Saturday, June 14, 2014


I love this picture! It looks quite professional. These organic globe artichokes are from my garden. Last year I almost gave up on the plants and pulled them as they looked like they had given up. The heat and dryness during the summer in Arizona is unrelenting making it challenging to be an organic gardener in the desert. But I decided to wait it out with my two plants (or I was just too lazy to pull them out) and one day this spring I happened to look up (as they are in raised beds and the top of the plant stood over 5 ft tall) and I see 5 small artichokes peeping out. I was ecstatic. Then a neighbor told me they need about two years to mature. I'm so glad I was patient (or lazy). They ended up being quite prolific and I had to give away many. Probably due to the quick onset of heat this spring they all opened (they are supposed to be harvested while the leaves are still compact) and have already flowered, which is quite beautiful . According to the Mediterranean Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, artichokes have the highest reported antioxidant capacities of vegetables. In addition, studies have shown artichokes to aid digestion and gall bladder function, and raise the ratio of HDL to LDL. I guess I will baby them along to see if they last another year.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Homemade Chicken Bone Broth

Every year I try something new, whether it is a recipe or a process such as sprouting nuts or making bone broth. I feel it brings me and my family closer to optimal health as I learn the right way to prepare and eat food. Late last year I made my first batch of bone broth from organic grass fed beef. Definitely much messier and stinkier than chicken bone broth so I tend to do this more often. I had no idea how easy this was. No recipe either! The next time you are chopping vegetables, save the broccoli stalks, carrot tops, kale stems, beet leaves, etc in a large bag in the freezer. Buy a whole organic free range chicken (I use Trader Joe's) and cook it on low in the crock pot for about 6 hours with onions, carrots, celery, herbs, sea salt, water, and anything else you like.  I usually plan on a full dinner that evening with the drumsticks and breast meat. After I have had dinner and the chicken cools a bit I strip the carcass (using the meat in several lunches, etc), return it to the crock pot and put more filtered water in to cover it as well as the whole bag of veggie parts (no need to defrost), more sea salt, and tons of fresh herbs from my garden. I let this go on low until the next morning. I stir it and see if the bones crush easily or I will add more water and let it go longer. Then I strain it, jar it, and freeze it. It yields about 6 peanut butter jars. And I always delight in a hot cup of broth. It is so beneficial to the gut, to the discs in our vertebrae, to our eyes, and basically our entire body. Drink it, flavor any meal with it or use it as a base for soups. 'To Your Health!'