All Posts in Category: Beverages
In honor of National Family Caregiving Month I am sharing a very inexpensive, nutrient dense, heart healthy broth recipe. I love to sip this broth throughout the day in winter months. I crave it and it nourishes my body and soul. Yes, I said it. There is something ancient and satisfying about sipping this old world broth that packs a nutritional punch. Once or twice a month you’ll see a large stockpot simmering on my stove for days. I use it for braising vegetables, in soups, stews, sauces, gravies, or when making risotto. I certainly will be using it this week as I prepare my family’s favorite and most requested wild rice, sausage, water chestnut, and herb stuffing for Thanksgiving.
Bone Broth is typically made with bones and can contain a small amount of meat adhering to the bones. Bone broths are typically simmered for a very long period of time (often in excess of 24 hours), with the purpose being not only to produce gelatin from collagen-rich joints but also to release minerals from bones. The longer you cook this nourishing broth, the more savory and concentrated it will become. Roasting the bones and vegetables beforehand will add even more flavor and richness.
Broth is a mineral rich infusion made by boiling bones with vegetables, herbs and spices. Besides its amazing taste and culinary uses, broth is an excellent source of minerals and is known to boost the immune system and improve digestion. Its high calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus content make it great for bone and tooth help. Bone broth also supports joints, hair, skin, and nails due to its high collagen content.
- 4 pounds beef bones, preferably a mix of marrow bones and bones with a little meat on them, such as oxtail, short ribs, or knuckle bones (cut in half by a butcher)
- 2 unpeeled carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 medium onion, quartered
- 1 garlic head, halved crosswise
- 2 celery stalks, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar *helps leach minerals from the bones
- 6-quart (or larger) stockpot or a large slow cooker
- Fresh parsley or other herbs
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Place beef bones, carrots, leek, onion, and garlic on a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes. Toss the contents of the pan and continue to roast until deeply browned, 10 to 20 minutes more.
- Fill a large (at least 6-quart) stockpot with 12 cups of water (preferably filtered) . Add celery, bay leaves, peppercorns, and vinegar. Scrape the roasted bones and vegetables into the pot along with any juices. Add more water if necessary to cover bones and vegetables.
- Cover the pot and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to a very low simmer and cook with lid slightly ajar, skimming foam and excess fat occasionally, for up to 24 – 48 hours on the stovetop. The longer you simmer it, the better your stock will be. Add more water if necessary to ensure bone and vegetables are fully submerged. Alternately, you can cook the broth in a slow cooker on low for the same amount of time.
- Remove the pot from the heat and let cool slightly. Strain broth using a fine-mesh sieve and discard bones and vegetables. Let continue to cool until barely warm, then refrigerate in smaller containers overnight. Remove solidified fat from the top of the chilled broth.
You can use any type of bones that honor your lifestyle. Here are some simmering guidelines:
- Beef broth/stock: 24 to 48 hours
- Chicken or poultry broth/stock: 24 hours
- Fish broth: 8 hours
During the last 30 minutes add the parsley if using.
From my heart to yours.
Bon Appetite and Namaste!
“Here is your morning latte”, I said handing the steaming cup of coffee and frothy almond milk to our adult daughter Cari who returned home yesterday for some care after nasal surgery. This is the gentle kind of caregiving, the short term, non-tragic type that makes the caregiver feel good.
Just in time! After all, November is National Family Caregivers month. This is the month to honor all families who have been, continue to be, or will be suddenly brought into the role of caregiving that is much more long term, possibly unplanned, unexpected, and could be infused with life changing circumstances.
Some caregivers may even feel there is no end in sight because caregiving on top of your normal life duties can be extremely tough and taxing. It can be thoroughly exhausting–emotionally, physically, financially, mentally, and even spiritually.
And the holidays, which are extremely stressful for caregivers, are upon us.
In addition, this is the busiest time for first responders as accidents, heart attacks, strokes, and other ailments spike during the holidays. This holiday brew…. you guessed it…. creates many sudden caregivers. If this has happened to you or someone you love, I have three very important tips right now that will help you make it through the end of the year.
#1 Love Yourself First. As a former Flight Service Manager on a major airline, we were instructed to put on our oxygen masks FIRST or we would not have been able to provide any assistance to anyone else whatsoever. That one truth is what I want to stress to caregivers above all: it isn’t easy at times, but you must give yourself permission to breathe and also maintain that boundary!
#2 Understand it is more than okay to feel whatever it is that you are feeling. Yes, really, (gasp!), it is…and it’s also really important to actually voice your feelings so you can work through them.
#3. Take some spiritual time daily. However you commune with that something greater– whether it is mediation, breathing, walking out in nature, praying, meditating, visualizing, or asking for strength, help and guidance~take a few minutes or more each day to call in some peace.
Blessings and Love to you and yours this very honoring month of the holiday season,
“Love yourself first, and everything else falls in line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
~ Lucille Ball
The holidays are one of the busiest–and sometimes most stressful– times of the year for caregivers. All the usual pressures and demands on our time and energy often feel like they go into hyper drive between Halloween and New Year’s Day.
The holidays are also the busiest months for first responders as heart attacks, strokes, and accidents spike creating many Sudden Caregivers. *It was actually on Halloween that I noticed Stephens grey skin tone. Three nights later on November 3, 2011 his heart stopped four times.
Besides the obvious aspects of the added family responsibilities and expectations that the Holidays bring, over consumption of calories and imbibing too much alcohol are certainly culprits for health hazards and stress, as are rushed travel, house guests, triggered memories, and more.
The more we are aware of what is contributing to this seasonal stress, the more we can make a difference by taking extra good care of ourselves and the ones we love so much.
What Can We Do?
Slow down. Breathe.
Go to bed early and/or sleep in. Did I mention sleep? Lots of it.
Drink water constantly.
Scale back extravagant gatherings. Have everyone lend a hand and a dish. Or ask another family member to host the traditional holiday meal(s). In other words, recognize and establish your own boundaries and ask for help!
Prepare and eat healthy, delicious foods.
Cook with your friends and family.
Get out and move! Go on walking adventures. Fill your lungs with fresh air.
Drink black tea and coffee for that comforting warm sensation we all crave in the winter months. Go ahead and have a real hot toddy and thoroughly enjoy it—but maybe not have two? 😉
Better yet, make and savor warm vanilla milk.
Give yourself and your body a real gift this season and make a genuine effort to take care of yourself…which will also be the best gift you can give your loved ones.
Remember that small changes work miracles!
God Bless you and your loved ones this holiday season.
Let’s face it: as caregivers, much of our daily schedule has been adapted to combat stress in order to move through life more freely. Exposure to stressful situations is among the most common human experiences even before adding caregiving into the mix. These types of situations can range from unexpected calamities to routine daily annoyances.
During the holidays, calamities spike at enormous rates. Emotions run amok, triggered memories surface, and increasing “to do” lists are all added to the mélange.
I personally believe that releasing any emotion is healthy. Recognizing and accepting whatever it is we are feeling is a key for survival for caregivers. The sooner we allow our genuine feelings to rise and be released, the more gentle the process will be.
Here’s an honoring treat for caregivers during the winter months and throughout the holidays…
Delicious Warm Mayan Cacao Milk
1 tablespoon Raw cacao powder (raw chocolate) and
1 tsp vanilla
Milk of your choice
Add a few tablespoons of warm (or boiling) water in cup with cacao and stir.
Fill the cup with milk and some stevia (or sweetener of your choice).
Warm on the stove or in a microwave.
Apparently, raw organic Cacao is something exceptional for our health. Although I’m neither a doctor nor a nutritionist, various studies that I’ve read indicate that cacao seems to have more antioxidants than any food tested so far, including blueberries, red wine, and black and green teas. In fact, it has up to four times the quantity of antioxidants found in green tea. Who knew?
I also learned all chocolate is made from the cacao (cocoa) bean, and cacao beans in their natural, unprocessed, unadulterated state are rich in nutrients and beneficial to health.
Other health benefits of the antioxidants in unprocessed Chocolate include:
Promoting cardiovascular health
Serotonin production~ Cacao raises the level of serotonin in the brain; thus acts as an anti-depressant, helps reduce PMS symptoms, and promotes a sense of well-being. Seriously? How much can we eat?!
Increases Endorphins – Cacao stimulates the secretion of endorphins, producing a pleasurable sensation similar to the “runner’s high” a jogger feels after running several miles. An endorphin high without having to run and further wreck my knees? I’m in.
High in magnesium – Cacao seems to be the #1 source of magnesium of any food. Magnesium balances brain chemistry, builds strong bones, and helps regulate heartbeat and blood pressure. Strong bones, check. Healthy heart beat and blood pressure, check. Balancing brain chemistry? Chocolate for dinner honey?
Bon Appetit and Namaste!
2 cups Milk of your choice (cow, goat, almond, coconut, soy, etc.)
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoon unsweetened organic cacao powder or cocoa powder
2 teaspoon sugar (or equivalent desired sweetener)
2 tablespoon instant coffee (optional) decaf or caf
6 oz dark chocolate (66% to 70%)
Note: According to FDA guidelines, cocoa powder and cacao powder are simply different terms for the same powder, and are nearly interchangeable; however, “cacao powder” specifically refers to raw, unsweetened powder. “Cocoa powder,” on the other hand, may still have a very small amount of cocoa butter present to enhance the flavor subtly.
Finely chop chocolate and place in a heatproof bowl.
Pour milk and water in a saucepan, add sugar, cocoa and instant coffee (if using) and whisk carefully to avoid lumps. Bring to a boil over medium heat then remove from heat.
Pour mixture over the chocolate, melt 5 minutes while mixing gently to get a smooth and creamy consistency.
Cool. Pour into an ice cube tray and freeze. Makes approximately two dozen ice cubes.
Add to your choice of milk such as vanilla milk for a delectable treat.
Caregiver’s need calming remedies. Vanilla milk is a great soothing drink, heated before bedtime or as a mid-afternoon treat. Coconut milk, almond milk, rice milk, or soymilk can be easily substituted.
Milk of your choice; cow, almond, coconut, soy,etc.
Vanilla extract or vanilla bean (seeds scraped into milk with pod while steaming)
Sugar or desired sweetener to taste
Pour milk into a large saucepan, add sugar or sweetener (and cocoa if you desire) and stir or whisk to dissolve.
pour in vanilla to taste or split the vanilla pod in the center, scrape the seeds and put them in the pan along with the pod while steaming.
Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, then remove from heat.Whisk in
Serve warm before bedtime. Leftovers? Cool then refrigerate several hours or preferably overnight for cold vanilla milk for a delectable treat.
For an extra decadent drink, serve your chilled vanilla milk with dark chocolate ice cubes that swirl and melt a flavor sensation into your drink. Serve in cacao and sugar-rimmed glasses.
Bon Appetit & Namaste!