Liver and Pears

High quality organ meats are one of the best foods to introduce to babies starting around 6 months. Chicken liver and beef liver purees were at the top of the list as my babies’ first foods. Now that my babies have sprouted toddler tastebuds, I’ve adapted the to include the sweetness of chunky, juicy pears. This is also an incredible way to introduce organ meats to someone who has never had them. The amount of sweetness is easily modifiable by adjusting the amount of pears you add.

Click to view my Babyfood Liver Pate recipe perfect for first foods starting at 6 months.

For more on why this is a perfect first food, read my article on 6-9 month feeding practices.

Chicken liver’s nutrient density wins in nearly every category but tops the charts for iron, zinc, and choline. It’s the most nutrient dense food your baby could eat, second to mother’s milk. Pears add a healthy dose of fiber along with vitamin C, which boosts the amount of iron that’s absorbed from liver…a true pair.

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I like to save a small jar in the refrigerator for immediate use, and then freeze the rest into mini-muffin molds and freeze along with the rest of my baby food stash.

Liver and Pears

  • Servings: 16, one ounce servings
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

Liver and Pears

  • 1 lb high quality organic, free-range chicken livers
  • 1/4 cup bone broth, chicken broth, or water
  • 1 ripe organic pear, cut into chunks, divided (I prefer d-Anjou or Bartlett pears)

Directions

In a small saucepan, bring livers, broth, and HALF the pear chunks to boil, then reduce to simmer for 14-16 minutes, stirring occasionally. The juices from the pears will begin to seep and help add liquid and sweetness to the livers. Use an instant read thermometer to check the internal temp of the liver has reached 165 F. Transfer livers and pears to high-speed blender, and puree until creamy, whipped consistency is achieved. 

Scrape liver mixture into a medium bowl and mix in the remaining pear chunks so there are visible pear pieces within the liver pate. Reserve a single serving of liver and pears to use within 1-2 days, or transfer the remaining into silicone sections or muffin tins and freeze in small portions until ready to use.

Photos and Content Copyright © Jaclyn Beaty Nutrition, 2020


Summer’s Sweetest Superfoods

Anything in a popsicle shape is like contraband to my kids. Now that summer cranked up the heat, I’ve been stocking my freezer with popsicles made from left over smoothies. This is one of my sneakiest childhood nutrition tricks, and it takes zero additional prep time if you’re already in the habit of smoothie making.

  • Step 1) Make a smoothie
  • Step 2) Pour it into a popsicle mold

Don’t have popsicle molds? Grab some Dixie cups and wooden popsicle sticks and let them stand on a flat surface in the freezer to harden.

The best part of these treats is that they’re loaded with fiber, fat, and protein which is the holy trinity of fuel for little bodies. They get to choose which color they want, and even if they didn’t love the smoothie when first served at a breakfast, there’s no debating they will suddenly love it when it’s offered outside as a cool down treat.

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Since all my smoothie recipes contain at least one, if not more, vegetables, kids get a healthy dose of antioxidants and phytochemicals in a fun-to-eat snack. Below are the links to all my favorite smoothies along with their sneaky vegetables:

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Photos and Content Copyright © Jaclyn Beaty Nutrition, 2020


Carrot Zinger Smoothie

I rarely crave smoothies outside of breakfast time, but this is one exception. Some afternoons I need a flavorful pick-me-up, and this makes my cells sing. Because of this wild world we’re living in with a global pandemic and everyone on edge with their health, I developed a recipe that speaks directly to some immune supporting nutrients that may add protection against COVID.

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Food is medicine, and here is how it’s applied in the defense of COVID:

  • Turmeric- Turmeric contains curcumin, thought to be an herbal therapy against COVID. It is highly anti-inflammatory. When inflammation is down, the immune system is up. Its antimicrobial properties can target viral respiratory infections like bronchitis, influenza, and coughs….sound familiar, 2020? Turmeric also acts as a natural pain killer to help ease body aches from illness.
  • Ginger- This root is another anti-inflammatory spice that acts as an antimicrobial. Microbes can be either bacteria or viruses. COVID is a virus. Fresh ginger has been known as a remedy for RSV and bronchitis, both of which are also viruses (although bronchitis can also be bacterial). One study showed ginger may provide a therapeutic option alone for respiratory and airway conditions such as asthma.
  • Carrots– Carrots contain beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A. Your body burns through Vitamin A during times of illness (don’t believe me? test your night vision next time you’re sick!). Vitamin A is ONLY found in animal products. You may be thinking, “wait, I thought my canned pumpkin said 130% of vitamin A?” That label is assuming that under the perfect circumstances, with the perfect genetics, with the perfect nutritional mechanisms, you COULD convert the amount of Beta Carotene in that can of pumpkin into that much Vitamin A.  Most of our bodies aren’t walking around in a state of nutritional perfection though, so we aren’t getting what that label promises.  All the more reason to get daily sources of rich orange/yellow produce in the diet. Vitamin A is also a fat soluble vitamin, which is why I added:
  • Coconut Oil- This medium chain triglyceride is insta brain fuel and also helps bind to turmeric and vitamin A to help increase absorption and assimilation. Turmeric and vitamin A are both dependent on fat to help them get into the blood stream and work their magic. Coconut oil is another antimicrobial ingredient in this smoothie.
  • Oranges and lemon– Some countries are brilliantly using mega doses of intravenous vitamin C as a treatment for Coronavirus. While the modest amount of vitamin C in a few citrus fruits would be a small drop in the bucket compared to the massive dose of C that is actually proving to be treat the disease, the oranges and lemons in this smoothie will build a foundation for sustainable immune support.

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As with all smoothies, add the hardest/most dense ingredients at the top for the most efficient blending (frozen fruits, ice cubes, or in this case, raw carrots). Liquids always go at the bottom.

Any left overs can be made into popsicles as a standby for if you end up coming down with a fever or sore throat and don’t have much of an appetite. Or, you could always enjoy your popsicle in perfectly good health and dream of sunshine on a island, because we could all use a tropical escape right about now too!

Carrot Zinger Smoothie

  • Servings: Four, 8oz servings
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

Carrot Zinger Smoothie

  • 1 1/2 cups non-dairy liquid of choice (coconut milk, coconut water, almond milk, etc)
  • 2 large oranges, peeled, or 4 small clementines/Cuties
  • 1 lemon, peeled
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2-3 Tbsp seeds of choice (hemp hearts, chia seeds, or flaxseeds)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger (or less if you want a little less zing to your zinger)
  • 1 teaspoons turmeric (or less if you’re building up an acquired taste!)
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-2″ pieces

Optional: add a scoop of collagen powder, bone broth protein powder, protein powder of your choice. I don’t use protein powders with my kids, so we’ve settled on protein coming from the hemp seeds in the recipe above.

Directions

Add all ingredients in the order given and blend in high-speed blender. Remember all frozen or firm ingredients should always go last into your blender for the best blending.

Refrigerate left overs in sealed glass jars for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3-6 months in popsicle molds or glass mason jars.

Photos and Content Copyright © Jaclyn Beaty Nutrition, 2020


Pizza Frittata

This is my quickest meal to get dinner on the table in no time. It’s a low-carb dish that tastes remarkably similar to a deep dish pizza to go. This frittata is hearty, saucy, and cheesy, although you can easily omit the cheese if you prefer a dairy-free version. Although any oven-proof skillet will work, I’ve made it multiple times, switching between a well-seasoned cast iron and a stainless skillet. Both work great, however the cooking time can be shortened in the cast iron.

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Add your favorite vegetables, just as you would with your favorite pizza. For me, it’s always bell peppers and onions. Toss on some mushrooms, meat, tomatoes, or olives if you wish. You can’t go wrong. Serve it up with a side salad for a well-rounded dinner. There is around 20 grams of protein per serving, so it’s a meal that will keep blood sugar levels steady through the night!

Pizza Frittata

  • Servings: 8 slices
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

Pizza Frittata

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/3 onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup nitrate-free pepperoni, cut in strips
  • 10 eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon each oregano, basil, and sage
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup jarred pizza sauce

Directions

Preheat oven to broil. In a 10-inch oven proof skillet, heat oil until shimmering. Add diced peppers and onions, cooking until soft and translucent. Add pepperoni. While peppers and pepperoni are cooking, beat eggs separately in a medium bowl. Add salt, pepper, and herbs. Pour beaten eggs into skillet and sprinkle cheese and sauce on top, continuing to cook on stove top over medium heat for about 3 minutes, until eggs are halfway cooked.

Transfer skillet to oven and broil until the top is set, just before eggs begin to brown. Check with instant read thermometer to ensure eggs have cooked to a safe temperature of 160F. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.

Photos and Content Copyright © Jaclyn Beaty Nutrition, 2020


New Fashioned Pancakes

A few modern swaps on this famous family legacy have made these pancakes a gluten-free, protein packed breakfast that is a weekly requirement in our house. The original recipe for “Old Fashioned Pancakes” may have something to do with using old fashioned oats, but I like to think it had more to do with soaking the oats overnight in buttermilk…an old fashioned process that my mom and grandma probably didn’t realize how ahead of their time they were as pioneers of overnight oats, now making a trendy resurgence on every pinterest page you see.

Overnight oats (oats soaked in milk, preferably nondairy) are a great source of resistant starch. Resistant starch is not digested in the small intestine and ends up fermenting in the colon. This increases good bacteria and decreases bad bacteria. Resistant starch also reduces the amount of glucose, or sugar, released, lowering how much insulin is needed to digest it. A friendly food for those with diabetes (or with kids, who seem to have blood sugar crashes often)!

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To make the magic happen in these pancakes, I use kefir to soak the oats. Kefir is a fermented dairy product, so the lactose sugar is consumed during the fermentation process. I make my own kefir using a SCOBY, but you can easily use store-bought kefir, just make sure it is plain and unsweetened. Using kefir makes them extra fluffy!

It’s so easy to enhance the flavor of these with blueberries and bananas. Throw a few tiny fruits on these before you flip them and it gives it natural sweetness.

Pancakes

New Fashioned Pancakes

  • Servings: 12-18 pancakes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

New Fashioned Pancakes

  • 2 cups plain, unsweetened kefir
  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats

(Set these overnight in the fridge in a glass bowl)

In the morning add:

  • 1 cup gluten-free flour (I like Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup melted butter

Optional: Fruit like bananas, blueberries, diced apples, or strawberries

Directions

The night before you plan to make these, mix the kefir with oats and store in a glass container in fridge. In the morning, mix together flour, sugar, soda, cinnamon, eggs, vanilla, and butter, and add to oat mixture. Stir until well combined.

Cook on a griddle or non-stick pan on medium/low heat. Use a teaspoon of coconut oil if desired to prevent sticking before pouring your batter in the griddle. Using a measuring cup, drop about 1/3 cup of batter onto the hot skillet. Drop fruit into batter before flipping. Flip after edges get bubbly, about 4 minutes/side. These take longer to cook than normal pancakes.

Photos and Content Copyright © Jaclyn Beaty Nutrition, 2020


Molasses Spice Cookies

Iron-rich molasses, heaps of anti-inflammatory spices, and protein from almond butter make this cookie a reasonable, yet sweet, holiday treat. Growing up, my mom’s famous molasses cookies were an unspoken part of every Christmas. This recipe was an easy one to re-invent, using my Sneaky Snickerdoodles as a starting point, simply swapping out the maple syrup for molasses and tossing in a few more spices. The result is crispy on the outside, gooey on the inside, and now a new part of my Christmas!

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Although molasses isn’t considered a refined sugar or among the “white devils” it still contributes a fair amount of sugar in these cookies. They are sweet enough without frosting, but if you are serving these to anyone with a hole in their sweet tooth, this egg nog buttercream frosting is a delicious addition. These no longer keep the cookie dairy-free or refined sugar-free, but it does make it look festive!

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Egg Nog Buttercream Frosting (Optional)

  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups powered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons egg nog
  • Dash nutmeg

Mix all together in a mixer until sugar is dissolved and frosting looks glossy. Spread a thin even layer on top of cookies and sprinkle a dusting of nutmeg to decorate.

Molasses Spice Cookies

  • Servings: 18 cookies
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

Molasses Spice Cookie Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups almond flour or almond meal
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup almond butter*
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon all-spice
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

*Runny almond butter is best! A jar is usually the runniest when newly opened. If you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel on your almond butter, add an additional 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil to the recipe.

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer bowl, add all ingredients in the order given. Mix just until all ingredients are incorporated.

Scoop 1 inch round balls of dough onto prepared cookie sheet. You may choose to roll them in your hands or use a cookie dough scoop for more consistency. Using the bottom of a glass jar or cup, flatten the balls into round cookies, about 1/4″ thick.

Bake for approximately 10 minutes. If you like a gooier cookie, pull them out sooner, around 8 minutes. Transfer to a wire wrack to cool completely. Store them in a tightly sealed container for up to a week in the refrigerator or 3-6 months in the freezer.

Photos and Content Copyright © Jaclyn Beaty Nutrition, 2019


Orange Dreamsicle Smoothie

If I told you the truth that this smoothie was inspired by my daughter’s leftover frozen babyfood, promise me you won’t hit Back on your browser?  I had loads of left over frozen butternut squash puree that I threw into a smoothie one day. The result was creamy, flavorful, and glycemic-balanced with a flavor reminiscent of the Schwann’s man push pops from the 90s (are those still a thing?). To me, it’s not a smoothie if it doesn’t have a veggie. I’ve used both the butternut squash cubes from the natural foods freezer and the spirals found in the main freezer section. The mild taste of butternut squash blends right in to the creamy orange flavor, but I encourage you to experiment with your favorite brightly colored fruits and veggies:

Yellow/orange vegetables: butternut squash, acorn squash, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, carrots

Yellow/orange fruits: peaches, bananas, mangos, papaya, cantaloupe, oranges, clementines, pineapple, lemon

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Orange Dreamsicle Smoothie

Orange produce is usually loaded with Beta Carotene, a pre-courser to Vitamin A. Your body burns through Vitamin A during times of illness (don’t believe me? test your night vision next time you’re sick!). Vitamin A is ONLY found in animal products. You may be thinking, “wait, I thought my canned pumpkin said 130% of vitamin A?” That label is assuming that under the perfect circumstances, with the perfect genetics, with the perfect nutritional mechanisms, you COULD convert the amount of Beta Carotene in that can of pumpkin into that much Vitamin A.  Most of our bodies aren’t walking around in a state of nutritional perfection though, so we aren’t getting what that label promises.  All the more reason to get daily sources of rich orange/yellow produce in the diet.

Orange Dreamsicle Smoothie

  • Servings: Four, 8oz servings
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

Orange Dreamsicle Smoothie

  • 1  cup non-dairy milk of choice (almond, coconut, or oat milk)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice (or 2 Tbsp of frozen OJ concentrate)
  • 2 large oranges, peeled, or 4 small clementines/Cuties
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 Tbsp seeds of choice (hemp hearts, chia seeds, or flaxseeds)
  • 1 cup cooked or frozen butternut squash
  • 1 cup frozen mangoes
  • Small handful of red raspberries (see note)**

Optional: add a scoop of collagen powder or this Vega Tropical Tango Smoothie powder for bonus protein. I don’t use protein powders with my kids, so we’ve settled on protein coming from the hemp seeds in the recipe above.

**Adding just a few raspberries enhances the color, taking it from a dull yellow to a bright orange. It’s an optional step, but an aesthetic one that helps picky eaters who eat with their eyes first. About 5-7 red raspberries is enough to do the trick!

Directions

Add all ingredients in the order given and blend! Remember all frozen food should always go last into your blender for the best blending.

Refrigerate left overs in sealed glass jars for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3-6 months.

Photos and Content Copyright © Jaclyn Beaty Nutrition, 2019


Baby Feeding Practices for 6-9 Months

A baby’s palate is a blank slate at birth and taste buds and preferences are developed by exposure. Introducing a deep and wide variety of nutrient dense foods early and often will help shape taste buds and set a firm foundation for good health. I cringe every time I hear the phrase “food before one is just for fun.” I couldn’t disagree more. Food before age one sets the stage for a strong immunity, academic success, and physical strength. Here are some of my feeding practices I value for the sensitive period of time within the 6-9 month window:

1. Nutrient Density at the Forefront

Introduce solids with the most nutritiously-dense foods. Shocker; that’s not refined white rice cereal! This study of US babies by Dr. Nancy Krebs shows babies fed meat as first foods grew faster and showed fewer nutrient deficiencies than babies who started on rice. Rice cereal has traditionally been recommended as a first food because it’s fortified with synthetic iron, a poorly absorbed form that can also cause constipation.  Furthermore, babies don’t have sufficient pancreatic amylase, the enzyme needed to digest starch until around 2 years of age. Any starches consumed would be digested from small amounts of salivary amylase in the mouth, but what remains passes through the GI system undigested, where an underdeveloped gut lining remains leaky until 12-18 months until closure occurs.  This leaky gut, nothing short of brilliant design, allows antibodies from mother’s milk to pass into the blood stream and develop the immune system. Rice has also been making the headlines for containing arsenic, causing unnecessary burden on little bodies. Human milk is the perfect food to sustain life for 6 months, and the second food should be equally as superior in nutrition, and that’s why I chose bone broth and organic chicken liver as super-star starters. This article from the Weston A. Price foundation says liver contains more nutrients, gram for gram, than any other food. Now THAT’S the nutrient density I’m talking about!  Liver offers heme iron, which is a much more bio available form, along with vitamin A, choline, and zinc that are vital to a baby’s growth. I started with 3 days of spoon-fed bone broth liquid before including pureed chicken liver + bone broth. Quality and source are critical when it comes to selecting livers. I find grass fed organic liver at our local health food store and also the farmer’s market. I have offered both chicken and beef liver, and while both are nutrition superstars, chicken liver has a slight edge because of its milder taste and higher iron content. If cooking liver is new to you, follow my easy recipe for pureed chicken liver.

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2. Nutritional Diversity from Vegetables

There are so many different vegetables waiting to be introduced that I have easily been able to offer a diverse variety of veggies without getting stuck on repeat or offering fruit. I plan to introduce fruit closer to 9-12 months and will avoid straight-up fruit purees. Palates can begin to favor a preference for sweet foods so quickly, and it’s often a fight to retrain them. Savory and bitter foods early help develop a preference for these foods as they grow.

Below is a spectrum of color, and also spectrum of nutrition for great first foods. These are easily pureed and frozen into mini-muffin tins for later use. Both of my babies have been big eaters and it’s not unusual to go through 3-4 of these discs a day at this age. This stash disappears in a hurry!

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3. Don’t Fear the Fat

Babies are born with about 15% body fat and it continues to pack on until around 9 months when it plateaus at around 25% fat. There’s a reason. Around 50-60% of a baby’s energy expenditure gets burned up in a quickly developing brain. Fat stores on the body help supply the brain with the nutrition it needs to learn at an escalating rate.  There’s a reason breastmilk is considered whole milk and is the greatest source of DHA known to man! I vary the following fats into veggie purees to also help absorb the baby-loving fat soluble vitamins A, D, and K. (Note: 1/4 teaspoon Cod Liver Oil and 1 teaspoon of Pumpkin Seed Oil are given consistently at bedtime each night along with a baby probiotic)

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Pictured left to right:

  • Flax oil
  • Unrefined cold-pressed virgin coconut oil
  • Pumpkin seed oil
  • Ghee
  • Cod liver oil
  • Organic Peanut Butter*

*This is a controversial debate, but one I feel strongly about introducing early and often to avoid potential peanut allergies. The AAP recently changed their stance on this too, recommending peanut butter as early as 4-6 months (more on that here).

Other foods not mentioned above that are offered regularly are:

  • Soft boiled free-range egg yolk. Quality matters with everything, but I’m especially conscious when it comes to eggs. Free-range organic eggs are best. Egg yolk is the best food source of Choline, a vital nutrient for brain and immunity development at this age. Egg whites are more allergenic, so try to avoid getting any white fragments in the mix. I fry eggs in ghee and spoon-feed the yolk.
  • Sauerkraut juice. This is so rich in vitamin C and probiotics- the perfect immune booster!
  • Hummus. Single serving store bought hummus cups are a super easy grab-and-go food. This is a much healthier on-the-go option than the squeeze snack pouches that are filled with pasteurized produce mush usually older than the kids.
  • Mashed avocado. This is not something that I keep in my frozen stash because it’s so easy to mash fresh when I’m making avocado toast for my older kiddo.
  • Spices! Don’t be shy on the flavor. You don’t like bland food- why would your baby?

Remember to introduce foods slowly, waiting 3-4 days at a time before introducing new foods to monitor for allergic reactions.


Salmon Chowder

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The first chill in the air means chowder on the stove. The is a perfect dinner for cold nights, and it makes a lot so we’re always able to invite an extra guest to our table. It’s creamy, flavorful, and hearty. Canned salmon can be replaced with fresh filet, however it’s so easy to find wild-caught Alaskan salmon on the shelves that it’s hard to pass up the convenience and cost of canned.

Salmon Chowder

  • Servings: 12 Servings
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

Salmon Chowder

  • 3 Tablespoons ghee (sub butter unless dairy free)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups diced potatoes
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 2 (16 ounce) cans salmon, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 (15 ounce) can creamed corn
  • Shredded cheddar cheese (optional, otherwise the chowder is dairy free)

Directions

Melt butter in a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Saute onion, celery, and garlic until translucent and tender. Stir in broth, potatoes, carrots, salt, pepper, and dill. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Once potatoes and carrots are soft, stir in both cans of drained salmon, breaking apart large pieces. Add in coconut milk and creamed corn. Top with cheese if desired.

Serve with green salad and corn bread for a delicious filling winter dinner!

Photos and Content Copyright © Jaclyn Beaty Nutrition, 2019


My #1 Trick for Not Getting Sick

Raw garlic + honey is the safest and most effective magic pill against illness. It’s nature’s best display of “food as medicine” and its potent medicinal properties will battle anything from colds, flu, viruses, or infections. Two raw garlic cloves have the same antibacterial strength as one dose of antibiotics, but without the gut-harming effects of it!

Since I’ve learned of this trick a few years ago while going through the Culinary Nutrition Expert program, I’ve eaten more raw garlic than I care to admit. Anytime I’m around someone who has been sick, or feel like I’m getting sick, I preemptively take a spoonful of chopped raw garlic with local honey. I won’t say it’s good, but I will say it WORKS! At the risk of jinxing my luck, I have never taken this and proceeded to get bed-bound sick. I also believe it has shortened the duration and severity when I have ended up coming down with something.

Don’t just take my word for it, science has confirmed it too. There are a few keys to make the medicinal magic happen:

  1. The garlic must be RAW, FRESH, AND CHOPPED. Don’t pull a clove out of your freezer, don’t use garlic powder, don’t use minced garlic from your fridge. Get it in the most natural, fresh state. Garlic come from the sulfur family along with onions and leeks. The potent gases these give off (like the gas from onions that make your eyes water) are the same health building compounds that fight illness.
  2. Chop the garlic and let it stand for 10 minutes. The main compound in garlic that gives its signature scent is allicin. When garlic cells are disrupted either by chopping, chewing, or crushing, it releases allicin. The key is that it must sit for allicin to further activate two stronger constituents in garlic; ajoene and alliin. These are strong antioxidants and have been found to affect immune responses in the blood. Ajoene has broad-spectrum antimicrobal properties and has even been studied in it’s effectiveness at treating athlete’s foot, lukemia, HIV and has been shown effective at inhibiting tumor growth and decreasing blood pressure. Talk about fighting fire with fire… and here we are just hoping not to catch a cold.
  3. Add honey. Honey alone acts as an antiviral, antimicrobial, and antioxidant. When paired with the potency of garlic, the two powerhouses work synergistically to fight whatever stands in its way. It also mellows out the heat of garlic so makes it palatable even for the faint of heart. Quality matters when it comes to honey, so buy local. Many of the generic plastic honeybears you buy in grocery stores are watered down stickyness shipped from China.

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I also layer my illness prevention with a few other foods that serve as natural medicine. In my “medicine cabinet” during flu season you will likely also find the following:

  • Bone broth
  • Elderberry syrup
  • Lyposomal Vitamin C
  • Turmeric (golden milk) tea
  • Probiotics
  • Fire cider
  • Sauerkraut
  • Cod liver oil

Here’s to good health and a dose of nature’s strongest medicine.