I sat down last week with intentions of writing a smartly worded Blog that would inspire you to join us in choosing healthy meat options for your family meals, But after a week with a house full of sickos the Blog I started remains unfinished. And as I struggle with exhaustion from kiddo’s up during the night and the demands of still busy days I know deep down inside my body is struggling to fight off some sinister bug as well. And so today out of exhaustion and frustration I am sitting down to write about how I feed my not-so-healthy family healthy food.
Eating healthy at any point involves planning and preparing however in the long run I really believe the costs are not that much different than feeding your family “Big Box” style and the taste, well there is nothing like home-made with good ingredients. The real investment is your time, that being said spending time with your family cooking and eating should be deemed a valuable investment.
So getting back to my week of cleaning up…stuff, and wiping down feverish kids… there is really nothing that can be done to avoid the plagues that run rampant in our schools and work environments other than giving your body the resources it needs to battle these viral beasts, and while I do try my best the busy world sometimes forces me to choose options that if I was prepared I might not have chosen. However when my babies are sick I go “old school” (sadly anything that doesn’t require the convenience of a microwave and come served in a plastic dish is considered “old school” these days) as I said I go “old school” . My kids are big soup eaters and that never rings more true than when they are sick. The requests start almost immediately for their favourites.
Homemade soup is easy though if not a little time intensive but with a slow cooker anything is possible. The recipes I have always used were inspired by a cookbook “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon and I love this one because it doesn’t use tomato paste. If you use your slow cooker it is still time intensive but it doesn’t require a lot of your time and having made this for years I am less fussy about the straining end of it but do take the time to skim, it makes all the difference to the taste. When I have the time I do prefer the stovetop method only because I can make more stock in one batch. The secret is making it whenever you have left over bones and then just freezing it so you have it on hand. But you can grab bones very inexpensively from your local butcher or give us a call.
Simple Beef broth
• 4 pounds of beef marrow, knuckle bones, bits of leftover beef
• 3 pounds meaty rib or neck bones
• 4 or more quarts cold water
• 1/4 cup vinegar
• 3 onions, chopped
• 3 carrots coarsely chopped (I omit this if I don’t have any on hand)
• 3 celery sticks, chopped (I omit this if I don’t have any on hand)
1. Place all of your bones that have meaty bits on them on a large cookie sheet (with sides) or roasting pan and brown in the oven at 350 degrees until well-browned (30-60 minutes usually).
2. Meanwhile, throw all of your non-meaty marrow bones into a slow cooker or stockpot; add the water, vinegar and vegetables. Let sit while the other bones are browning.
3. Add the browned bones to the pot, deglaze your roasting pan with hot water and get up all of the brown bits; pour this liquid into the pot. Add additional water if needed to cover the bones.
4. Bring to a boil and remove the scum/foam that rises to the top. No need to remove the floating fat. Reduce heat and simmer for at least 12 hours and as long as 72 hours. The longer you cook the stock, the more rich and flavorful it will be.
5. After you simmer for 12-72 hours, I strain off the broth and pour it into ice cube trays or larger sealable containers to freeze. Once frozen I pop the cubes into freezer bags and they are ready for when I need them in the future.
Once you have broth, be it beef, chicken or vegetable you can make any soup out there. A favourite in my house anytime is http://allrecipes.com/recipe/chinese-spicy-hot-and-sour-soup I have never ever followed the recipe exactly. ”tiger lily buds” really? For my version visit us at http://www.facebook.com/dingofarms and look in notes. When the sicko’s want this one I eliminate everything but the seasoning ingredients so its still a broth but the spicy pop helps clear stuffy heads.
So here is the teaser…you were expecting some fab pictures of yummy beef broth being prepared and delicious Hot and Spicy soup being lovingly made for my sicko’s but nope. I am still clinging to my health and my go to food to fight off bugs is good old steak, yep you read that right. Beef is a major contributor of healthy protein, zinc, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, iron and niacin and when served with a side of healthy greens (mines a spinach salad) beef can help your body fight most of the viral villains out there. Or chose a yummy beef based soup to help get your feet back under you and your body on the road to recovery.