I've been doing really well on my journey into eating gluten free and eating real food. The GAPS diet has been a really good, extremely healing diet for my ulcerative proctitis. Ulcerative proctitis is a minor form of colitis, which is an auto-immune condition. I'm going to try and make Thursdays the day I talk about healthy eating, my weight-loss journey and anything else related to those two things :) So, pray for me, because this is something that I really believe in. It's been very healing for my body...and I hope, that in some small measure, sharing my story with all it's ups and downs, will encourage you all in some way :) :)
I'm now on Phase 4 of the Intro Diet for GAPS. I'm feeling better all the time, although I do still struggle with coffee. It is an addiction for me...a happy one, but one that is not at all good for my body. So I'm still struggling with that, but let me tell you about something totally yummy and delicious.
Homemade chicken broth/soup with vegetables is really easy to make. Prior to starting the GAPS diet, I usually avoided the kitchen. Thanks to GAPS, I've had to spend more time in the kitchen, learning how to cook real food on my own. This is how I made my yummy soup:
THIS IS A PICTURE OF THE VEGGIES I USED IN MY CHICKEN SOUP. THIS ISN'T THE BEGINNING OF THE RECIPE. I JUST LIKE THIS PHOTO BECAUSE IT IS FULL OF COLOR.
FIRST, YOU GET A SWEET, OLD DOG TO HELP SUPERVISE ALL THE MEAL PREPARATIONS. IN THIS CASE, ROSIE "HELPED" ME. THIS PHOTO WAS TAKEN AFTER THE CHICKEN WAS FINISHED IN THE SLOW-COOKER. EVEN ROSIE KNOWS REAL GOOD FOOD WHEN SHE SMELLS IT :) SHE HAS ARTHRITIS, SO SHE SITS A LOT. ROSIE ALSO EATS A LOT,BUT THAT HAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH HER DOGGIE ARTHRITIS.
FIRST, YOU NEED A WHOLE CHICKEN. I USE A WHOLE, ORGANIC CHICKEN FROM TRADER JOE'S. IT REALLY IS UP TO YOU WHAT KIND OF MEAT YOU CAN AFFORD, BUT FOR ME IT IS SIMPLE. YOU ARE WHAT YOUR ANIMALS EAT, SO I CHOOSE TO SPEND A LITTLE EXTRA FOR A NICE, ORGANIC CHICKEN. IT COMES WITH GIBLETS.
Now my chicken came wrapped in plastic. Inside, it has what looks like a chicken maxi pad covering the "butt" area to catch all the chicken juices. The giblets will be inside the bird, in a closed paper bag. Remove the giblets from inside the chicken. You will include the giblets when making your broth. The giblets have lots of good stuff for the body, plus it helps the broth to form a nice gelatin when you put it in the refrigerator.
So once you've removed the chicken and giblets from their packaging, place all of it in your slow cooker. Now add some water to the slow-cooker. You have some options here. I added six cups of purified water to the chicken in the slow-cooker. It's up to you. You can adjust the water, more or less, according to your needs and what you like :) :) I add lots of water, because it helps stretch this out for many, many meals :)
Also, add one teaspoon of either Celtic seal salt or pink Himalayan salt.
Slow-cook the chicken on "low" for 7 - 8 hours. I let my chicken slow-cook for a full 8 hours. About an hour before your chicken is finished, add some fresh, chopped garlic to taste. I add four cloves of fresh, chopped garlic. However, this time, I forgot, so I added the garlic after I had cooked the chicken and vegetables.
AFTER YOUR CHICKEN IS FINISHED COOKING IN THE SLOW-COOKER, IT SHOULD LOOK SOMETHING LIKE THIS. OH, YEAH, YOU CAN'T TELL HERE, BUT IT SMELLS SO G-O-O-D IN HERE.
NEXT, PREPARE YOUR FAVORITE VEGETABLES TO ADD TO YOUR SOUP.
While my chicken is in the slow-cooker, I like to prepare my vegetables. About 30 minutes to an hour before your chicken is done, gather your vegetables. For this particular batch of soup I used fresh, organic red onions, rainbow carrots and organic broccolo florets. Chop them up and put them in the steamer. Steam your veggies until they are nice and soft. With my steamer, I find that 35 minutes is a good amount of time. They veggies are nice and soft.
When the vegetables are done steaming, I put them in a nice, large pot perfect for soups or stews. I also added four cloves of fresh, chopped organic garlic. This should have been added when the chicken was in the slow-cooker...but I forgot. You can add the garlic whenever you like. Garlic adds a nice aroma and flavor to your cooking.
By the time your vegetables are fully cooked, your chicken should be ready. I deboned the chicken and put all the good meat into the stock/soup pot. I used a fork and knife to seperate the meat, because I wasn't interested in touching it with my hands :) :) Rosie, the dog, made sure to catch anything that fell to the floor. Nothing fell to the floor, but I did give her two small pieces of chicken. She ate it up right away.
Once you have removed all the meat from the chicken, it is time to strain the broth. I place a fine, mesh sieve over the soup/stock pot. Then I used a measuring cup and slowly strained the chicken broth. This allows you to get all that yummy, healthy chicken broth without all the extra gross bits like cartilage etc. I also added the chicken liver to the soup as well. Just chop it up super fine. You don't taste it. The chicken liver is also really healthy and good for me, so in it goes.
Now at this point, what you do, is up to you. I placed some of that fresh made chicken/vegetable soup in a bowl. Sorry that my bowl is messy...but that's real life, folks. I don't have people to wipe it up neat for photos :) You can heat everything through again if you want, too. However, it wasn't necessary, since the broth and the veggies were still hot.
What to do with the leftover soup? Well, that is also up to you. This is what I do and it works well for me.
All I do is place the extra chicken/vegetable soup in canning jars. Those jars I place in the refrigerator. I don't know how to can/put up stuff. Besides that, I eat a lot of this soup, so it doesn't last very long anyway.
To make this soup even more tasty/healing for my body, I add two teaspoons of clarified butter (ghee) and a 1/3 of a mashed avocado, and 1 tsp of sauerkraut. The avocado is something I'll usually add at dinnertime. I do the sauerkraut in every bowl of soup.
This soup is really easy to make. It's very healthy for you and it tastes super good :) :)
Why do I add clarified butter to my soup? It's a healthy fat that has all the casein elements removed. My body doesn't tolerate regular dairy very well, so I make clarified butter, which give me the best parts of the butter without the casein bits that irritate my tummy. I'll post on how to make clarified butter soon. It is really easy.
Why do I add avocado to my soup? It's another healthy fat :) :) I use an organic avocado.
Why do I add 1 tsp of sauerkraut to every bowl of soup? It is a natural probiotic.
I'm sure you all have some questions. I'm still on the learning process myself...but if you want to ask questions about why I decided to take this journey, feel free to leave questions here, as long as they're nice :) I'm not a doctor, so I cannot give medical advice. This is a choice that I made for myself, after much thought, education and discussion. It's a plan that really works for me. I would highly suggest talking with a naturopath or other medical person of your choice before embarking on any kind of new eating plan.
That's the news from California today. Love and hugs from the ocean shores, Heather :)
P.S. I'm linking up with the following blogs this week. See below for details... Also check my right side-bar for blog buttons to their sites.
Thriving On Thursdays at Domesblissity
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
Our Simple Country Life