Bone Broth: The anti-aging miracle we've all been searching for?  It's worth a shot. :)

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Bone Broth: The anti-aging miracle we've all been searching for? It's worth a shot. :)

Bone broth is currently uber-popular and taking the nation by storm. It’s being touted as being better than botox, a cellulite reducer, great for arthritis and healing for the digestive tract. Devotees in New York City buy it by the coffee cup for nearly $9! Kobe Bryant and the entire Lakers team love it to refuel post-game. There’s also a reason that chicken soup has been know for generations as a cold-fighter.


While they’re plenty of ready-made bone broth options available (I love LonoLife Bone Broth K-Cups!) When I have the time, I prefer to make my bone broth at home, in the slow cooker. It’s so easy and definitely much cheaper.  When roasting a chicken, braising short ribs, chopping vegetables, and scrambling eggs throughout the week, add those bones, scraps and (rinsed) eggshells to a large ziploc bag in your freezer. When your baggie is full, empty it into your slow cooker, add water to cover and add a big dash of apple cider vinegar. The vinegar helps pull the nutrients out of the bones, but don’t worry, you won’t taste it.

It’s highly desired for your slow cooker bone broth to gel when cooled. This is a sign that it’s got plenty of great collagen and gelatin going on – those goodies that make your skin plump, coat your digestive tract, and cushion your joints. However, don’t worry if your bone broth doesn’t gel, it’s still got minerals and nutrition galore. It could simply mean that your ratio of water to bones is too great, or the quality of your bones may not be up to par. For example, conventionally raised chickens don’t have as much collagen in their joints and bones. Marrow rich beef on the other hand, will produce plenty of gelatinous goodness.

I’ve been experimenting with intermittent fasting, and I like to enjoy my slow cooker bone broth straight up, in the late morning to break my fast and late afternoon, like a savory cup of tea. It will keep in the fridge for up to five days, and you can also use bone broth in recipes, swap it in for any recipe that calls for broth or stock.

For longer storage,  freeze your bone broth in silicone ice cube molds. Once the cubes are frozen, package them up in a large ziploc bag. If you need to thaw some bone broth quickly, it’s easy to just pop a few of these cubes into a small saucepan or into a microwave to thaw them quickly. 

Basic INGREDIENTS: (add more as you like!)

  • 2 carrots chopped medium

  • 2 celery stalks chopped medium

  • 1 medium onion chopped medium

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 3.5 lb beef or chicken bones or combination of both

  • Kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • water

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place the bones your slow cooker. The bones should fill up about 3/4 of the slow-cooker.

  2. Chop your vegetables and garlic, no need to peel. You can also add vegetable scraps and rinsed, crushed egg shells into your slow-cooker. You'll be straining these out before consuming the broth.

  3. Fill the slow-cooker with water. Season with a generous amount of salt (about 1 teaspoon).

  4. Add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (you won't notice the taste).

  5. Cook on low and cook for 18-72 hours.

  6. Strain the broth through cheesecloth or a strainer and cool. A good broth will usually have a layer of fat on the top, and will gelatinize when thoroughly cool. Remove the fat with a spoon and discard.

Have you tried bone broth? What health benefits have you noticed? Let us hear from you. :)

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Quick & Easy Garlic & Herb Salmon for picky eaters. :)

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Quick & Easy Garlic & Herb Salmon for picky eaters. :)

I have a dirty, shameful little secret: I don’t really like salmon. Gasp.

I desperately WANT to like salmon….It’s versatile, so healthy, loaded with healthy Omega 3 fatty acids, and a fancy way to change up the chicken & steak program that seems to have taken hold in my house. No matter how many times I try it in a restaurant (few) or cooking salmon myself (even fewer), the fish is a hard sell for me. 

BUT…all hope is not lost. I think I’ve finally figured out how to cook salmon so eating it doesn't feel like a chore. It’s a two-step process that literally anyone can accomplish for the salmon lovers and haters in their household. But first, here are some helpful tips:

First, buy frozen, not fresh. Buy frozen pre-portioned salmon filets. Because they’re frozen fast and efficiently (on the boat from which they’re caught), these pieces of fish have little chance of going bad. The longer a fish has been sitting around unfrozen, the stronger it starts to smell and taste. Freezing ASAP ensures that the fish tastes as fresh (i.e. less fishy) as can be. When it's time, I pull as many salmon filets as I want to make out of the freezer and put them in the fridge to defrost—overnight usually does the trick.

Second, stop pretending you'll acquire a taste for naked salmon. I would like to be able to enjoy the distinct flavors of the Cohos and the Kings, the Sockeyes and the Ketas, but alas, I do not. Enter sauce. Specifically, an herby, garlicky, vinegary mixture that works amazingly well on a seared, broiled, or steamed fish, but also as a salad dressing, a roasted vegetable toss, or, my favorite, a dip for crusty bread. (mmm, bread) Here’s how to make Roasted Salmon with Herby-Garlic Sauce.

  1. Preheat oven to 500°F.

  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and drizzle with olive oil.

  3. Add the salmon filets and turn to coat in the oil; season with salt and pepper.

  4. Roast until salmon is opaque on the outside and just translucent on the inside, about 5 minutes. But don’t freak out if you like well done salmon: just keep roasting for another 3 to 5 minutes until it’s opaque all the way through. This will mean a slightly dryer piece of fish, but the sauce will take care of that.

While the salmon is roasting, make the Herby-Garlic sauce.

  1. Chop 2 small handfuls of one of the following (or a combination): flat leaf parsley, chives, basil and/or mint, anything tender and leafy. Place the chopped herbs in a bowl and add enough olive oil so you just see it starting to pool around the herbs.

  2. Grate or finely chop a garlic clove right into the bowl

  3. Add a couple splashes of red or white wine vinegar, a good pinch of salt, and several grinds pepper.

  4. Give it a good stir and then taste it. Is it delicious? Boom! You’re there. Is it sour? Add salt. Is it salty? Add another splash of vinegar. Do this until you want to put it on absolutely everything. 

When the salmon is finished cooking, transfer the filets to plates alongside a nice pile of tender lettuces. Spoon the Herby Garlic sauce over the salmon and the greens and squeeze a little lemon over top. And that’s a super-simple salmon dish even a hater would love.

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Chia Seed Breakfast Pudding

Chia Seed Breakfast Pudding

Did you know that Chia seeds are one of the healthiest foods on the PLANET? They deliver a TON of nutrients, including fiber, protein, healthy fats, and B vitamins to name a few, and only ONE digestible carbohydrate for very few calories. Those healthy fats and high protein content can aid with weight loss and protect you against heart disease. They also pack an antioxidant punch that may help you reduce your risk for certain kinds of cancer. Best of all? These magical little seeds are so easy to prepare into a healthy breakfast to kickstart your day! Enjoy this super quick & easy (and did we mention delicious?!) breakfast-on-the-go Chia Seed pudding!

Ingredients:

  • equal parts chia seed and regular or unsweetened almond milk

  • 1 tablespoon honey or your favorite healthy sweetener

Mix, let stand 5min or overnight

*add more chia seeds to thicken or milk to thin

This recipe comes from one of our BodyBarre Beautiful Instructors, Jill Scott

Spicy Shrimp and Avocado Salad with Creamy Miso Dressing

Spicy Shrimp and Avocado Salad with Creamy Miso Dressing

If you’re not getting enough protein, you’re probably feeling a bit slow by the time the afternoon rolls around. The fix: This flavor-packed shrimp salad. Shrimp is seasoned with chili powder and cayenne to warm up your tummy, and antioxidant-rich spinach and kale delivers essential vitamin K and fiber. Avocado will fill you up with good-for-you fats for lasting power. Top the whole thing off with a miso dressing, which is made with fresh ginger and lime juice to help you fight colds and boost your immunity. 

This spicy shrimp and avocado salad has cucumbers, spinach, shrimp, and avocado with a creamy miso dressing.

INGREDIENTS

For the Salad:

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • 1/2 pound raw shrimp, tails removed

  • 1/2 tablespoon butter

  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne

  • 1 1/2 cups sliced avocados (2 small)

  • 1 cucumber

  • 4 cups chopped spinach or baby kale

  • fresh chopped cilantro for topping

  • peanuts for topping

For the Dressing:

  • 1 1-inch piece of fresh peeled ginger

  • 3 tablespoons oil

  • 3 tablespoons lime juice (more to taste)

  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white miso (it’s like a paste – you can buy it at many regular grocery stores)

  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat the butter in a small skillet over medium high heat. Add the garlic and shrimp; sprinkle with the chili powder and cayenne directly in the pan. Saute for a few minutes on each side until the shrimp are no longer clear and have a nice golden color on the outside.

  2. Cut the avocados in half; cut lines through the avocado vertically and horizontally and scoop the flesh out with a spoon. Peel and dice the cucumber. Chop the spinach or baby kale into small bite sized pieces. Arrange in a bowl with the shrimp.

  3. Puree all the dressing ingredients together in a food processor until smooth. Taste and adjust to your preferences. Pour the dressing over the salad and serve immediately (or store the individual parts separately in the refrigerator until ready to serve). Top with fresh cilantro and peanuts for crunch.

YUMMM!!!!

Detoxifying & Refreshing Green Gazpacho

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Detoxifying & Refreshing Green Gazpacho

If you know me, you know that I LOVE avocados. This green soup is similar to a Gazpacho (a gazpacho is a cold soup traditionally made from a base of tomatoes, peppers and other vegetables). This soup deviates from the traditional, and calls for cucumber as a base, building on the flavor with celery for some saltiness (and circulation benefits!), avocado for creaminess (and a good healthy fat), chili for some kick and fresh dill for a unique refreshing taste.

The words “cold” and “soup” in the same sentence usually leave people feeling a bit conflicted, but fear not! I used to react this way too, but once I actually got around to giving this recipe a try, I realized how incredibly delicious it can be! I like to tell people it’s just like a smoothie in a bowl….only savory!

I hope you enjoy this recipe….i know this cold soup will leave you feeling refreshed, happy, and a little bit healthier!

Prep Time:

10 minutes (you cannot beat that!)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup filtered spring water

  • 1 whole cucumber

  • 1/2 stalk celery

  • 1/2 large avocado

  • 1/4 red onion

  • 2 stalks fresh dill

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • 1 clove garlic

  • chili powder to taste

Throw all the ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth and creamy!! Garnish with a dollop of coconut, yogurt, or chopped vegetables! ENJOY!!

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Winter Lentil Salad

Winter Lentil Salad

It’s the New Year and, like most folks, eating better and getting more exercise is on the top of the agenda for this year. So far, I’ve been pretty good about both, and with an assortment of delicious winter vegetables, it’s easy to make really tasty, HEALTHY meals!

I think it can sometimes be a challenge to get motivated to eat salads on a daily basis, because they can get a bit monotonous.  Actually, salads can be incredibly creative, and it all depends on what’s in season and what’s available at your local market. Sometimes creativity can simply come down to what kinds of greens I use. For instance, in this salad, I used arugula and lentils as a base! This is a quick and easy seasonal salad that you can toss together in no time and enjoy!!

PREP TIME:

ABOUT 30 MINUTES

For the Salad:

  •  2 cups peeled butternut squash, diced

  • 1 apple, diced

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil (plus more for drizzling)

  • 1/2 tsp cumin

  • 2 sprigs thyme

  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed; kosher salt and pepper

  • 2 cups arugula

  • 1 cup canned or cooked lentils. 

Directions:

Heat oven to 375°F. On a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper, toss the squash and apple with the oil, cumin, thyme, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until the squash is fork-tender, about 20 minutes; let cool slightly. Divide the arugula, squash, apple, and lentils between two plates; drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.