Kombu: The SECRET to a Healthier Broth

Kombu: The SECRET To A Healthier Broth

There are many benefits to broth and it is something that everyone who wants to be well-nourished should incorporate in their lives on a regular basis. It is so simple to make and provides us with a whole host of nutrients including gelatin, which helps to strengthen our gut so we can absorb those nutrients effectively. It makes the most sense to get as much nutrition into our broth as possible, and adding kombu is one of those ways that we can add nutrients that are typically low in our diets.

What is Kombu, anyway?

Kombu is a type of seaweed that is widely used by the Japanese for making a variety of dishes including soup. Kombucha is actually the name of their kombu tea, although more recently it has been adopted for the fermented tea which is quickly gaining in popularity.

How would I use it?

It is very easy to use kombu to improve the nutrient content of meals. It is sold in a variety of ways including dried and powdered. The dried strips can easily be added to foods cooked in water like beans and stock–they actually help to tenderize beans! Kombu has a pleasing flavor and can enhance the taste of rice and other things cooked with it. It provides additional nutrients to broth including iodine, which many people are deficient in. All you do is add the strip of kombu, bring to a boil, reduce heat and leave the strip in for 15 minutes.

Why Would I Do That?

Many people underestimate–or are unaware of–the benefits of seaweed. Some just do not like the taste so have a hard time incorporating it into their diets. Others may actually be unable to digest seaweeds and suffer gastrointestinal issues from ingesting it. Extracting the nutrients into broth makes it easy to take advantage of the health boost sea vegetables have to offer. Liquid nutrition is easier for anyone to absorb and especially those with gut issues. It adds great flavor so it is also not something to shy away from if you don’t like fishy or green tastes!

What Are The Health Benefits Of Kombu?

This sea vegetable is a natural source of glutamic acid which can enhance flavors with an umami taste, as well as improve brain, muscle and prostate function. Kombu contains fucoidan which protects us from radiationIt is high in minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and iodine. It contains a compound called PLG that reduces the risk of blood clots. Studies have shown it has an ability to decrease LDL cholesterol levels, possibly because of its anti-inflammatory properties–it is a great source of a variety of antioxidants including vitamin C and E. It even has anti-viral properties!

Kombu’s Claim To Fame–Iodine

Iodine is one of the most beneficial properties of seafood and sea vegetables, and kombu has one of the greatest concentrations. Iodine deficiency is increasing despite the use of iodized salt, which isn’t healthy anyway. This mineral also helps to prevent cancer and goiter. It has antibacterial properties and is helpful in the fight against chronic diarrhea and bacterial overgrowth such as H. pylori. It aids in detox by ridding the body of heavy metals and chemicals such as chlorine, bromide and fluoride. Some of the signs of iodine deficiency include hormonal imbalances, dry skin, hair loss, constipation, and even fertility issues. Getting our iodine from natural sources ensures that we get the co-factors needed for our bodies to use it properly.

Kombu is obviously one of the Japan’s best kept secrets. Generations of Japanese have added kombu to their foods for improved flavor and nutrition. Adding kombu to your broth can help to improve your health and decrease your chances of cancer, diabetes, thyroid problems, anemia, and mineral deficiencies.

Easy, Peasy, Homemade, Probiotic-Filled, Chunky Tomato Salsa

Chunky Fermented Salsa

There are times when I’m in the mood for salsa. It mostly happens at lunch or dinner. Sometimes it happens randomly and I just have to have a bite. I used to buy salsa in stores, but since discovering how EASY it is to make, and that I can benefit so much more from eating it raw and cultured… it’s really, really, really hard to go back. Well, it’s not really hard, but I have no desire to.

You will find an abundance of antioxidants in raw tomatoes. These antioxidants are harmed by heat, so keeping them raw means you’ll benefit the most. The redder, the better! Tomatoes are good for your skin, preventing cancer, repairing cell damage, regulating blood sugar, lowering blood pressure, improving eyesight, reducing cholesterol, and so much more. Find more benefits by clicking here.

Cilantro and onions have great benefits, too. All the ingredients in salsa do, actually. Studies show that due to their antibacterial properties, eating cilantro leaves actually fights against Salmonella. It works better than the antibiotic gentamicin. It also helps with detoxification. (Source)

Onions are high in sulfur, which aids in detoxification and fighting inflammation. The antibacterial properties of onions are quite noteworthy, as they fight against multiple strains of bacteria. Strep mutans is one strain of bacteria it fights against, commonly known as the bacteria that causes cavities. It also fights against several strains of bacteria that lead to gum disease. Eating onions is the smart thing to do to protect your teeth, bones, skin, nails, gut, brain, cells and more. Many of their benefits are lost when cooked or left to sit out for too long. For this reason, raw onions are a necessity and protecting them from light and oxygen is very important, too. My favorite ways to enjoy raw onions are in salsas, guacamole, and on top of burgers. (Source)

How do you like your salsa? I love mine to be fresh, flavorful, chunky and spicy. I did not turn the heat up all the way for this recipe; however, that can be easily remedied by keeping in some Jalapeno seeds or by adding crushed red pepper or powdered cayenne.

Chunky Probiotic Salsa

Homemade Fermented Chunky Tomato Salsa Recipe (Makes 2L)

Ingredients
8 Cups freshly diced tomatoes (roughly 3.5-4lbs)
2 cups freshly diced onions
1/2 bunch freshly chopped cilantro
4 jalapenos
Juice of one lemon
1/4 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt
Caldwell’s starter (optional, recommended if vegetables are not organic)

Directions

1. Dice 8 cups worth of tomatoes.

2. Dice 2 cups worth of onions.

3. Chop 1/2 a bunch of cilantro (Approx 1 cup worth, loosely packed).

4. De-seed and chop 4 jalapenos (feel free to add in seeds if you want yours more on the spicy side).

5. Add vegetables to a medium mixing bowl.

6. Juice 1 lemon and add to mixing bowl along with vegetables.

7. Add the cilantro and salt to vegetables and mix well with a wooden spoon.

8. Add Caldwell’s starter and mix in if desired.

9. Using a funnel, add all ingredients to a 2L jar. Use wooden spoon to pack down. Tomatoes should produce enough juice to meet with choppped ingredients. They do not need to be fully submerged.

10. Ferment for 18-24 hrs, then store in fridge.

What are some of the things you enjoy eating tomato salsa with? Leave a comment to let me know, I’d love to hear your ideas!

The Best Burgers You’ll Ever Have (GAPS & Paleo friendly!)

Best Burgers You'll Ever Have

Really good burgers are a must-have in life. I was a little hesitant about sharing this recipe, because maybe someday I’ll own a popular real-food burger joint. However, I think it might be a little criminal not to share!

Every single person who has been lucky enough to try this recipe has loved it, regardless of how they’ve used the patties. Some have had them on regular store-bought buns. Sometimes I make delicious sourdough buns. I usually enjoy mine as a part of the best salad ever. And we’ve varied the toppings, from simple romaine, tomatoes and additional onions to fancy schmancy with homemade guacamole, grass-fed cheddar, bacon, fermented pickles, homemade french fries on top or plantain chips on the side, etc. These burger patties are quite versatile, and did I mention how tasty they are yet? *big grin*

This recipe can be frozen before or after cooking to make life easier. It can also be cooked on the stove top. A cast iron grill pan works nicely for that, and works pretty well without additional oil. If additional oil is needed due to a lower fat beef or meat, tallow works very well.

This recipe is also very forgiving and you can adjust spices to suit your tastebuds. This is how we enjoy them most, and I do usually add a bit extra of everything other than salt since we Jamaicans LOVE LOVE LOVE lots of flavor!

SUPERFOOD TIP: Blend up a couple ounces of liver and mix in with your ground beef. It will give your burgers a more complex flavor and a considerable nutrient boost!

Best Burgers Ever GAPS Paleo Friendly

The Best Burgers You’ll Ever Have Recipe (Serves 4-6)

Ingredients
2 lbs ground beef
1.5 tsp salt (Buy Himalayan pink salt here)
1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley (or 1 tsp dried)
Leaves from 3 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried)
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 a medium onion, minced finely
2-4 garlic cloves, minced finely
A shake or two of pepper, optional (I like white and crushed red peppers)

Directions

1. Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix well. I find it easiest to just mix with my hands.

2. Form eight burger patties of equal size.

3. “Fire up the barbie”, grill to perfection and enjoy! (Hint: Click here for grill scrapers that will make clean up a breeze!)

What’s your favorite way to eat your burgers? I personally LOVE burger salad!