Healing, Gluten Free, "Matzo" Ball Soup (paleo)
Recently, while visiting with my Grandma, Aunt, and cousin, we got to discussing colds, the flu, and our own versions of how to ease and heal from these ailments faster. My cousin's wife was feeling under the weather and she wanted to make something for her... something to help her feel better. My cousin asked my Aunt, "How do I make matzo ball soup?", and to that my Aunt replied, "Follow the instructions on the box!". We chuckled a bit, because we all know that when I am around, I'll likely suggest that you put a little more love, effort, and energy into making recipes from scratch so that you can control the quality and selection of the ingredients.
As a side note, I should start by telling you, I am the odd ball in my family; turning to natural solutions and providing the body with quality nutrition, to not only to aide in the recovery process, but to prevent colds (and other ailments/maladies) from occurring in the first place. While most of my extended family is very driven by conventional medicine and its approaches, I take a more holistic/functional approach to things. So most of the time I get eye rolls, blank stares, and, "oh sure's" when I start talking about alternatives to conventional approaches or even alternative ways of making things, like my version of matzo ball soup...
But back to the story... my Grandma began telling us that when she was younger, her grandmother would always make, what she referred to as, "Jewish Penicillin". This was a made from scratch (and love) matzo ball soup. She swears this soup would aide in shortening and lessening the severity of colds when she was a girl (sounds a lot like the benefits of bone broth!). This made me want to learn more about my great-great Grandmother and this special, healing soup she would make...
Great-great Grandma Dora, along with my great-great Grandfather, were the first family members on my maternal side of the family to immigrate to America. They had moved from an area called Galicia, somewhere between Poland and Ukraine. My great-great Grandma brought with her, all of the knowledge and treasures of cooking that were passed down to her from generations before her. After raising 3 children of her own, my great great Grandma, her husband, and their 2 children (my Grandma and her brother) moved in with her and my great-great Grandfather. My Grandma lived there until she was about 13. My Grandma recalls wonderful memories of growing up there, in a very family oriented home. Jewish communities were extremely family oriented at this time and my family was no exception. Every Friday night, great-great Grandma Dora would have the entire extended family over for sabbath dinner and boy did she pull out all the stops!
Great-great Grandma Dora was known to be a maven in the kitchen! My Grandma can still taste the memories of her delicious recipes as if it were just yesterday. She recalls racing her younger brother home from school, where they would try to be the first to find where great-great Grandma Dora had hidden her famous gribenes. These were fried chicken skins, today's chicken version of chicharoons or pork rinds. My Grandma also fondly recalls dishes like Rugelach ( a jewish pastry) and Kishka (a Yiddish stuffed sausage-like dish) as some of her very favorite recipes my great-great Grandma would make her. To this day, my Grandma doesn't feel she's ever tasted these dishes made as wonderfully as her grandmother made them.
Great-great Grandma Dora would make EVERYTHING from scratch, as packaged & processed foods were just being developed and not widely available to her. But one of my Grandma's most favorite dishes to have of her grandmothers, was her matzo ball soup.
In many Jewish family recipe books, you are sure to find matzo ball soup. Often, matzo ball soup is referred to as a cure-all for anything and everything that is ailing you. It is often referred to as, "Jewish Penicillin" due to its restorative properties. This leads us back to our past, when we were more in tune with the healing properties of foods and didn't turn to conventional medicine for an answer to everything. What great-great Grandma Dora was doing, was making a healing bone broth base for the matzo ball soup, adding tons of healing and nutrient dense vegetables, making a soup full of collagen, vitamins, and minerals. This food was truly used as a medicine to warm, nourish, and aide the body in recovering from all types of ailments. While I am sad to say that her exact recipe has been lost to time, I do know that her soup contained the following items that I would like to explain how/why they were/are healing ingredients:
Bone broth: contains collagen/gelatin (joint protective, restores gut health, promotes balance of good bacteria in gut, reduce join pain/bone loss, promotes skin health), glucosamine (anti-inflammatory), chondroitin sulfate (anti-inflammatory), amino acids: glycine/arginine/proline/ glutamine (promotes liver/cellular detox, promotes proper digestion, anti-inflammatory, support gut lining integrity, promotes proper functioning of immune system/healing of wounds, prevents muscle waisting),
Chicken: contains niacin (promotes healthy nervous/digestive systems, promotes energy production) selenium (anti-carcinogenic, promotes thyroid hormone metabolism/immune system function/antioxidant defense systems), tryptophan (functions to ease anxiety/insomnia/depression), vitamin B6 (helps prevent heart disease, aides in depression, eases asthma/allergies, promotes energy production), zinc (maintains healthy immune system function)
Carrots: contains beta-carotene (functions as an antioxidant, fighting free radicals, boosts wound healing), calcium pectate (can lower cholesterol), & vitamin A (aids in normal cell growth/function, promotes healthy nails/skin, & helps maintain mucous membranes). Cooking the carrots allows for more bio-available beta-carotene
Celery: contains phthalates (compound may aide in lowering blood pressure & cholesterol), apigenin (thought to have anti-inflammatory properties), the leaves contain high levels of potassium and vitamin C, both support the immune system
Onions: contains diallyl sulfide (cancer-protective/cancer-fighting), allyl propyl disulfide (promotes blood sugar balance), isothiocyanate (anti-inflammatory, decreases the respiratory congestion associated with colds, decreases the allergy driven inflammatory response), quercetin (antibacterial/anti-diabetic/anticancer/anti-inflammatory)
Garlic: contains ajoenes (anti-clotting, anti fungal, anti-carcinogenic, antioxidant), allicin (antibacterial), allyl sulfides (tumor inhibiting, promotes cancer cell apoptosis, anti fungal, antioxidant)
Radishes (found in my version*): contains vitamin C (fights free radicals as an antioxidant/promote immune system function/cancer-fighting), anthocyanin (anti-inflammatory/anti-carcinogenic/fever reducer), isothiocyanate (apoptotic to carcinogenic cells), indoles (aide in the detoxification process), contains compounds that are anti-congestive/prevents respiratory infections, contain anti-fungal/antibacterial compounds
In learning this story of my lineage, I feel akin to great-great Grandma Dora. It's possible, that my love for cooking and passion for nutrition and healing have their beginnings long, long ago, in the heart of my great-great Grandmother. Learning this story definitely makes me feel a little less like the odd ball of my family and more in touch with our history. If my great-great Grandma Dora was here to taste my version of this healing soup today, I think she would be very proud!
My version of Matzo Ball Soup, is still just as healing and nourishing as her's was. In fact, I think it is even MORE healing and nourishing (sorry great-great Grandma Dora!). This is because my recipe takes it one step further, removing the gluten, highly inflammatory oils, and overly processed carbohydrates found in the wheat flour that matzo is traditionally made from. I have made my matzo balls without the inclusion of wheat. This also makes the recipe lower in carbohydrates and perfect for those with gluten allergies/sensitivities or anyone looking to feel nourished or who might be fighting off a cold!
So let's jump right in and make a big ol' batch of my Healing Matzo Ball Soup!
This recipe is nutrient dense, lower carb, grain free, gluten free, paleo, primal, Whole30 compliant, & keto friendly!
$ What Makes this High-Vibing Food?
First and foremost, putting your own love, gratitude, time and energy into making foods at home will automatically raise the vibration of the foods/meal. This will also help to balance your sacral and heart chakras. Putting your love into the food you prepare will literally raise the vibrational frequency as love is the highest vibration out there!
You are what you eat and what your food eats. Using organic, GMO free, free/pasture raised, wild caught, minimally processed ingredients lead to an overall higher vibrational frequency. Basically, eating organic provides us extra energy currency!
This dish is rich in protein, collagen, and gelatin, which is grounding and protective. It also supports the root chakra.
Contains calcium, a key root chakra nutrient.
Contains zinc, which is needed for thousands of chemical reactions in your body involving protein, so it is also supportive to the root chakra.
Contains root veggies, which help to provide grounding energy to support the root chakra.
Contains orange colored foods. Orange vibrates at about the same frequency as the sacral chakra. So, eating orange foods helps to maintain the proper root chakra frequency.
Contains yellow/tan/golden colored foods, which help raise the body’s frequency to that of the solar plexus, helping to balance it.
Contains green colored foods, which support and balance the heart chakra.
This is a soup recipe, which links the earth and water elements, and stabilizes the root, sacral, and throat chakras.
$ Equipment Needed to Create this Recipe:
a good knife
large heavy bottomed pot
Healing, Gluten Free, "Matzo" Ball Soup
Prep time: 1 hour Cook time: 45-60 minutes Yield: 10
1 organic rotisserie chicken, meat removed and shredded into bite sized pieces
10-12 cups bone broth (find my recipe for Bone Broth HERE)
8 eggs, beaten
7 celery stalks, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced/chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
2 bunches of radishes, chopped (Keep the greens! You can make this Pesto Recipe with them!)
2 medium yellow onions, diced
4 cups almond flour, sifted
6-8 tbsp. avocado oil (coconut oil, butter, lard, or ghee will work too!) grass-fed
4 tsp. sea salt, divided
2 tsp. granulated garlic
2 heaping tsp. fresh rosemary, minced
1.5 tsp. granulated onion
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
How to Create this Recipe:
For the "matzo" ball dough: First, you'll want to make the matzo ball "dough". Combine the eggs, 2 tsp. of sea salt, 4 tbsp. avocado oil, almond flour, granulated garlic, rosemary, granulated onion, and pepper together in a mixing bowl. Mix until combined. Set the bowl into the fridge for about one hour. This will allow the matzo ball mixture to firm up, which makes them possible to roll into balls.
For the soup base: While the matzo ball mixture sets, you can start making the soup portion. Add 2-4 tbsp. avocado oil to a large heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the radishes and cook for about 5-10 minutes. I peeled my radishes, just for better pictures, as the red skin gives the broth a grey tint that didn't picture well. You do not have to peel your radishes. In fact, I suggest you don't as they are slippery little suckers!
After that, you'll add the remaining veggies and garlic to the pot. Sauté the veggie mixture for about 15 minutes, until the onions are translucent and vegetables are becoming tender. You’ll then want to add the bone broth, as well as 1-2 tsp. of sea salt (depending on taste and the salt content you want in your bone broth). Bring this to a boil. Once brought to a boil, you’ll want to grab your matzo ball "dough" from the fridge and start making your matzo balls!
Adding the "matzo" balls to the soup: If you do not have room in the soup pot, then fill a separate medium sized pot with filtered water and bring it to a boil to add the matzo balls to this pot instead. With wet hands, form tablespoon sized balls. Gently lower them into the boiling pot of broth and veggies. You can also do this with a big spoon or ladle so you don’t burn your fingers placing the balls gently into the water. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and let cook for 20 minutes. The matzo balls are done when they look like big fluffy, formed balls. If you have made the matzo balls in a separate pot, pull them out using a slotted spoon or ladle and add them to the soup
Prepping the shredded chicken meat: While the "matzo" balls are cooking, remove the meat from your rotisserie chicken and shred it into bite sized pieces Set the shredded chicken to the side until the matzo balls are done cooking.
Putting it all together: Find and remove the bay leaf from the soup. Then, add the chicken and "matzo" balls (if you used a separate pot to cook them in). Cook for another few minutes, on a low boil. And you're done!
I hope you enjoy and heal with this nourishing version of "Jewish Penicillin" :o)
Serving Size: 1 (based off of 10 servings total)
Fats: 18 g
Carbs: 9 g
Proteins: 32 g
*All nutritional information are estimations and will vary.