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Recipes for Postpartum: Broth

You did it! (Or perhaps you are planning ahead and looking to make some recipes prenatally for your postpartum period.) Either way, Congratulations!

No matter how the birth went (or will go) the transition from "maiden to motherhood" or we like to say - pregnant person to parent - is a BIG transition in all the ways. Not only is there an additional person in your family, but YOU are completely different person. Everything you experience is heightened. All your senses are turned up to high, as they need to be so you can tend to your new babe.

With all of that, you just endured the biggest marathon, workout you've ever experienced. Your body had its biggest release yet and with that comes depletion. Blood, water, calories - you name it, you used it.

One of the staples in our Postpartum Doula book of recipes is Broth. It is the foundation of Postpartum healing. It's warm, nutrient rich, relaxes your muscles, brings warmth back into your body, and literally (we think) slows down time.

In this new series "Recipes for Postpartum" we will share with you recipes that we bring into every Postpartum home. So here we go....Broth Baby!!!!!

Whether you are a meat eater or vegan, there is a broth for every type of eater. Today we will share with you 2 recipes. Beef Bone Broth and Shiitake Broth. Both wonderfully earthy, nourishing, WARM (think warm, warm, warm, foods in Postpartum), and both broths will bring you a sense of grounding and calm. Everything we need to set us up for optimal healing.

Beef Bone Broth

*Adapted from The First Forty Days

Makes 2 quarts (6-8 servings)

4 lbs beef bones (short ribs, marrow, neck, joints, whatever you can get)

1 white or yellow onion

2-inch knob of fresh ginger (unpeeled + halved)

2 leeks (white parts only, roughly chopped)

3 large carrots, unpeeled, cut into thick rounds

6 celery stalks coarsely chopped

1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar

3/4 cups of Nettles (optional)

1/2 teaspoon whole cloves (optional)

1/2 teaspoon star anise (optional)

Salt + Pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Place bones in a large roasting pan (or in an ovenproof stockpot that you'll use to cook them on the stove) Add the onions and ginger with bones to caramelize.

Roast for about 30 mins, or until bones are brown and crackly and juice started to collect on the bottom of the pan.

Transfer to a pot if you placed on a roasting pan. Add 3 quarts water, or enough to cover the bones, onion, and ginger by about 1 inch of water. Add in leeks, carrots, celery, vinegar, nettles, cloves, and star anise (if using).

Bring to a boil over high heat, skimming off any foam that rises to the top, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 - 4 hours, covered checking every so often to skim off any additional foam. The broth is done when it delivers an appealing earthy flavor.

Remove from heat, strain, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Reserve the bones to make more broth later or immediately add more water and boil bones again.

Drink warm or pour into mason jars and keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can use this broth for other soups and stews! Also, you can pour into glass mason jars or even a ziplock and freeze up to 3 months.

* To make this broth in a slow cooker, set on medium or low heat and cook for about 8 hours. Remove any fat that forms on top.

Shiitake Broth

*Adapted from The First Forty Days

Makes 2 quarts (6-8 servings)

1 white or yellow onion roughly chopped

2 leeks, white parts only roughly chopped

2 Tablespoons olive, avocado, or coconut oil

Sea Salt

2 cups shiitake mushrooms

1/2 cup dried reishi (optional)

1 cup cremini or white button mushrooms

2 strips kombu (helps with digestion + flavor)

2 medium carrots, roughly chopped

3/4 cup Nettles (optional)

4 medium tomatoes, halved, with seeds is fine

3 whole cloves garlic, peeled

1 inch fresh turmeric, unpeeled, halved

2 cups roughly chopped green cabbage

1 loosely packed cup roughly chopped parsley

2 Tablespoons lemon zest

In a pot over medium heat, brown the onions and leeks in the oil with a pinch of salt.

Rinse shiitake and reishi (if using) and cremini mushrooms and kombu under running water. Add all the mushrooms, kombu, carrots, tomatoes, garlic, turmeric, and nettles to the pot, along with 3 quarts water, or enough to cover the veggies by at least 1 inch. Cook for 1 hour over medium-low heat, covered. During the last 20 mins, add the cabbage, parsley, and lemon zest.

Season the broth to taste with salt.

Remove from heat and strain.

Store in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze in zip lock or glass mason jar for up to 3 months.

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