In my second year of naturopathic medical school, I was forced to face the most difficult battle of my life to that point. The battle was with the excruciating joint pain that was standing in between me and my dream of being a naturopathic doctor. I learned that to win the battle, I would first have to surrender... at least to myself. There were so many tools that I used to help ease the pain naturally: homeopathy, anti-inflammatory herbs, gut healing, counseling, meditation, yoga, cleansing, fasting...
What, wait. Fasting?! Fasting can ease inflammation in the body?
Well, it did for me. Apparently it also did for this British Chef. And, researchers at Yale have even gone so far as to identify the specific pathway that helps to block inflammation during periods of fasting.
But, this post isn't necessarily about fasting. That one will come later. This post is what else I discovered all of those years while I was fasting: this most strikingly beautiful veggie broth.
During periods of "fasting," I will consume a small number of calories (less than 200 per day), mostly in the form of a small amount of mostly veggie juice, fiber, and this mouth-watering broth. Please, folks, don't try fasting (or any other "cleanse" or "detox" for that matter) without consulting a healthcare professional first. Not only can we help guide you so you don't hurt yourself, we also have a ton of really good "tricks" for making it a little easier and more effective along the way.
Really great tricks like this beautiful, belly-pleasin' veggie broth.
Over the years, I have discovered this broth also offers an extra dose of flavor and nutrition as an amazing base for soups. Plus, it adds that litte je ne sais quoi when replacing water to cook any grain like rice or quinoa. And beans or lentils for that matter. Shoot, I have even made a healthy variation on mashed potatoes with it before.
For those of you that would prefer not to waste all of the veggies that have had most everything sucked out of them other than fiber making this broth, then blend the veggies up and add them to your next batch soup or beans.
Or! Better yet!
Try this: mix the used veggies with some binder (like ground chai seeds or flax seeds), toss in a few extra seeds (flax, chia, sunflower, etc.), a little "flour" (like garbanzo bean, coconut flour, or almond meal), a heavy dash of Bragg's amino acids, a little spice (herbs, sriracha, or whatever flavor tickles your fancy). Use a hand blender to mix the batter well. Experiment using a dehydrator or lining a cookie sheet with parchment paper and baking at 200F for a few hours. Et voila! You have your own delicious gluten-free, vegan wraps/crackers/sandwich bread recipe.... and a great way to sneak in some extra veggie fiber.
We humans have lost the wisdom of genuinely resting & relaxing. We don't allow our bodies to heal, and we don't allow our minds & hearts to heal.
-- Thich Nhat Hahn
Strikingly Beautiful & Nutritious Veggie Broth
Prep time: 30 minutes (less if veggies are clean)
Total prep time: 15 minutes
Yields: 12-16 cups
1 - 1.5 gallons of filtered water
1 large potato (cut into small cubes)
1 medium sweet potato or yam (cut into small cubes)
1 medium red beet (cut into small cubes, including tops)
1 medium yellow beet (cut into small cubes, including tops)
2 medium carrots (cut into small cubes)
2 stalks of celery (cut into small cubes)
1 medium stalk of broccoli (cut into small cubes, including stalk)
4 cups of chopped greens (chard, kale, carrot tops, celery leaves, spinach, etc.)
Heat water in large soup pot (or slow cooker) over medium heat to a rolling boil.
Add potatoes, sweet potatoes, and beets. Cover and return to a low boil.
Add carrots, celery, and broccoli. Cover and return to a low boil. Reduce heat to medium-low.
Add greens. Cover and continue to cook over medium-low heat for 45-60 minutes, until veggies are very soft and broth is bright red.
Remove from heat and allow to cool covered for at least an hour.
Carefully strain broth using a cheesecloth. Make sure to squeeze the extra liquid from the veggies. Be careful, veggies may still be hot.
Store in a glass container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 6-8 weeks.