As I get into the colder parts of the year, my activity level goes down as my consumption of rich foods goes up. I love the hearty warming foods but sometimes I end up feeling a bit sluggish. By mid-November, I find myself missing salads from the garden but also not really wanting to eat cold foods. Then comes Thanksgiving! After the feasting, my body wants a break from heavy food.
One of my favorite solutions for dealing with the heavy feeling post Thanksgiving is drinking Bieler’s broth.
Bieler’s broth is a simple blended vegetable soup that is incredibly nutritious and supports detox. It is sometimes referred to as a “green smoothie” but I think this representation is misleading. Bieler’s broth is a warming, cooked food and much easier to digest than blended raw vegetables.
The broth is named after Dr. Henry Bieler, a turn-of-the-century physician who penned the book, Food is Your Best Medicine. Dr. Bieler was an early pioneer of using food as medicine and an explorer of the role that diet plays in disease. His broth was crafted to support the acid/alkaline and sodium/potassium balance of the body, increase nutrient density, and support detox.
This year, as fall rolled around, I wanted to break out the broth. There was one hitch though. Since July I have been following the AIP (autoimmune protocol) a paleo-based elimination diet that has been shown to be helpful for those who deal with autoimmune disease. One of the exclusions in my diet has been beans, including green beans (one of the primary ingredients in Bieler’s broth). So, I started experimenting with modifications that are AIP compliant.
Below you can check out my Bieler’s broth recipe with modifications for AIP compliance. I sub out asparagus for green beans. Nutritionally, both these veggies are rich in minerals, are alkaline, and have high levels of folate. From a cooking perspective, the asparagus is also high in fiber and blends well which helps the overall texture of the broth.
· 2-3 medium to large zucchini sliced
· 5 stalks of chopped celery
· 3 cups of either green beans (normal) or asparagus (AIP compliant)
· 1 cup of parsley with stems removed
· 4-6 cups of filtered water (enough to just cover the chopped vegetables in the pot)
· Sea salt to taste (about 1 tsp)
· Chop zucchini, celery, and asparagus and put into a large stock or soup pot
· Pour filtered water into the pot to just cover the vegetables
· Heat the water until it is simmering and cook for about 20 minutes. The vegetables should be soft.
· Once veggies are soft, turn off the heat, add the parsley, and cover for 5 minutes.
· Use a blender or immersion blender to puree (if you use a blender, you may need to do a few batches)
· Add salt to taste
This makes 4-5 servings of broth. It keeps well in the refrigerator for about a week.
It is best if heated up rather than consumed cold.
Depending on your preferences and what you are eating the broth for, you can make all sorts of modifications.
You can adjust the ratio of the vegetables to fit your taste or make the mix thicker or thinner.
You can use it as a base for a soup that has meat and other non-blended vegetables.
You can use alternative squash like patty pan, butternut, or kabocha.
You can add additional herbs and spices like ginger, garlic, cilantro, or cumin to spice it up.
You can add bone broth or hydrolyzed collagen to make the soup more nourishing and protein-rich (By adding broth or collagen, the mixture becomes less alkaline and detoxifying but more filling and nutrient-dense.
The possibilities for modification are endless and all end results are nourishing and delightful. Personally, I like to sip it from a mug first thing in the morning as a gentle and nourishing way to get my digestive system going. It also helps me feel super cozy.
I hope you will add it into your routine this winter to support detox, hydration, and nutrient density!