. If you have any vegetables like mushrooms and tomatoes they also add great flavour.
- 4. Now, bring the broth to a boil. Once it has reached a vigorous boil, reduce to a simmer and simmer for 24-48 hours. If you are scared to leave on your stove, then you could use a slow cooker. I have a metal ring I place over my gas burner that spreads the heat source and reduces the chances of the pot boiling over.
- 5. During the first few hours of simmering, you'll need to remove the impurities that float to the surface. A frothy/foamy layer will form and it can be easily scooped off with a big spoon. Throw this part away. I typically check it every 20 minutes for the first 2 hours to remove this. Grass-fed and healthy animals will produce much less of this than conventional animals.
- 6. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Strain using a fine metal strainer to remove all the bits of bone and vegetable.
Notes on importance of Bone Broth
Bone broth is rich in minerals that support the immune system and contains healing compounds like collagen, glutamine, glycine and proline.
The collagen in bone broth helps to heal your gut lining and reduces intestinal inflammation. Additionally, collagen supports healthy skin, and the glycine helps to detoxify your cells from chemicals and improve brain function.
Spring Dessert for a Mexican themed dinner…spring mango, pineapple and strawberries with fresh lime juice and chili
Chamoy (Sweet – Salt – Lime –Chili) for Fresh Fruit or Vegetables
What a great way to enhance the flavor of fresh fruit/vegetables. The lime juice brings out the natural sweetness and the sweet-salt adds a refreshing note and brings out all the natural juices of the fruit and or vegetables. In Mexico this spice mix is called Chamoy and its very popular.
- Fresh fruit or vegetables sliced into long wedges
- 1 whole cucumbers 1 or 2 whole carrots
- 1 whole Mangoes 1 pineapple
- Sweet/ Salt mixture
- 1 ½ tsp ground chili ( mild or hot)
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tablespoon grated lime zest
- 75 g coconut sugar (or use white sugar if you don’t have coconut)
- Plus fresh limes
Make it like so....
- Select which fruits and vegetables you want. This can be a single item, or a mixed plate where vegetables and fruits are mixed together. Slice into long wedges.
- Combine the sweet salt ingredients together and store in a airtight container.
- When ready to serve, sprinkle fresh lime juice over the sliced items. Once done, sprinkle over the sweet salt mixture as a dusting.
Wonderful Spring Vegetable, easy to prepare and wonderful to eat.
Asparagus and Pea Risotto
Spring is in the air and the markets are full of wonderful Asparagus! Asparagus is versatile and goes well with peas and arborio rice - which is why I created this dish, Asparagus and Pea Risotto.
You can also enjoy it in a number of other ways... wonderful grilled and added to salads, blanched and served with poached eggs or just on its own with a pinch of salt and little extra virgin olive oil.
- • 6 cups vegetable stock, homemade if possible + the woody ends of the asparagus
- • 1/4 cup olive oil + 2 tablespoon organic butter (half the olive oil and half the butter will be
- used to cook the rice and the other half will be used to finish the dish).
- • 1 small onion or French eshallots (look like small brown onions), finely chopped
- • 1 cup Arborio rice
- • 1/2 cup dry white wine
- • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, stalks cut into 2 cm lengths (1 inch) and add the woody ends
- to the stock.
- • 1 cup fresh or thawed frozen peas
- • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest, plus more for garnish
- • 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- • 1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Make it like so....
- • Bring stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan.
- • In another saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons oil + the 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat.
- Cook onion, stirring frequently, until soft, 6 to 7 minutes. Add rice, cook, stirring, until
- edges are translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add wine; cook, stirring, just until evaporated.
- • Add 1/2 cup hot stock; cook, stirring, until almost absorbed. Continue adding 1/2 cup stock
- and stirring until liquid is creamy and rice is al dente, about 20 minutes total (you may not
- need to add all the stock). Add asparagus and peas with the last addition of stock. Allow to
- cook for 2 minutes - risotto is done.
- • Remove from heat; stir in lemon zest and juice, parsley, cheese, and remaining 2
- tablespoons oil+ 1 tablespoon butter. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with
- additional cheese and lemon zest.
Health Benefits of Asparagus
1. It contains glutathione, a potent antioxidant, well known for it’s
detoxifying properties; liver and kidney
2. It is rated as an excellent source of fiber, folate, Vit E, B1, B2,K
copper and selenium.
3. Is a natural diuretic – a beneficial food for those with high blood
pressure and other heart-related conditions.
4. It contains inulin – a prebiotic which helps support the beneficial
bacteria in our gut.
Great salad, and good for your liver too.
Kale, Apple and Shiitake Salad with Pecans
The combination of these ingredients really awaken your taste buds; trust me you will want to make this recipe over and over. You could change out the apple for pear or peach when they come into season. The pecans can also be changed for walnuts, hazelnuts or even almonds. Have fun making this salad it's a winner.
- • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- • 1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms (fresh)
- • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- • 1/4 teaspoon salt
- • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- • 1 small head radicchio, ( or Romaine) shredded
- • 1 (250 g) bunch kale, stems discarded, leaves shredded
- • 2 apples both Fuji and Jazz are good choices - sliced into thin matchsticks
- • ½ to ¾ cup pecans, lightly toasted and roughly chopped
Make it like so....
- Make it like so….
- 1. With the kale, as well as shredding the leaves, put a little olive oil on your hands and give the kale a nice rub. This will break down the tough leaves and make them much nicer to eat!
- 2. Combine the olive oil and mushrooms in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are golden – remove from pan. Add the apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, salt and pepper to the same pan and whisk well.
- 3. Combine the radicchio (or Romaine), kale, apples and pecans in a large bowl. Toss while adding the dressing, little by little, until the salad is well dressed.
Health benefits of Kale
• The fiber-related components in kale do a better job of binding together with bile acids in your digestive tract when they've been steamed. When this binding process takes place, it's easier for bile acids to be excreted, and the result is a lowering of your cholesterol levels. Raw kale still has cholesterol-lowering ability—just not as much.
• Kale's risk-lowering benefits for cancer have recently been extended to at least five different types of cancer. These types include cancer of the bladder, breast, colon, ovary, and prostate. Isothiocyanates (ITCs) made from glucosinolates in kale play a primary role in achieving these risk-lowering benefits.
• Kale is now recognized as providing comprehensive support for the body's detoxification system. New research has shown that the ITCs made from kale's glucosinolates can help regulate detox at a genetic level.
• Researchers can now identify over 45 different flavonoids in kale. With kaempferol and quercetin heading the list, kale's flavonoids combine both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits in way that gives kale a leading dietary role with respect to avoidance of chronic inflammation and oxidative stress.