Fall Cookin’ on an October Afternoon: Root Vegetables and Paleo Pumpkin Bread

I spent the afternoon in one of my favorite places (my kitchen), really embracing the colors and vegetables of fall. I decided that I really hadn’t dabbled into the root vegetables of the season and taken advantage of seasonal eating, so I pulled out some colorful and delicious beets. This of my favorite root vegetables, that are oh so versatile and tasty! So lets  get started with  those beets!

Beets, are usually those red roots in the grocery store that you are a bit intimidated to try for yourself. Well fear no more, they are absolutely fabulous and have so many health benefits. Some of the nutritional benefits are:

1. They were anciently used as an aphrodisiac. Beets contain high amounts of the micro-nutrient boron that can positively  affect your production of sex hormones!

2. They are extremely high in nutrients! Lots of them including potassium, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, iron; vitamins A, B & C; beta-carotene, beta-cyanine; folic acid!

3. They are a wonderful tonic for the liver, works as a purifier for the blood, and can possible help in the prevention of cancer. Nuff said, right? Tastes good and prevents cancer? Sign me up!

4. Beets have been shown to have contain betaine and trytophan, which both can be beneficial in maintaining a good sense of well-being, a healthy state of relaxation and have been used in the treatment of depression.

5.At the same time they are low in calories and high in sugar (although the sugar is released into your system gradually, as opposed to chocolate). Very few foods found in the natural world are as beneficial as beets in this regard.

So now let’s take the guess work out of it, and show you how to easily prepare them, by roasting them in the oven.

RECIPE:

5 pieces of chicken (any cut will work)

1 golden beet

3 red beets

water

salt and pepper

fresh garlic

thyme

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees

Then wash your beet thoroughly, removing any excess dirt

Chop them into cubes (you can remove the outside layer if you’d like, but I left mine on), nestle them with chicken by placing them in a 9 X 13 pan and then just topped them with fresh thyme, garlic, salt and pepper. Finish by pouring about 1/2 cup of water over the top of them and place them in the oven to roast for about 50 minutes or until they are cooked thoroughly.

Enjoy as a side to any fall-friendly meal!

DSCN1646  DSCN1650

I also wanted to share (in less detail), that I did some baking today and utilized another fall staple, pumpkin!

I prepared some wonderful Paleo Pumpkin Bread, I used the recipe from Elana’s Pantry. It is SO GOOD and a must try for any aspiring Paleo baker out there!

Paleo Pumpkin Bread

  1. In a large bowl combine almond flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves
  2. In a vitamix puree oil, agave, eggs and pumpkin until smooth
  3. Stir wet ingredients into dry
  4. Rub the interior of the loaf pan with coconut oil to insure an easily removal from the pan when finished
  5. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes
  6. Cool for 2-3 hours
  7. Serve

Makes 1 loaf

Thanks for checking out my blog and from my kitchen to yours, have a wonderful week!

Karmen

References:

“Paleo, Gluten Free, Grain Free, High Protein and Healthy.” RSS. Web. 21 Oct. 2014.

Dumas, Kiley. “6 Health Benefits of Eating Beets.” Www.fullcircle.com. Full Circle, 10 May 2012. Web. 21 Oct. 2014.

How to Make Bone Broth and Why You Need to Start Making it Today!

So lately with the changing of the seasons I’ve been craving a warm bowl of soup and a hot cup of cider as I curl up on the couch next to my fireplace, burying my face in a good novel. Unfortunately, that isn’t my daily reality but that doesn’t mean that I will not be cooking up some great soup this fall, and the key to a delicious soup is a homemade broth. For a long time, I have been trying to get around to making my broth but today was the day I was going to jump into making some homemade bone broth to be the base for my future soups! Not only is this simple soup staple wonderfully delicious but it is nutritious as well. So here is a little background on why bone broth is SO AWESOME for you and why you should eat it daily:

What is Broth?

“Broth (or technically, stock) is a mineral rich infusion made by boiling bones of healthy animals with vegetables, herbs and spices. You’ll find a large stock pot of broth/stock simmering in the kitchen of almost every 5-star restaurant for its great culinary uses and unparalleled flavor, but it is also a powerful health tonic that you can easily add to your family’s diet.

Broth is a traditional food that your grandmother likely made often (and if not, your great-grandmother definitely did). Many societies around the world still consume broth regularly as it is a cheap and highly nutrient dense food.

Besides it’s amazing taste and culinary uses, broth is an excellent source of minerals and is known to boost the immune system (chicken soup when you are sick anyone?) and improve digestion. Its high calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus content make it great for bone and tooth health. Bone broth also supports joints, hair, skin, and nails due to its high collagen content. In fact, some even suggest that it helps eliminate cellulite as it supports smooth connective tissue.

It can be made from the bones of beef, bison, lamb, poultry, or fish, and vegetables and spices are often added.

Why Broth?

Anyone who has read Gut and Psychology Syndrome knows the many benefits of bone broth and how it can improve digestion, allergies, immune health, brain health, and much more.

What isn’t as well know is that broth can help reduce cellulite by improving connective tissue, increase hair growth/strength, improve digestive issues and remineralize teeth.

Broth is also helpful to have on hand when anyone in the family gets sick as it can be a soothing and immune boosting drink during illness, even if the person doesn’t feel like eating.

Broth is very high in the amino acids proline and glycine which are vital for healthy connective tissue (ligaments, joints, around organs, etc). The Paleo Mom has a great explanation of the importance of these two amino acids:

“In addition, glycine is required for synthesis of DNA, RNA and many proteins in the body.  As such, it plays extensive roles in digestive health, proper functioning of the nervous system and in wound healing.  Glycine aids digestion by helping to regulate the synthesis and of bile salts and secretion of gastric acid.  It is involved in detoxification and is required for production of glutathione, an important antioxidant.  Glycine helps regulate blood sugar levels by controlling gluconeogenesis (the manufacture of glucose from proteins in the liver).  Glycine also enhances muscle repair/growth by increasing levels of creatine and regulating Human Growth Hormone secretion from the pituitary gland.  This wonderful amino acid is also critical for healthy functioning of the central nervous system.  In the brain, it inhibits excitatory neurotransmitters, thus producing a calming effect.  Glycine is also converted into the neurotransmitter serine, which promotes mental alertness, improves memory, boosts mood, and reduces stress.

Proline has an additional role in reversing atherosclerotic deposits.  It enables the blood vessel walls to release cholesterol buildups into your blood stream, decreasing the size of potential blockages in your heart and the surrounding blood vessels.  Proline also helps your body break down proteins for use in creating new, healthy muscle cells.””

Sourced from: http://wellnessmama.com/5888/how-to-make-bone-broth/

So now you see why I am so crazy about this lovely liquid. Now on to the recipe-

Recipe:

3 or 4 Celery stalks

4 Carrots

Chopped red onion

Zest of one lemon

1 lemon

Garlic to taste

2 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar

Salt

It is really quite simple, you harvest the bones from the whole chicken that you have boiled for an hour or so in water until the chicken meat is completely cooked. Then you take the meat from the bones and then place the bones into a large pot with about 1 gallon of filtered water and with the vegetables, spices and vinegar. Then you let the mixture simmer for at least 6 hours to 24 hours and ta-da you are finished! Hurrah,the mystery of making bone broth is over! When it is finished, strain the liquid and then store it in a mason jar in the fridge till it is used!


Bone BrothThanks for checking out my blog! From my kitchen to yours, have a wonderful week!

Karmen