Cooking with Bone Broth.. and why you should use it!

SPONSORED POST: I’ve partnered with Milk & Eggs, an amazing farm direct grocery delivery service, to bring you guys some delicious, super seasonal, and always healthy recipes a few times a month.  I’m so excited to share some of my favorite dishes with you!

Cooking with Bone Broth | The Organic Beauty Blog

After years of maintaining a mostly vegetarian (or at most, pescatarian) diet, I struggled with the concept of incorporating bone broth into my eating.  But after tons of research, discussions with my colleagues in holistic healthcare, and seeing the benefits in my own body, I’m sold.

I started adding Brothee Organic Bone Broths, made locally here in Southern California, to my weekly Milk & Eggs grocery delivery orders a few months ago, and I’ve never looked back.  Here are just some of the many health benefits of using organic bone broth:

  • It promotes and supports strong immunity
  • It helps to treat and overcome digestive issues like leaky gut and IBS
  • It supports the body in overcoming food intolerances and allergies
  • It improves joint health and mobility
  • It supports healthy skin, hair, and nails
  • It fights inflammation in the body

Crazy, right?! So basically, this humble broth, made simply by simmering beef or chicken bones (though duck or fish bone broth is a thing too) with some vinegar and spices, is pretty much the world’s most perfect health and beauty food.

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5 Steps to Healthier Eating in the New Year

SPONSORED POST: I’ve partnered with Milk & Eggs, an amazing farm direct grocery delivery service, to bring you guys some delicious, super seasonal, and always healthy recipes a few times a month.  I’m so excited to share some of my favorite dishes with you!

5 Steps to Healthier Eating in the New Year | The Organic Beauty Blog

We all seem to start every new year with the best of intentions for eating healthier, losing weight, or getting more energy.  But so often that goal can feel so huge and nebulous.. where do I start? What is healthy eating? Should I start a cleanse or a new diet?  Oftentimes, our overcomplicating or overthinking of this relatively simple concept can suck the resolve right out of us.  And after a few well-intentioned weeks, we’re right back where we started… Tired, bloated, and squeezed into jeans that feel too tight.

What I always tell my nutrition clients is this: healthy eating is SO much easier than the media and diet industry make it out to be.  You don’t need a diet, or a detox, or a book to tell you the common sense food rules that govern great health.

Michael Pollan put it best:

Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.

There.  That’s IT.  Seriously.

But I know we need a little more guidance than that, so here are my 5 simple steps that you can start doing right now, that will make eating healthier and feeling better an immediate reality.

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Healthy Vegetarian Camping Recipes

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

The Organic Beauty Healthy Camping Recipes

Since I met my husband 4 years ago, I have become quite the little camper.  But, as you can imagine, camping for me isn’t about hot dogs or dehydrated food. It’s about creating delicious, healthy meals over a blazing campfire and sharing them with friends! It’s been a really interesting challenge to find great vegetarian recipes that lend themselves well to cooking on a fire, but I’ve discovered and adapted a few favorites that we keep coming back to trip after trip.

The key for creating healthy meals while camping is prepping in advance. For all the recipes below, I prepped a bunch of the ingredients (chopped veggies for the succotash, chopped onion and garlic and mixed spices for the chili, pre-made pancake batter) the day before we left, which minimizes the mess and cooking time, while maximizing the fun and goooood eating.

Enjoy!

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Seasonal Food Freak-Out: Fiddlehead Ferns!

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Fiddlehead Ferns

 

Fiddlehead Ferns are one of spring’s little delicious oddities. With their whimsical, spiral shape and delicious asparagus-meets-leek flavor, these cuties embody spring’s energy. You can find them at your local greenmarket or CSA.

This easy recipe showcases their flavor with simple seasonings and minimal cooking.

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Think You Don’t Have Time to Cook Dinner?

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

“I don’t have time to cook” is one of the most common challenges I hear from my clients and readers that keep them from eating healthier. And I bet you struggle with this as well!

I get it: You’re tired. You had a long day. The last thing you want to do after work is slave away in the kitchen.

So you go out and eat a big, calorie bomb of a meal, or you order takeout Thai food, binge-eat frozen pizza or chips and salsa, or worse yet, sup on some packaged, processed crap you found in the back of your pantry.  Or if you do cook, you’re so starving and stressed that you resort to fatty comfort foods to help yourself feel better.

Yes, my friends, this is definitely getting in your way of being in your ideal body, waking up with tons of energy, and looking and feeling your absolute best.

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Flourless Blueberry Coconut Pancakes

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

These amazing gluten-free, flourless pancakes are moist, absolutely delicious, and loaded with healthy fats and antioxidants.  An Organic Beauty weekend favorite!

Flourless Blueberry Coconut Pancakes

Flourless Blueberry Coconut Pancakes

Serves 3

3 large ripe bananas
5 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup shredded dried coconut, plus more for garnish
1 cup fresh blueberries, plus more for garnish
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons coconut oil
Pure maple syrup or agave (optional)

In a medium bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Whisk in the eggs and coconut until combined. If needed, you can add a little more coconut to achieve desired pancake batter consistency.  Stir in the blueberries and cinnamon. Heat coconut oil in a large nonstick pan, over medium heat, until melted. Working in batches, pour ¼ cup portions of the batter onto the skillet (you should be able to cook 4 pancakes at a time). Cook the pancakes until the bottoms are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Gently flip the pancakes and cook until golden brown on the second side, about 1 minute longer. Transfer the pancakes to a plate and repeat with the remaining batter. Stack the pancakes and garnish with additional coconut and blueberries. Garnish with maple syrup or agave, if using, and serve immediately.

Soups: Your Quick and Easy Dinner Solution

Soups on the Organic Beauty

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

A light, delicious, vegetable-based soup makes the perfect dinner for encouraging healthy weight, quality sleep, improved digestion, and increased energy in the mornings.  Soups are easily digestible, which leaves your body primed for rest, detoxification, and rejuvenation while you sleep, instead of expending tons of energy on digesting a big meal full of slow-to-digest foods like animal protein and grains.  Plus, it is super easy to throw together a delicious, quick dinnertime soup that leaves you free to relax and enjoy your evening, without spending hours in the kitchen!  Cook a big pot for the week, and enjoy your freedom!

 

A super important trick for quick and easy soups is a good quality vegetable broth base.  My absolute favorite for a flavorful, delicious broth is Seitenbacher Vegetable Broth Powder.  It’s all natural, instant, and allows you to customize how strongly flavored you want your broth.  I use it for all of my soups!  Pacific Organics and Imagine Organics make ok ones too, but in my opinion, nothing beats the natural broth powder!

Your other tools for whipping up a dinner soup in no time at all are canned veggies.  Stock up your pantry with canned organic beans and canned organic tomatoes.  Other pantry staples include yellow onions, garlic, greens, and olive oil.

Check out our delicious quick and easy dinner soup recipes!

Quick Vegan Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

Quick White Bean and Kale Soup

Raw Summer Gazpacho

Chilled Cucumber Soup with Mint

Any Root Vegetable Soup

Acorn Squash & Apple Soup

Split Pea, Fennel & Spinach Soup

Thai Sweet Potato Soup

 
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Chilled Cucumber Soup with Mint

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

This delicious chilled cucumber soup is super detoxifying, and is a perfect light summer dinner for those balmy nights.  The pine nuts add some bulk and healthy fats, giving the soup a super yummy consistency.  Due to the high water content of cucumbers, this soup is also amazing for beauty, hydrating skin, and weight loss!

Chilled Cucumber Soup with Mint

Serves 2

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

3 cucumbers, peeled and chopped
1 lemon, peeled and cut into wedges
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 cups pure water
1/4 cup mint leaves, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

Blend everything except fresh mint together until smooth — about 3 minutes in a high-speed blender. Add mint and blend for 15 seconds. Garnish with as extra drizzle of olive oil and a sprig of mint or dill.  Serve chilled with some rye toast.

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Ninja Kitchen System — An Affordable and Versatile Alternative to Vitamix!

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

After a solid year of using and loving our Nutribullet (click here for our review of this sweet little kitchen tool), I was ready to upgrade to something a little more powerful and versatile.  The problem was, I had grown really attached to the convenient single serving smoothie size of the Nutribullet, and hated the idea of having to dirty up a big huge blender just to get my morning nutrient fix. In researching my options, like the famous Vitamix, I stumbled upon the Ninja Mega Kitchen System, and was pretty floored!  This super powerful tool, comparable to it’s super expensive big boy cousins, has a major leg up in the market by combining a full-size 72 ounce mega-blender with a 64 ounce food processor, AND the coveted single serving blender cups, all on the same versatile, multi-setting base.  Best yet, it costs less than $160, which is a fraction of the price of it’s competitors (Vitamix blenders start at $399 and can cost upwards of $600 for a complete kitchen system). Win!

We’ve been using out Ninja for about six months now, and absolutely love it.  It completely liquifies everything, and the unique tiered “ninja” blade system eliminates the need for constantly mixing and pushing down the blender contents.  It’s not quite as sturdily made as the Vitamix, which is designed to last pretty much forever, but the value of the Ninja is still substantial.  The single serving smoothie cups are perfect for morning smoothies, and come with little to-go sippy tops.  I also use the single serving cup to chop nuts, make dressing, pesto, and other smaller-batch concoctions.  The food processor works great, and though I haven’t ventured to use it to make dough quite yet, I’m told the dough mixer is super fast and effective!

I know we’ll eventually splurge for a Vitamix, but for now, the Ninja Mega Kitchen System is my number one most used kitchen tool, and I can’t imagine living without it!

For some great recipes to use with your Ninja, check out our single serving smoothie recipes and blended soup recipes!

Get your Ninja Mega Kitchen System for just $159!

3 Easy, Tasty & Healthy Breakfast Ideas

By: Stephanie Heino

I usually hear people talking about how hard it is to find easy, healthy breakfast options. I understand that all people don’t have time to make an advanced breakfast menu, and might just end up grabbing a donut and a latte from the nearest Dunkin’ Donuts on their way to work. I have some good news for you – a healthy breakfast is not science. Sure, it takes some preparation, but other than that it can be done while doing your make up in the morning. Check out my easy, healthy and delicious (AND gluten-free!) breakfast ideas below and get a healthy start to your day. It is your choice and your body, be mindful what goes in!

Quinoa Porridge

Not all breakfasts need to taste like the bottom of a bird cage. On crisp winter mornings combine silky smooth quinoa with your favorite almond or rice milk for a creamy consistency.  Add anti-oxidant red-rich berries such as goji berries and you’ll have an energizing, warm and fulfilling breakfast to keep you going until lunchtime. Why not make up your own concoction with delicious toppings such as berries, cacao nibs, raw nuts or coconut flakes?

Here’s how to enjoy a yummy quinoa filled breakfast…

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 8 drops stevia liquid concentrate
  • 1 TBS coconut oil
  • Almond milk to serve

Method

Bring 2 cups of water to boil in a wide saucepan
Add quinoa, sea salt, cinnamon, stevia and butter/coconut oil
Cover and reduce heat and simmer for 12 minutes
Remove from heat and scoop into a bowl add almond milk, scatter with lime zest and enjoy

Chia Seed Pudding

As you may have heard, the Chia seed is a superfood. The seeds are actually a species of flowering plant in the mint family. They’re rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which is usually what you hear the nutritionists discussing. The seeds themselves can be eaten raw as a whole seed, packing a good punch of protein, fat and fiber (one-ounce has 4 grams protein and 11 grams of fiber! – Amazing)

This is one highly adaptable recipe, so you can change it up as you go. The only thing you must do is soak the chia seeds because that’s how the expand and become gelatinous, much like tapioca pearls. But the ways in which you can dress it up are endless: one morning, I had a banana sliced up and added some sliced almonds for a breakfast pudding. Or you could do a version with a cashew cream and crushed roasted hazelnuts.

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients
2 1/4 cups almond milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
2 tablespoons maple syrup or raw agave
2/3 cup chia seeds
2 tablespoons wide-flake unsweetened coconut

Method
In a small bowl, combine the almond milk and the syrup, vanilla, and ginger powder and whisk to combine. Add the chia seeds and whisk vigorously to fully combine. Pour into a container, cover, and refrigerate at least 5 hours, and ideally overnight.

When ready to serve, stir well. Spoon into bowls and top with coconut, berries, nuts, or any other toppings you like. Enjoy!

 

Gluten-Free Flourless Banana Pancakes

Flourless Banana PancakesThis may be the most delicious and easy breakfast option for all of you that like to have a pancake for breakfast. Except for that this one is gluten free, flourless and full of protein. Lately this mashed banana + egg recipe has been blowing up the fitness/health blogs, and we are not late to tag along. Just the two measly ingredients of bananas & egg are perfection, but I usually add my own touches: a tablespoon of almond butter, some ground flaxseed, a bit of vanilla, & a dash of cinnamon.

Serves: 2-3

Ingredients

1 mashed, super ripe banana

2 eggs

Oil for the pan (Coconut oil is my preference)

Method

Mash your banana with a fork. In another bowl whisk eggs. Mix eggs & banana together. Add my additions. Put your choice of oil on a pan [low-medium heat]. Add a silver dollar-sized amount to the pan. Let the cake set for 30 seconds [or when the center bubbles] & flip it! Enjoy with berries & a bit of syrup. Option: if you’re pressed for time use a blender to mix your ingredients.

Images via Pinterest: 1 and 2