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Inflammation Busting Turmeric Tonic

Image courtesy of Toréa Rodriguez

Image courtesy of Toréa Rodriguez

Inflammation can come from many sources. It could be a cold, or flu... or from foods that don't agree with your system (aka me and gluten, not the best friends). Or you may be exposed to something environmentally (molds, chemicals from cleaning or beauty products, etc). Regardless, inflammation is a normal response of the immune system, but sometimes our lovely immune system needs a little love. Good thing there are things we can do to help support it in its time of need. One of those foods is turmeric, and its got some awesome anti-inflammatory (amongst many other) benefits (1, 2).

The last few weeks, I have been experimenting with turmeric root in the kitchen and really loved this concoction that can be fairly versatile! So I wanted to share it with all of you. The best part is that it can be made in batches so you only have to do it once a week or once in a while (depending on how often you consume it). And it can be used in a variety of ways: cold, hot, gummy snack, sparkling... whatever your fancy. One thing I know is the marigold-orange hearts make me happy when I see them in my cup!

The other great thing about this recipe is that it also contains ginger which supports digestion. And since I use the root (peel and all) you also get the beneficial bacteria (read: probiotics) that are present in the outer layers of both the turmeric and ginger. I tend to get both of theses roots in the market when I can find them fresh, and then chop them into smaller pieces and freeze them for longer term storage. You can then let the quantity you need thaw slightly before making the tonic.

Note: I use a blender and nut milk bag to make mine. If you don't like the hand/finger workout (good for rock climbing, right?), you can always use a juicer to make the same thing. Just be forewarned, your pretty white nut milk bag will be forever bright yellow after this :)

Turmeric Tonic Concentrate

Use this concentrate for "shots" to be added to regular water, or fizzy water. You can even freeze them into ice "shots" for fizzy water or, heck even cocktails when you are feeling fancy! I use 3 cubes, which is about 1 oz or 30 ml of tonic for every 10-12 oz (300-400ml) water/fizzy water.  You can use ginger and lemon essential oil as well to enhance the flavor, but not required to get a good tonic.

Ingredients

  • 4 lemons peeled
  • 1-2" of fresh ginger root (~25g)
  • 2-3 "fingers" of fresh turmeric root (~75g)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1-2 drops ginger essential oil (optional)
  • 2-3 drops lemon essential oil (optional)

Directions

  1. Place peeled lemons, ginger, turmeric and water in a high-powered blender
  2. Turn it up to max speed and blitz until the mixture is smooth.
  3. Pour mixture into a nut milk bag to strain into a quart sized mason jar.
  4. Store in the mason jar, or freeze smaller "shot" portions in an ice cube tray.

Turmeric Tonic Gummies

These are potent! So if you want them for snacks, I would suggest that you dilute with more water and perhaps increase the gelatin. However, i find the gummy version to be excellent for adding to hot water to make a Turmeric Tonic Tea. I use 3 squares (about 30 grams) for each 10-12 oz (300-400ml) hot water.

Ingredients

  • 4 lemons peeled
  • 1-2" of fresh ginger root (~25g)
  • 2-3 "fingers" of fresh turmeric root (~75g)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 T gelatin
  • 1-2 drops ginger essential oil (optional)
  • 2-3 drops lemon essential oil (optional)

Directions

  1. Place peeled lemons, ginger, turmeric and water in a high-powered blender
  2. Turn it up to max speed and blitz until the mixture is smooth.
  3. Pour mixture into a nut milk bag to strain into a sauce pan.
  4. Set the saucepan on the stove over medium heat and warm it up to just steaming, not boiling. Place the now warmed liquid back in the blender and turn on low so that its just keeping the liquid in motion. While the liquid is moving, sprinkle the gelatin in to get it to mix properly.
  5. Pour into silicone molds to create gummy snacks and refrigerate until set. If you don't have a mold, then you can pour into a small baking dish. Once set, cut into smaller squares.

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Nose-To-Tail Adventures - Part 2

Last week, I covered our foray into Nose-To-Tail eating in the purchase of our first whole hog. We left that story with my friend Julie Kelly from Nourish Balance Thrive lending me moral support whilst we tackled the bits of the hog that weren't so common: The head and a huge pile of fat! I have to be honest, I was really squeamish about dealing with the head and seeing parts I could recognize from the cute piglet (okay he was an adult). 

Julie writes up the Part 2 to the story over on her blog Nourish Balance Thrive - go check out the details on our cornucopia of head cheese, luscious broth, home-rendered lard and lardons!

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Nose-To-Tail Adventures Part 1

NoseToTailPart1.jpg

This post contains affiliate links. Click here to see what that means!

It might surprise some of you to find out that I twice used to be vegetarian, because I thought it was the path to health, and because I was concerned about animal welfare. Both times lead to declined health. So "going Paleo" has had a hugely positive impact on my health. However, I've had to adjust my thinking to include more animal proteins in my diet and part of the mental shift I had to make was about the killing of animals for food. 

I've not always been averse to eating animals, I grew up in Colorado after all, and we often lived off of venison that was harvested each fall. So I know that there is a means to honor the animals that are used for food. I decided that I would adopt a similar mindset when re-introducing meat to the household. We came across the concept of Nose-To-Tail eating early in our paleo adventures and the concept resonated with us on a spiritual level - to always ensure that the animals were raised with the best life possible and that nothing would go to waste. 

Enter a book called Beyond Bacon, Paleo Recipes that Respect the Whole Hog by Matthew McCarry and Stacey Toth. This book described the process from start to finish on how to find, purchase and process a whole animal. So, we took the idea to heart and last year we purchased a whole hog from a local farmer, had it processed and located a chest freezer to store the various cuts we got. Now, don't think we got 165 lbs of bacon, because we didn't - we got it all: organs, chops, bacon, trotters, sausage - all of it. 

So, its been a year and we have been able to honor that hog with friends and family over many yummy meals. We are so grateful. But now we need some freezer space (for a different bulk purchase) and Im facing the parts that I have been to scared to deal with. Well one, part actually: the head. I mean what do you do with a head!?! Of course Beyond Bacon has the answer and a simple recipe for head cheese. But I still had doubts, I was never raised with the stuff (liver is a different story) so I was squeamish. I didn't know how it would be to handle the part I could most recognize, nor what it would smell or taste like.

Phone a friend! When in doubt, you can always phone a friend right? I called my friend Julie from Nourish Balance Thrive who regularly orders head cheese from US Wellness meats. At least she is familiar with it. She was game enough to be part of our kitchen adventure of making head cheese from our lovely hog from last year. So last Sunday, we did just that!

Stay tuned for Part 2 where we document our Sunday Kitchen Nose-to-Tail Adventure!

 

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