Food

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It might seem like everyone around you is coming down with a cold- so it might seem like a better idea to stay home and watch House of Cards for the rest of your life. That sounds lovely. If you figure out a way to do that, let me know. In the mean time, I have a homemade herbal remedy that will boost your immune system and help fight off germs. Behold – the Fire Cider. This tangy tincture includes garlic, horseradish, hot peppers, onions, turmeric and apple cider. All the ingredients, finely chopped and combined in a mason jar, stand and ferment for about two weeks. The strained liquid is called Fire Cider. It is one of nature’s strongest antibiotics as well as an anti-fungal and anti-viral remedy.

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A couple of words about the natural properties of the ingredients:

Apple Cider – a good source of vitamin C and acetic acid. It contains mineral salts, amino acids, helps with digestion and washes out toxins. (If you read my Bone Broth recipe, you know the importance of using apple cider to draw out nutrients from other foods).

Garlic – treats high blood pressure, high cholesterol, fungal infections, and helps regulate blood sugar. It is also great for boosting the immune system.

Onion – an anti-inflammatory and beneficial to cardiovascular health.

Hot Peppers – anti irritant properties. They can help digestion, ease allergies, prevent migraines and speed up metabolism.

Ginger – reduces inflammation, stimulates circulation, and inhibits rhinovirus – which causes the common cold. It also benefits the intestinal tract and may prevent stomach ulcers.

Horseradish – has antibiotic properties, helps relieve symptoms of water retention, and treats sinus infections, urinary tract infections, and bronchitis.

Turmeric Powder – boosts immunity, helps maintain normal cholesterol levels, puts the brakes on aging, is anti-inflammatory, and has beneficial effects on arthritis, allergies, asthma and even cancer.

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Now the taste of Fire Cider may at first be surprising. It has a strong kick to it and the first unsuspecting spoonful made my eyes water. Personally, I happen to love the apple cider vinegar taste and the potency makes it seem like the germs and bacteria are burning away. Start with a tablespoon a day, and slowly work your way up to a small 1 oz shot. Take once daily as a prophylactic and immune strengthening aid. Increase intake slightly if you are actually under the weather, but remember to still work your way up to the full dose. Bottoms up!!

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Recipe:

4 cups organic apple cider (raw is better if you can find it)IMG_3401

¼ cup finely chopped garlic

½ finely chopped onion

¼ cup grated ginger

¼ cup grated horseradish

2 fresh hot peppers (habanera, or cayenne work well)

2 tbsp turmeric powder

Preparation:

 IMG_34021. Combine and mix all ingredients (except for vinegar) in a bowl.

2. Transfer the ingredients into a Mason jar, and add apple cider vinegar.

3. Place a piece of parchment paper over the jar, before placing the lid on. This will prevent rusting.

4. Shake vigorously.

5. Place the jar in a cool place, and let stand for at least 2 weeks. Make sure to give it a good shake a few times a day.

6. After 2 weeks, strain the liquid using a metal strain.

7. Refrigerate in an airtight container. The tonic will last for up to 6 months.

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DIYBONEBROTHCOVER

At my annual LA Friends Thanksgiving a few weeks ago, one of my friends gently shamed me for wanting to throw out all the bones from our delicious turkey. “You can make bone broth out of them!” she said. What? How would I go about doing that, and why do I want to do it? Also, isn’t that gross?

If you are a New Yorker, standing in line of trendy Brodo restaurant, waiting for your to-go cup of bone broth – you already know what all the hype is about. If you’re just hearing about bone broth for the first time, like me, let me tell you why this magic sustenance will be your favorite go-to brew.

Bone broth is made by slowly cooking bones with small amounts of meat, vegetables and aromatics in a large batch of water. It is similar to stock, but is made over a longer period of time (sometimes upwards of 24 hours), thus allowing the natural ingredients from bones – electrolyte minerals, amino acids, gelatin, collagen, and bone marrow, to leech into the broth.

The first records of bone broth being used, come from the 12th century, when Egyptian physicians prescribed it as a remedy from colds and asthma. Bone broth is easily digested, and when made from organic chicken, contains natural antibiotics. Ever wonder why you crave chicken soup when you’re sick?!

It has been shown that consuming a cup of bone broth a day helps reduce inflammation of stomach lining, thus is a great option for when your tummy is feeling under the weather. On top of that, the readily-available nutrients and amino acids in the broth strengthen your immune system and nourish the body. Many people claim that consuming bone broth on a daily basis helps with allergies and autoimmune diseases. And you did hear that I said bone broth contains gelatin and collagen, right? That means stronger hair and better, more elastic skin, as well as stronger nails and teeth.

I have made bone broth from both the left over turkey bones and from organic beef bones that I bought at my local Whole Foods (who knew they sold those?!). I make sure to get organic, free range chicken, turkey or beef. Everything from the bones gets cooked into your broth, so you want to make sure you are eating a healthy animal. I was afraid the broth would taste a little funky, but I have to say using bones from an already cooked or roasted meat makes for a great taste. If you get raw bones from Whole Foods or your butcher, roast them in the oven at 350F for 30 minutes before putting them in the broth. I prefer making the broth in a slow cooker. That way it can be left alone to do it’s thing, and I don’t have to use my gas stove.

BONE BROTH RECIPE:

2 pounds bones, gizzards, skin
1 onion roughly chopped
3 carrots roughly chopped
2 stalks of celery roughly chopped
1.5 Tbs apple cider vinegar
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
1 bunch of Italian parsley (add during the last 30 minutes of cooking)
1 Tsp whole peppercorns
2 Bay leaves
Salt to taste after the broth is finished.

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1. Cover the bones and gizzards with water. I use a 5-quart slow cooker, so that’s about 4.5 quarts of water.
2. Add apple cider vinegar, and let sit for 30 minutes. This draws the nutrients out of the bones.
3. Cook on high for about 2 hours, periodically removing the impurities that rise up to the top. When the broth is brought to a boil, change settings to Low, take the gizzards and skin out of the broth. Remove the bones, taking the meat off them, then return them to the pot. Add onion, carrots, celery, peppercorns, bay leaf and garlic, cook on low for 22-24 hours.
4. 30 minutes before finish time, add the parsley to the broth. This adds an extra kick of nutrients to the broth.
5. Strain the broth over a metal mesh strainer, discarding the bones and vegetables. You can add some more salt to taste at this point. Let the broth cool to room temperature. By that time, there should be a layer of fat at the top. Skim the layer off for a fat-free bone broth! Now store in the fridge for up to 6 days, or freeze for later use.

If made correctly, the broth will become gelatinous while in the fridge. I like to drink the broth hot from a cup, with a dash of turmeric. Turmeric is another anti-inflammatory agent, that’s supposed to be fabulous for your health. So far, I have found the broth to be quite filling, I have it as an in between meals snack sometimes. And my agency did say that my skin looked really good. So, what are you waiting for? Go try it!!

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First it was kale, then quinoa, now it’s all about the chia seeds! And here’s why: Chia seeds have long been used by Mayan and Aztec cultures for energy, hydration and their nutritional benefits. Chia seeds are naturally gluten free, contain calcium, omega 3, protein and antioxidants. They can absorb 12 times its weight in water, aiding in hydrations for athletes and us regular folk during the hotter months. Chia seeds are now being used as nutritional supplements, an aid in appetite and as energy boosters.

If you’ve never used chia seeds before, have no fear, here are 5 super fun ways to get started with this amazing super food.

 

Salad

salad

 

 

Put the seeds in some water, drain the water off and leave in a glass container for 2-3 days. Every 12 hours rinse with water, and drain the water off. After the seeds have sprouted, add them to your salad!

 

SMOOTHIE

 

 

  • 2tbs chia seeds (soaked previously, or straight out of the bag)
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 ripe banana
  • handful of spinach
  • ½ cup of frozen berries ( I use blueberries or strawberries)

Blend until smooth and enjoy!

 

pudding

 

 

  • 5 tbs chia seeds
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (can substitute soy or coconut)
  • 2 tbs cocoa powder a bit of natural sweetener such as honey or agave

Put the ingredients in a mason jar, mix thoroughly and leave in fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight. I like to try and mix the pudding every few hours to avoid the mixture clumping together. Eat for breakfast, or as a yummy desert!

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Just in time for upcoming fall holidays, here is a yummy gluten free, mineral and omega 3 packed Pumpkin desert, borrowed from purelytwins.com.

  • 1 medium ripe plantain (7oz or 200g once peeled)
  • 1 cup pumpkin (8oz)
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar (1 1/4oz)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (1oz), liquid

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Place all dry ingredients into a bowl, whisk the ingredients. Next peel your plantain and puree in a food processor or blender. Once pureed add into dry ingredients bowl. Stir till all combined. Add in pumpkin puree and coconut oil. Batter will be a little thick. Grab your pan and scoop your batter into each hole. Or into your 8 inch pan.I lightly oiled my pan with coconut oil. Bake for about 20 minutes or till toothpick comes out clean.

 

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yRXjJzIEfvae2to5tnF5#CE6B00Don’t forget where it all started! Chia seeds have been used to grow funky pets for years, who knew all this natural mineral packed goodness was right under our noses… on top of a bald mans head!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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