Guide to preparing your own horseradish

 

Horseradish is great for curing your colds, sinus infections, and other upper respiratory tract infections, and possibly even helps prevent cancer!

It’s easy to prepare, and it’s even easier to grow it yourself! Just pop a bit of root into the ground (yes, it’s that easy). It doesn’t matter how much of the root, or which way you put it into the ground! It will grow with sunshine and a bit of water when it’s really hot.

Beware: if you prepare your own it is much stronger than horseradish your buy from the shop. It is also much more nutritious and beneficial for your health.

Ingredients

  • 20-25cm of fresh horseradish root
  • 2 tbsp of rain or spring water
  • 2 tbsp Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

Method

  1. Open your kitchen windows and doors. Have your room WELL VENTILATED. This is important. The fumes can really hurt your eyes and respiratory tract so be very careful.
  2. Thoroughly wash all the dirt off the roots. Most people peel the root, but I don’t as there is lots of goodness in the skin too.
  3. Chop it into chunks about 5cm long.
  4. Put it in the food processor.
  5. Put the water in with the roots. Before your process it, have your vinegar ready.
  6. Process the horseradish roots until they are very small. Keep yourself at arm’s length and carefully open the lid.
  7. BE VERY CAREFUL. THIS IS MANY TIMES AS POTENT AS CUT ONIONS.
  8. Add the vinegar. This stabilises the hotness and the odour somewhat so get it in quickly!
  9. Put as much vinegar in as you think you need to get a good consistency and stabilise the heat.
  10. Carefully place the minced horseradish into jars. It keeps in the fridge for 3-4 weeks. I make a big batch of lots of small jars, and freeze it. We then enjoy it all year around until we make the next batch!

TIPS: Use it is as a condiment on roast meats, mixed through cooked vegetables, mixed through sardines as a snack, or eat a spoonful straight to cure your cold!

Bone broth- Cooking for the greatest health benefits

Historically loved

The remedial effects of bone broth have been known for thousands of years. The Chinese used it for kidney and digestive health from at least 2,500 years ago and many cultures around the world have used it also.  Bone broth is exceptionally good for you. It is great for healing and soothing the irritated or leaky gut mucosa and it boosts your immune system.

Healing nature

Mothers have been giving nourishing and healing chicken broth soup to their children forever as they all know it heals and sooths their ailing child. The curing effect of chicken soup against Respiratory Tract Infections has been found in research to be due to an increase in nasal mucus velocity, and its mild anti- inflammatory effects (Saketkhoo et al 1978 74(4):408-410). Bone broth is recommended for patients with autism and ADHD who undergo the GAPS diet with great results.

Nutrient rich

The bones, the marrow inside the bones, and the connective tissue are all full of nutrients which are extracted into the water when you make your bone broth. What is more, all these nutrients are easily digestible too. And it has been scientifically evaluated over a decade ago to confirm what all these cultures and peoples have already known. Bone broth is good!

There is lots of goodness you will get when consuming bone broth including:

  • Collagen which turns into gelatine
  • Glycine and proline (amino acids)
  • Vitamins (A and K, and Bs)
  • Glucosamine
  • Chondroitin and
  • Minerals (Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Iron, Selenium, Zinc, Manganese and Sulphur)

The benefits of consuming bone broth are many.

  • Glycine has inflammatory properties, supports the immune system, improves sleep
  • B vitamins helps your body digest fats, carbohydrates and proteins, and produce energy.
  • Gelatine, glucosamine and chondroitin support and protect and even rebuild your joints and bones.
  • It heals and soothes any upper respiratory tract infections.
  • Gelatine will also improve your skin, making is smoother, tighter and reduce cellulite.

Toxic metals

However, it is also important to consider the fact that animal bones are known to contain toxic heavy metals as well as minerals. In fact, calcium supplements are often made from bone meal, and some have been found to contain lead and cadmium too. People have wondered if consuming bone broth is detrimental due to the amounts of heavy metals that they are consuming along- side the minerals and other nutrients such as amino acids etc.  We will look at this shortly.

So, we know how good it is for us, and what benefits it will bring. If you are going to the trouble to make your own bone broth, which I highly recommend, then it is worth going to the effort to make it in a way where you get the most out of your broth.

Research examined how to cook bone broth to get the most benefits

A relevant research study was conducted by Hsu et al (Food & Nutrition Research Journal Vol 61(1):1347-478) in 2017 on exactly how to make bone broth to get the most goodness out of it. These researchers examined the extraction of heavy metals and minerals from bone broths to ascertain the risk of consuming heavy metals versus the benefits of gaining minerals.

They used 3 types of bones- pig- rib and leg, and beef. They examined cooking time, acidity, bone type and animal species.  The researchers simmered the bone broth for 12 hours. Samples were taken at intervals throughout the 12 hours and were analysed for calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, chromium, lead, cadmium and aluminium.

Acidification

The broths that had the addition of acid were found to have increased amount of all the metals extracted except for zinc and iron. The pH was reduced from 8.35 to 5.32 and in these broths, the calcium and magnesium extraction were significantly greater. Copper was also increased. However, increases for lead, chromium and aluminium were mostly not significant. Interestingly, acidification reduced the extraction of iron.

 Cooking time

The broths that were cooked for longer than 8 hours were associated with significantly greater calcium and magnesium extraction. Overall, very low amounts of heavy metals were extracted- much less than the allowable daily amounts in foods.

 Conclusion

Using different species of animal bones, and different bones from the same species yielded different amounts of nutrients. Reducing pH from 8.35 to 5.32 significantly increased the calcium and magnesium extraction and most other minerals. Longer cooking times (greater than 8 hours) extracted significantly higher amounts of calcium, magnesium and other minerals. There were minimal amount of heavy metals and these did not increase with acidification or longer cooking times.

So when you are making your bone broth, adhere to these important tips:

  • Only use organic bones to drastically reduce the amounts of heavy metals in it
  • Use chicken, lamb or beef bones
  • Use different parts of the carcass to gain different minerals
  • Add apple cider vinegar to reduce the pH
  • Cook for at least 8 hours, the longer the better. I often leave mine on for a few days and just scoop out what I need when I need it straight from the slow cooker on the bench.
  • Roast a leg of lamb or a chicken and then place the bones into your slow cooker.
  • Save any chicken drumsticks, wings, lamb chop bones etc until you have enough in your freezer. Then pop them all in the slow cooker and away you go! I always save the corn cobs and left-over veggies to chuck in also. I never mix lamb with chicken for example, but keep the species separate.
  • Enjoy the warm, nourishing and nurturing nature of your next mug of broth. Or enjoy the new richness of flavour of the next stew, casserole or soup you make with your very own bone broth added.

Make your own Bone Broth with this quick and easy guide

Bone broth is good. Enjoy!

Golden eggs- to eat or not to eat? That is the question.

Whether dietary cholesterol or egg consumption is associated with cardiovascular disease and death, remains controversial in academic communities. The impact that egg consumption has on LDLs and HDLs (serum cholesterol concentrations) has been heavily debated for years.

After reading many academic research articles on this very topic, I wish to share my unbiased conclusions.

Mortality rates decrease as egg consumption increases!

The Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Zhuang, Pan; Jiao, Jingjing; Wu, Fei et al (2020) 39(11):3520-3527) published a fifteen year-long research study with 18,914 adults, which found that the intake of cholesterol from eggs, was inversely associated with a total mortality count. As the egg consumption increased, the mortality rates decreased! The people whose diet included non-egg cholesterol sources, was positively related to total mortality. So eating other sources of dietary cholesterol did increase death rates. They concluded that egg consumption is associated with a lower total mortality among the Chinese population.

Another study in the USA found no significant association between egg consumption and mortality in US adults. There were 37,121 people studied for approximately 15 years (Peng-Fei, Xia; Xiong- Fei Pan; Chen Chen; Yi Wang et al  (2020) Journal of American Heart Association 9(10):1-11).

So if you want to live longer- then eat eggs!

Eggs provide many beneficial nutrients and decreases your serum cholesterol concentrations.

Song WO (Journal of American College of Nutrition (2000) 19(5):556S-562S) conducted a cross-sectional, population-based study to assess the nutritional significance of eggs in the American diet and to assess the association between egg consumption and serum cholesterol concentrations. Over 27,000 people were divided into either ‘Egg Consumers’ or ‘Non-Consumers’. The daily intake of all nutrients except for dietary fibre and B6, was significantly higher in the Egg Consumers than in the Non-Consumers. Eggs contributed many valuable nutrients to the diet including folate, Vitamin A, Vitamin E and B12. The Non-Consumers group had higher rates of inadequate intakes for B12, Vitamin A, Vitamin E and Vitamin C. Dietary cholesterol was found to be unrelated to the serum cholesterol levels. The Egg Consumers who ate four or more eggs per week had significantly lower serum cholesterol concentrations that those who ate one or less eggs per week. Higher egg consumption was negatively associated with serum cholesterol concentrations.

So eating more eggs will lower your cholesterol and give you lots of great nutrients!

However, in another study, a meta-analysis was conducted including 17 randomly controlled studies, and it was found that people in the ‘More Egg Consumption’ group had higher LDL/HDL ratio (cholesterol) than the control group. It is important to note that this study was very short covering only two months. They did not state how many eggs were consumed daily in the ‘More Egg Consumption’ group either (Li MY, Chen JH, Chen C, Kang YN Nutrients 2020 12(7).

Whilst this study had significant limitations, I do not think eating bucket loads of eggs is good for you. Moderation is the key.

What about your blood pressure and your risk of having a stroke when you eat eggs?

Well, a study by Abdollahi and Virtanen et al (2019) in Finland with 1,950 men aged between 42 and 60 years old found that the diastolic blood pressure was lower in the group with the highest egg consumptions (The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 110(1):169-176). Dietary intakes, blood pressures and stoke events were recorded. Neither egg nor cholesterol intakes were associated with stroke risk in this group.

So it looks like you are at no risk of having a stroke by eating eggs either.

In conclusion, eating eggs as part of a healthy diet will provide you with many beneficial nutrients, lower your cholesterol, lower your chances of death, lower your diastolic blood pressure and not increase your chances of having a stroke. My family and I love eating fresh, farm eggs straight from the chooks’ nests.

Eating organic, truly free- range eggs is a wonderful addition to your diet.

 Try my Eggs in a Nest recipe here. Enjoy!

Eggs in a Nest recipe

This dish is a wonderful way to eat veggies with your breakfast! The dark leafy greens provide lots of nutrients including folate. This is especially good if you have MTHFR gene mutations. Couple that with a one or two Vitamin/ Mineral Pills (AKA eggs) and you have yourself a very nutritious breaky. ENJOY!

 

 

 

 

Sari’s Eggs in a Nest

Go here for the printable Eggs in a Nest Recipe. 

Ingredients

  • Organic butter, nob to melt
  • Bunch of spinach, silver-beat or kale (any dark leafy greens work well), chopped finely
  • Organic, free range eggs
  • Garlic cloves to taste (1-2)
  • Sea salt

Method

Melt the butter in a pan.

Add garlic and stir and cook for 30 seconds.

Add the finely chopped dark leafy greens and stir and cook until they are wilted to your liking.

Poach a couple of eggs so they are still runny.

Pop the greens on your plate, and add the poached eggs to the top- Eggs in a nest!!

Optional extra: lightly saute finely chopped onion in the butter with the garlic,  before cooking the dark leafy greens.

GARLIC: The Stinking Rose of Mirth

With winter just around the corner, now is the time to start dosing yourselves and your loved ones up with GARLIC!  Garlic is one of my favourite medicinal foods. Not only does it taste great, it is incredibly good for you too. This short article will introduce you to some of the wonderful health benefits of adding garlic to your diet, as well as how to best eat and grow garlic!

Common cold/ immune enhancer

There are a plethora of studies demonstrating the immune- enhancing effects of garlic. One randomised study separated 146 participants into either the placebo group or the treatment group for 12 weeks over winter (Josling 2001). The treatment group were given allicin containing garlic supplements. The allicin group had significantly less colds than the placebo group. The placebo group also had significantly more days with viral symptoms, and significantly longer duration of symptoms. Garlic (particularly allicin) significantly lessens ones chance of getting colds in the first place, and then increases recovery time (Josling 2001). Now’s the time to start eating it as a healthy daily habit!

Cardiovascular and metabolic benefits

Not only an immune enhancer, but garlic is also widely recognised to have significant cardioprotective benefits. Numerous scientific, clinical studies have shown that it is a wonderful preventative and treatment for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. These include hyperlipidaemia, atherosclerosis, thrombosis, hypertension and diabetes (Banerjee  & Maulik 2002; numerous research articles cited in Bayan et al 2014). In other words, garlic has been shown to lower blood pressure, prevent atherosclerosis, reduce blood cholesterol and triglycerides, prevent blood clotting, and help break down blood clots (Chan et al  2013).  These are big killers in western nations, and to think that our common garlic can help significantly! To prevent such illness, all you have to do is eat it! For high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes etc garlic supplementation is required via tablets.

Antibacterial

Most people today attempt to stay healthy by preoccupying themselves with staying clean from germs. However, you are fighting a losing battle, as germs are EVERYWHERE- around, on and IN you! It is better to keep your body strong and healthy so the ‘bad’ germs don’t take hold! Eating garlic, the natural antibiotic, is one of the best ways to do this.

Many studies have proven that garlic is effective against numerous gram-positive, gram-negative and acid-fast bacteria. These include Salmonella, E. Coli, Pseudomonas, Proteus, Staphlococcus aureus, Klebsiella, bacillus subtulis, clostridium and helicobacter to name a few (numerous research articles cited in Bayan et al 2014). So not only can you prevent getting sick from bacteria in the first place but you can treat it with garlic also. Yes, even the antibiotic resistant bacteria such as gram-negative types. Impressive.

 

Cancer prevention

Moreover, there are numerous epidemiological research studies demonstrating the link between a decreased risk of cancer (especially stomach and colon cancer) and garlic consumption (Fleischauer & Arab 2001; Bayan et al 2014). With cancer as one of the top causes for death in Australia, simply adding it to your daily diet is worth it!

Other impressive benefits

If cardioprotective, immune-enhancing and cancer preventative properties aren’t enough to convince you to eat it regularly, there are many other benefits too. It has also been shown to be antifungal, antiviral, antiprotozoal, anti-tumour, and help treat diabetes, cardiovascular and liver toxicity (cited in Bayan et al 2014). The selenium contributes to heavy metal and chemical detoxification by the liver. Wow! I often use it in clinic to treat ear infections, respiratory infections, hypertension, candida, parasites and many other acute infections.  Book in to heal your body naturally this winter.

Best way to eat garlic

The best way to eat garlic is to crush it, let it sit, and eat it! The organosulfur compounds in crushed garlic are attributed with the beneficial health effects (Schafer  & Kaschula 2014). Eating it both cooked and raw offers the numerous benefits. But however you eat it, make sure you crush it first to activate the allinase enzymes. Then let it sit for up to 10 minutes to allow the enzymes to convert the allin into allicin to get the most medicinal benefits. Allicin will then form the benefical organosulfur compounds.

Eat one crushed garlic clove a day (2-5g) for wonderful, preventative health benefits.  Add crushed garlic to oil dressings raw, crush it into your soups, stews, casseroles, or roasts either before serving, or during cooking.  Eat it raw sometimes, and other times eat it cooked so as you maximise the health benefits of your health-promoting, garlic consumption.

What does garlic contain?

One close of garlic contains: 7 calories, 0.31g protein, 0.01g fat, 1.5g carbohydrate, 1.4mg calcium, 10mg phosphorus, 0.07mg iron, 0.9mg sodium, 26mg potassium, 0.01mg BI, 0.004mg B2, 0.02mg niacin, 0.75mg C and trace amounts of selenium. It also contains the much sort after alliin and allicin, the sulphur compounds that are incredibly health promoting. Much more than a spice, this medicinal food is powerful!

Grow your own garlic

Growing a garlic crop each year is one of my favourite veggie patch activities. Much of the Australian garlic is imported and has been treated with chemicals. You can void this by growing your own or buying organic.

Garlic needs to be planted in autumn so it has the cold winter months to form the heads. We planted ours last week. Simply break apart the heads into single cloves. With the pointy end upwards, push each single clove into the soil about 4-7cm deep. Water and weed as needed. Apply comfrey tea or other organic liquid fertiliser during spring to ensure a huge healthy crop of garlic.

Garlic varieties store from between 5 and 12 months. We enjoy our home grown, organic garlic all year round, until we harvest our next crop at the end of the year.

Take home message

Eat a clove of fresh, organic, raw or cooked garlic every day to help prevent cardiovascular disease cancer, bacterial infections, viral infections, and overall enhance your immune system. Eat lots of garlic if you have a cold or flu for a speedy recovery this winter. Eating garlic as part of a well balanced, fresh healthy diet will go a long way to helping you live a healthy and happy life.

Book in to see Sari when your next acute illness strikes. You may be prescribed garlic!

I love to receive comments, so please do so below.

To the ‘stinking rose of mirth’!

 

Happy healing,

Sari.

 

For references go here