Bieler’s Broth: a Healing, Restorative Soup Recipe

Bieler's broth | pamela salzman

It’s good to be home. I had the loveliest holiday break, but it’s good to be home. Even though I knew I was coming back to two weeks worth of mail to sift through, groceries to buy, meals to plan, piles of laundry to wash, it’s all good.

As I’ve mentioned several times, I am not much on detox diets or cleanses after the holidays even though they are all the rage. I notice a lot of people overdo it even more between Thanksgiving and New Years knowing they will “cleanse” it all off starting January 1. Eh. If you just try eliminating sugar and flour for a few weeks, your health will improve drastically. You don’t need to give up real food and sip juice for a week. But that’s just my opinion.

Bieler's broth | pamela salzman

However I do want to share an amazing, healing and very digestible soup recipe called Bieler’s Broth. This soup is nothing new. In fact, it has been around for decades, invented by a doctor named Bieler. The soup is vegan and all vegetable-based. It is not a culinary soup in the sense that it is so delicious that you would want to serve it to your friends at your next dinner party, but more of a medicinal soup.  It tastes absolutely fine though, just a little bland.

According to Sally Fallon in her book Nourishing Traditions, Dr. Bieler felt that this combination of vegetables was ideal for restoring acid-alkaline and sodium-potassium balance to organs and glands, especially the sodium-loving adrenal glands which suffer under stress.  The broth is also supportive for liver function — recall that the liver is our detoxifying organ.  Bieler’s broth is highly recommended for those under stress or suffering from stress-related conditions.  Know anyone stressed out?  Yep, I thought so.

Bieler's broth | pamela salzman

When I have had a lot of travel combined with a chaotic schedule and less than desirable eating, I’ll make a big batch of Bieler’s broth every few days and drink a mugful either as a snack during the day or with my breakfast or dinner. I don’t function well without protein and fats, so I can’t use this as a meal replacement.

I always notice a big improvement in my overall wellbeing after supplementing daily for 2 weeks with Bieler’s broth. I made a batch yesterday which should last 3 days and I’ll make another batch on Thursday to get me through the weekend.

Bieler's broth | pamela salzman

I know that the vegetables in Bieler’s broth are not in season in the winter. I am normally opposed to that, but in this case it’s just temporary. Be sure to buy only organic vegetables since this is supposed to be a healing soup and pesticides will just add more toxins to the body. Also, zucchini is now a common GMO crop, so buying organic ensures you will be buying non-GMO.

Bieler's broth | pamela salzman

Here’s hoping 2016 is off to a healthy start for you. If you’ve gotten off on the wrong foot, it’s never to late to start fresh. Do check out the dinner planner I started posting on Sundays!  It will change your life to plan out your meals.  Promise!

4.9 from 19 reviews
Bieler's Broth: a Healing, Restorative Soup Recipe
Serves: 2 quarts
  • 4 medium zucchini, ends discarded and zucchini sliced into rounds
  • 1 pound string beans, ends trimmed
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1-2 bunches parsley (flat-leaf or curly), tough stems removed (you can freeze the stems for stock making)
  • 4 cups water
  1. Place all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Skim any foam on the surface, lower the heat and simmer, covered until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Puree soup in the pot with a handheld blender or in a blender in batches.
  3. Eat warm.
I usually make this twice in a week and that will make enough for me to have a bowl every day.


How to Poach Chicken

how to poach chicken | pamela salzman

There are a few basic techniques I think are worth knowing how to do, such as scrambling eggs, cooking rice, and making a versatile salad dressing among other things.  In that category, I also include poaching chicken (if you eat chicken obviously.)  I thought this was a good time to do a refresher on this technique since back to school has made many of us desperate for make-ahead meal tips and fodder for school lunches.  Enter poached chicken.

how to poach chicken | pamela salzman

Poached chicken is very easy to do and provides limitless options for meal planning.  It is delicious in chicken salad, with mixed greens or grains and a vinaigrette, in enchiladas or quesadillas, in a sandwich or wrap, and so on.  Poaching is probably the cleanest way to cook chicken, since we avoid the formation of carcinogenic compounds that are created when we grill and sear, or cook animal protein for long periods of time at high temps.  Read this article if you would like to learn more.  So if you’re going to eat animal protein, steaming, poaching and low temps are the most healthful ways to go.

how to poach chicken | pamela salzman

If it’s so much better to poach and steam chicken, why don’t we do it all the time?  Because unfortunately,  it’s not as flavorful as searing and roasting.  All those crispy brown bits, albeit carcinogenic, are tasty.  So once in a while, it’s a good idea to change it up a bit.  And if you’re looking for cooked chicken to add to meals, try poaching.  We’ll add some extra flavor by including onion, garlic, salt and pepper to the poaching liquid though.

how to poach chicken | pamela salzman

Poach some chicken on a Sunday and have it for a couple of days’ worth of lunches and dinners during the week.  You can also freeze poached chicken, wrap it well in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and use it within 3 months.  This week I will also share one of my favorite salads using poached chicken.  Stay tuned!

how to poach chicken | pamela salzman

how to poach chicken | pamela salzman

How to Poach Chicken
Serves: about 4 cups of chicken
  • 2 large bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, about 1 ¾ pounds+
  • ½ small onion, peeled
  • 4 large garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 Tablespoon additive-free kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  1. Place the chicken in a saucepan with the onion, garlic, salt and peppercorns and add water to cover.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the chicken is just cooked through, about 25 minutes.
  3. Allow chicken to cool in the poaching liquid.
  4. Remove the skin and bones and slice, shred or cube the meat to use as desired.
  5. You can place the bones back in the poaching liquid with some fresh chicken parts and some carrots and celery and simmer very gently to make a stock. Click here for how to make chicken stock.


DIY Vanilla Extract and a Gifting Idea

how to make vanilla extract | pamela salzman

Is it too early to start thinking about the Christmas holidays.  Absolutely.  Do I do any of my holiday gift buying before Labor Day?  Under no circumstances.  I might have my meal plan figured out for the week, but I’m the mom on Halloween morning looking for electrical tape to try and make a Bat Man costume.

But, I do have a great idea that you can do now for holiday gifts or holiday baking — DIY vanilla extract!  Why am I talking about this now after I just said I don’t plan for the holidays this far in advance?  Because although vanilla extract takes minutes to make, it requires about 6 weeks to sit and brew.  Still a little early to think about this, but lots of holidays are coming up and I will not be thinking about making vanilla extract in November.  #thanksgivingtrumpsall

My assistant Lauren gave me a bottle of homemade vanilla extract last year for Christmas and I was absolutely delighted to receive it.  First of all, I just love homemade gifts, especially homemade food gifts!  And vanilla is something I use a lot of, so I was really grateful to be given something so good AND useful.  I love the essence of vanilla in baked goods and desserts.  In fact, I think it’s one of those ingredients that has a natural sweetness to it without actually containing a sweetener.  Just an FYI, even if you don’t make your own vanilla extract, do read the ingredient label on commercially-prepared ones.  Somehow manufacturers are allowed to use the word “pure” on the label while adding things like corn syrup solids.  So troubling.

Recently, I had Lauren provide me a little tutorial on making vanilla extract and give me all her sources for labeling and making these look so cute.  Here’s what you’ll need:

split the vanilla beans | pamela salzman

Grade B Vanilla Beans:  Grade B beans are best for extract as they are too dry for cooking, but still are high quality in taste and flavor.  We used  3/4 of a pound of these Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans.  Bourbon, by the way, refers to the island of Bourbon in Madagascar, not the alcohol.  Bourbon vanilla is the most flavorful of all the vanillas and what I use for all my baking.

Vodka: Vodka used because it has no flavor, as opposed to other other alcohols.  You don’t need to buy the best vodka to make vanilla extract.  Any mid-level 80-proof vodka will do.  Figure on spending about $15-20 for a 1.75 liter bottle.  We used 2 bottles.
Large glass jar:  This is to brew the extract.  We used this gallon kombucha jar which was $10 on amazon.
For gifting, there are obviously hundreds of options, but here is what we used in the pictures on this post:
Glass bottles: I like the idea of gifting 4 ounce bottles since that is a standard size for vanilla extract.  These are the bottles we used which as you can see are dark glass.  Clear glass is fine for brewing, but for long term storage, dark glass is better since light is no friend to extracts.  In general, is a great source for lots of different bottles.
hoemmade vanilla extract perfect for holiday gifts | pamela salzman
Labels:  I love the labels Lauren used.  It makes the gift more personal and printable labels are especially nice if you don’t have nice handwriting. These Avery kraft square labels were found on amazon.
baker's string | pamela salzman
String: Not necessary, but I use this baker’s string for many gifts from my kitchen.  I think it’s adorable.  Red is perfect for the holiday, but there are lots of pretty colors available.

Here’s what you do:

1-2 months before you want vanilla extract, prepare the batch.  I like the ratio of 4 whole vanilla beans to 8 ounces of vodka.

Split the vanilla beans lengthwise and place them in the large bottle.  Cover the beans completely with vodka.  Secure the lid on the bottle and swirl it around a bit.  Store at room temperature for 4-6 weeks, the longer the better.  It will darken as time passes.  The batch above has been sitting for 6 weeks.

When you transfer the extract to smaller bottles for gifting, add the beans to the bottles as well.  As you use the extract, just keep adding a little vodka to replace what you took out.  Vanilla extract lasts indefinitely.  You can also take vanilla beans from which you scraped the seeds and add them to vanilla extract in the works.

Store finished extract in the pantry (not the refrigerator) away from light and heat.

Have any of you made other extracts?  I think I have the extract-making bug!

Whipped Coconut Cream Recipe

whipped coconut cream | Pamela Salzman

This has not turned into a dessert blog, I promise.  I haven’t really kept track of what I was posting here and I just realized I have been a little out of balance lately.  I promise to post a few Mexican recipes next week in anticipation of Cinco de Mayo.  But since I posted a picture of this fluffy cloud of coconut cream last week on instagram, my cooking class students have been begging me to share how I made it.

Trader Joe's coconut cream

I love how popular coconut products have become.  I remember when I first started teaching cooking classes about 6 years ago, people were a little skeptical about using coconut oil, despite all the health benefits.  Now, these same ladies are rubbing on their faces at night and cooking their pancakes in it.   So awesome.

whipped coconut cream

Coconut whipped cream is something I’ve wanted to master for a while.  I’m sure you have realized by now I adore anything coconut, and I also don’t digest pasteurized cow dairy all that well.  So being able to enjoy a whipped cream made from coconut would be a GAME CHANGER for me.

whipped coconut cream

It seemed simple enough.  Chill a can of full-fat coconut milk overnight.  Scoop out the fat that firmed up at the top of the can, leaving any liquid behind.  Whip it like heavy cream until soft peaks form, adding sweetener if desired.  But unfortunately, not all coconut milks are alike and even within the same brand, not all coconut milks separate they way they need to, leaving me on more than one occasion with a puddle of coconut  milk .  I did some research and learned that sometimes stabilizers are added to help the coconut milk become more uniform and blended, which is exactly what you don’t want if you are trying to turn it into whipped cream.

whipped coconut cream

I actually gave up on this dream until I spotted a can of coconut cream at Trader Joe’s.  This is literally just the cream from the coconut milk.  Light bulb!  I brought the can home and stuck it in the refrigerator until the next day.  I chilled my mixing bowl and the whisk attachment, too.  Voila!  I was so delighted to open that can (BPA-free, mind you) and scoop out the hardened coconut cream.  Success!  With very little effort I was able to beat this into a light and fluffy whipped topping.  This is something to rejoice if you are dairy-free or vegan!

I do think this tastes very much like coconut, though.  So if you’re not a coconut fun, this recipe is not for you.  I love it with fresh or roasted berries, on pie, or as part of a banana split.  Really, anywhere you’d use regular whipped cream you can also use coconut whipped cream.  Let’s just not do a nose-dive into the bowl since it is still super high in fat and calories.  Enjoy!

whipped coconut cream

Whipped Coconut Cream
Serves: makes about 1½ cups of whipped cream
  • 1 can coconut cream (not coconut milk)
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • optional sweetener to taste: 15 drops of stevia or 2-3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
  1. Chill the can of coconut cream in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  2. Chill the mixing bowl and beaters or whisk attachment to your mixer for about 20 minutes or longer.
  3. Turn can upside down and open the bottom. If there is any thin liquid (it should only be about a tablespoon or so), pour that out and save it for a smoothie. Scoop out all the hardened cream (it should be waxy, almost like Crisco) and place in the chilled mixing bowl. Start beating on high speed and add vanilla and sweetener if desired. Beat until soft peaks form, about a minute and a half. Serve immediately.
  4. If you have leftovers, cover and refrigerate and rebeat to make fluffy again.
I used Trader Joe's Coconut Cream, but Native Forest is also good and the cans are BPA-free.

Unsweetened Slow Cooker Applesauce Recipe (oven version, too)

unsweetened slow cooker applesauce | pamela salzman

I don’t know about you, but we love having both cranberry sauce and applesauce on Thanksgiving and always the homemade kind.  It’s my tradition every year on the Sunday before Thanksgiving to make a huge pot of both and my house smells amazing.  When my kids see the huge pile of apple peels on the counter and smell the cinnamon-y sweetness in the kitchen, they start to feel the holiday spirit.

the secret is using a variety of apples

The last two years my friend Caitlin has brought her delicious homemade applesauce for Thanksgiving, so I didn’t make any.  But the kids and my husband have missed tasting it fresh and warm out of the pot when I cook it from scratch, so I decided to make some a few weeks ago and boy, did they all go crazy for it.

peel, quarter and core the apples

The recipe I love is by everyone’s idol, Ina Garten, also known as the Barefoot Contessa.  I have made that applesauce many, many times, and not just for Thanksgiving.  It has a deep, rich apple flavor because the apples are roasted in an enameled pot low and slow in the oven.  Although over the years, as I have become a little more health conscious, I started to make small changes to her recipe, such as eliminating the butter and sugar, and still turned out a most tasty applesauce.  A couple of weeks ago, Mr. Picky asked me to make applesauce and I thought it might be fun to try it in the slow cooker.  Major success!!  I think I will make applesauce in the slow cooker every time, forever and ever and ever.

before cooking

I think the key to making a tasty applesauce is my same secret (not such a secret really) to making the best apple pie is using many varieties of apples.  I also think you can get away with using no added sweeteners if you choose mostly sweet apples, as opposed to tart ones.  If you typically buy unsweetened applesauce at the store, I am sure you will think this recipe is perfectly sweet enough.  I always try to use as little sugar as possible in fruit desserts because I think you taste more of the fruit flavor than just a bland sweetness.  For this particular batch I used Pink Lady (my favorite), Honeycrisp, Red Delicious, Arkansas Black, Fuji, and Granny Smith.  You don’t have to use that many different kinds of apples, but make sure you use at least three varieties.

remove the peels and the cinnamon sticks and stir

Unless we just met, you know how much I love prepping in advance and thinking ahead, especially when it comes to holiday entertaining.  And even though I always made my applesauce the Sunday before Thanksgiving, guess what?  You can freeze it.  I know!  Amazing.  Today is a great day to go out and buy a ton of apples and make this.  Although it only makes 6 cups and I am very sure there’s no way it will last you until the big day because you and your loved ones will want to devour it.  We love it plain, especially warm, but it’s also awesome on pancakes and French toast, with yogurt and granola, and on poultry.  Mmmmmm!!

unsweetened slow cooker applesauce | pamela salzman


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If you give this recipe a try, snap a pic and tag @pamelasalzman so I can see your beautiful creations. I also really appreciate readers taking the time to leave a rating and review! Subscribe for free to my site for the latest recipes,  updates and things I’m loving lately.  If you enjoy this recipe, I taught it last year in my online class!  Give me an hour a month, and I’ll make you a better, healthier cook!

5.0 from 3 reviews
Slow Cooker Applesauce
Serves: makes 6 cups
  • 6 pounds of apples (use several different varieties and try to use more sweet apples than tart)
  • the peel from a small lemon (use a vegetable peeler to take it off and try to remove in one whole piece so it’s easier to find when the applesauce is cooked)
  • juice of half a lemon (2-3 teaspoons)
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • pinch of allspice
  1. Peel, quarter and core all the apples. Save a large piece of peel from a red apple to include in the slow cooker. It will add a beautiful rosy color to the sauce. Place the apples, reserved piece of apple peel, lemon peel, lemon juice, cinnamon sticks and pinch of allspice (if you’re using that) in the slow cooker insert. Cover the slow cooker and set it to LOW. Cook for 5-6 hours until apples are super soft.
  2. Before you stir or mash the apples, remove the apple peel, lemon peel and cinnamon sticks. If you like a super smooth applesauce, blend with an immersion blender. I like it more chunky, so I just stir the apples with a wooden spoon or a large whisk.
  3. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or freeze for up to two months.
To prepare in the oven, place all ingredients in a nonreactive Dutch oven or enameled pot, cover and bake for 1 ½ hours at 350 degrees.  Remove peels and cinnamon sticks before mashing apples.



How to make slow roasted tomatoes

slow roasted tomatoes | pamela salzman

Someone leaked to Mr. Picky that in one of my recent posts I was guessing that he wouldn’t be showering regularly at camp.  It wasn’t a judgment on my part, just an observation from past history.  However, it seems as though Mr. Picky interpreted that as a challenge.  What you might not know about Mr. Picky is that he is competitive to a fault.  He also loves statistics and keeps track of everything, especially when he’s first in something.  But believe me, his “firsts” are not what you might expect.  “Hey, Mom.  Did you know I was the first one down for breakfast 8 days in a row?”  Or not firsts.  “Mom, guess what?  Guess what, Mom?  I was the second youngest at camp.  By 20 days.”  So I wasn’t entirely shocked when Mr. Picky said to me the other day that he’s on a showering streak.  Huh?  “Mom, guess what?  I have showered 37 days in a row!  For real.  I’m not even joking.”  I need to blog more about him not eating cooked vegetables. slow roasting tomatoes

Well, Mr. Picky had to come from somewhere.  Guess what, friends?  I’ve eaten a tomato in some way, shape or form every day for the last 24 days and I’m not even joking.  Whereas I fear Mr. Picky is on a quest to find his way into some imaginary record book for showering, my daily tomato indulgence is for pure pleasure.  Furthermore, I know my streak will come to a sad end in a few months when tomato season is over. raw tomatoes prepped for roasting

I have a total obsession with summer tomatoes.  I always have.  When I was little, I would take a salt shaker into my father’s garden and have a tomato party.  First, I would pluck a nice ripe tomato off the vine.  For the first bite, I always had to shake a tiny bit of salt in my mouth and then take a bite of tomato.  Salt doesn’t stick to a whole tomato.  After that bite, I would shake the salt on the cut part of the tomato and eat away.  My mother told me a few times I even ate several green (underripe) tomatoes and made myself a bit sick to my stomach.

slow roasted tomatoes | pamela salzman

But I am only interested in local, summer tomatoes.  Nothing else compares and I wouldn’t even waste your time on tomatoes before June or after October, and even that is pushing it.  So right now, I’m in my glory and I am snatching up different varieties every week.   So happy!  And tomatoes are amazing for you – I just posted something on my facebook page yesterday about all their health benefits.

grilled veggie and hummus sandwich with slow roasted tomatoes

Something I just started making the last few years are slow roasted tomatoes in the oven.  Damn!  Have you ever tried these?  I’m not talking about sundried tomatoes, which for some reason I don’t like.  Slow roasted tomatoes are super-sweet and moist.  You can cook them as long or as little as you like, but I prefer to bake them until their texture is like moist, dried apricots.   So darn good and soooooooo easy!  It’s barely cooking, people.  And you can use them in a million ways.  Delicious on an antipasto platter, with crusty bread, eggs/frittatas, sandwiches, salads, in pasta, etc.  How could I forget straight-off-the-pan?  Such deliciousness if you have patience to slow cook them.  I figure since I waited all winter and spring for tomatoes, what’s a few hours?

slow roasted tomatoes | pamela salzman



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Slow Roasted Tomatoes
  • 12 plum tomatoes*, halved lengthwise
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly slices
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • unrefined olive oil for drizzling
  • sea salt
  1. Preheat oven to 275 F degrees. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper or use a 13 x 9 baking dish. If you want to make more tomatoes, use a large baking sheet.
  2. Arrange the tomato halves, cut side up, in one layer on the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Place a sliver of garlic on top of each tomato and scatter the thyme sprigs over. Drizzle a little oil over the tomatoes and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Bake until desired texture is reached. I like to go 3 hours. More time will result in drier tomatoes. Less time will result in juicier tomatoes. Ovens also vary, so check tomatoes periodically.
  4. Store in the refrigerator in a covered container for up to a week. Covered in oil, the tomatoes will last a few weeks. You can also freeze them right on the sheet pan and when the tomatoes are frozen, transfer them to a covered container to freeze (ideally a freezer bag that is as small as will fit the tomatoes.)
*You can also use halved cherry or grape tomatoes and cook for less time.



Blueberry sauce recipe (refined sugar-free)

fresh blueberry sauce | pamela salzman

I know what you’re thinking.   “We waited five whole days for a new recipe and it’s blueberry sauce?  That’s the best she could come up with?”  You know what, friends?  I have been busy!  Daughter #1 is still far, far away playing college student and Mr. Picky is at sleep away camp for two weeks.  I sure do miss those brats.  But Daughter #2 is an only child right now and is acting like it.  She wants all of our attention, especially since it was her birthday the other day.  She wore a tiara for three straight days.  If you’re new here and you’re envisioning a toddler, Daughter #2 is 15.  Just to paint an accurate picture.

fresh blueberries!

Besides doting on my newly crowned princess, I have been taking advantage of a little more freedom and I am trying to tackle my list of ambitious projects and must-dos.  Why does it seems as though two weeks is plenty of time to reorganize the garage, Mr. Picky’s room and the pantry AND watch the entire season of “The Americans” AND test new recipes AND exercise, get a manicure and visit a museum?  Well, I am 10 days into those two weeks and I think I moved a box of finger paints from one corner of the garage to another and took Mr. Picky’s room apart, but haven’t put it back together.  No so productive.  The hubby and I did go to the Hammer Museum in Westwood Saturday afternoon before meeting our friends for dinner who also have kids away at sleepaway camp.  Lovely.  We also obsessively watched the entire season of “The Americans” in three nights.  “It’s only 11:45.  One more episode!”  So testing new recipes has sort of fallen by the wayside, sorry! dissolve arrowroot in lemon juice

But before you think this blueberry sauce is something you can live without, I will tell you to think again!  We have been eating this on everything, it’s so amazing.  My husband keeps asking me, “Is there anymore of that blueberry sauce left?”  “Where did you hide the blueberry sauce?”  Maybe you’re hiding it, dude.  In your stomach!  I’m so not funny.  The point is, we have found so many ways to enjoy this, albeit not such original ways — swirled into yogurt with or without granola, on pancakes, on top of hot oatmeal or porridge, over vanilla ice cream.  And it takes a whole 1 minute of prep, about 5 minutes to cook and makes everything seem extra-special.  See, I had time for something.

Can we chat for a second about some of the other blueberry sauce recipes out there?  I’m not pointing links or anything, but what’s up with the 1 cup of sugar for a pint of blueberries?  Fruit is already sweet, for goodness sake.  I don’t get it.  If you don’t want to taste blueberries, don’t make blueberry sauce!

thicken it up | pamela salzman

I absolutely love blueberries and I can argue that they are one of the most beneficial foods out there.  How excited are you right now?  Delicious and insanely good for you!  Blueberries have one of the highest antioxidant profiles, as well as lots of fiber and Vitamin C, and they’re lower in fructose than most other fruits.  High antioxidant + low glycemic = beauty food.  Botox or blueberries?  You don’t have to answer that.  In all seriousness, blueberries contain compounds that support the health of the cardiovascular system, as well as eye health, cognitive function, and blood sugar stability.  Have I convinced you to give this a try?  Good.  Gotta run.  Hubby wants to watch the entire season of “House of Cards” and Mr. Picky is back on Saturday!

over ice cream | pamela salzman

over yogurt with granola | pamela salzman

fresh blueberry sauce on pancakes | pamela salzman

5.0 from 3 reviews
Blueberry Sauce
Serves: makes 1¼ cups of sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon arrowroot powder
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 3 Tablespoons Grade A maple syrup (Grade A is light in flavor than Grade B) or cane sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons water
  1. In a small bowl, whisk the arrowroot in the lemon juice until dissolved. Set aside.
  2. Place the blueberries, maple syrup and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 4 minutes.
  3. Add the arrowroot and lemon juice mixture and stir to combine. Simmer for another 3-4 minutes until blueberries are very soft and sauce has thickened.
  4. Serve warm over pancakes or ice cream or refrigerate up to 5 days for later use.  Sauce will thicken as it sits and cools.

Supersmooth, Light-as-Air Hummus

Supersmooth, Light-as-Air Hummus by Pamela Salzman

Why is the best hummus always in restaurants, especially Middle Eastern ones?  I think I make a delicious, flavorful hummus that has a great consistency and is better than the ones you find in the supermarket.  But, it doesn’t compare to the silky, light and creamy hummus that I’ve had in restaurants.  I want that kind.  The kind that will drip, not plop, off your pita if you’re not careful.  The kind you can suck up with a straw.  You know what I mean.

cook the soaked, drained chickpeas with a little baking soda before boiling

skim off the skins

I got into bed with a book the other night, because reading helps me wind down and relax from my typically crazy day.  But of course, I read cookbooks in bed before I go to sleep which is an absolutely terrible idea because that does nothing to quiet my overactive brain which doesn’t stop thinking, thinking, thinking!  Regardless, I was reading Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s not-so-new, but gorgeous book , “Jerusalem.”  So many recipes, so little time, people.  I turned to their recipe for “Basic Hummus” and I swear I almost flipped the page without so much as a glance, because like I said, I already have a perfectly great hummus recipe which I have actually turned into four different flavors.  But then I thought “have some respect, you never know.”

drain the chickpeas and process to a chunky paste

love this raw tahini

The word “supersmooth” caught my attention immediately and then I knew I found it — the hummus of my dreams.  Let me jump to the chase.  The Ottolenghi hummus is the kind I love at restaurants and they tell me all their secrets.  Most importantly, the chickpea skins are removed after cooking and before pureeing.  I know!!!  Why didn’t I think of that?  But before you think I have the kind of time to sit around peeling chickpea skins, think again.  After soaking and draining the chickpeas, they are cooked with a little baking soda and then water is added to boil the beans.  Most of the skins float to the top of the pot and you just skim them away.  I know!!!  Brilliant.  They also add a lot more tahini (sesame paste) than I do which makes the hummus so creamy.  And water.  I would never have thought to add water, but it really makes the hummus lighter and cleaner than adding the chickpea liquid which is how I do it.  “Better late than never,” is what I was thinking.

Supersmooth, Light-as-Air Hummus by Pamela Salzman

Supersmooth, Light-as-Air Hummus by Pamela Salzman

I wouldn’t say that my first attempt came out quite as smooth as Ottolenghi’s primarily because not all the chickpeas lost their skins and I was not about to go peeling them, but it was really, really good and very smooth.  You can see the image of that below.  I also tasted the hummus after adding 2/3 cup of tahini instead of the recommended 1 cup + 2 Tbs. and I thought it was divine.  I made it a second time and did take the time to pull off any skins that didn’t come off during the boiling process and the hummus was a tad bit creamier, but I’m not sure it was worth the extra 12 minutes it took me to do that.  You should do whatever makes sense to you and if you have the time, feel free to pick out every last skin.  For that matter, you can buy canned cooked chickpeas and pull off the skins and proceed from there.

This is the one I made first where I did not remove every single last chickpea skin.
This is the one I made first where I did not remove every single last chickpea skin.

I served this to friends the other night, friends who have had my hummus a million times and they all said “where did you get this?  This is so good.”  I know, a tad insulting since the implication was that I could not have made it, but I was totally fine with that.  Since then, we’ve enjoyed this immensely with pita bread and raw veggies (wow, I could actually hear you yawn through the computer), slathered on a baguette with grilled veggies and slow roasted tomatoes (my recommendation), and dolloped on a Greek salad with chicken souvlaki (we had this for dinner the other night — major hit!).  There is an insanely beautiful picture in the book of the hummus topped with whole cooked chickpeas, pine nuts, chopped parsley, cooked lamb and the whole thing drizzled with olive oil.  A-mazing.

Grilled veggies, slow roasted tomatoes and hummus on baguette | pamela salzman

No matter how you make it, hummus is rather nutritious and especially high in protein and fiber.  It’s one of the more healthful spreads and dips, provided you don’t go to crazy on the pita bread or chips.  I have even used it in place of mayonnaise in chicken salad.  I have even eaten it with a spoon.  I have even dreamt about it.  You will too, until you make it!

Supersmooth, Light-as-Air Hummus by Pamela Salzman

jacked up hummus | pamela salzman

4.7 from 10 reviews
Supersmooth, Light-as-Air Hummus
  • 1 ¼ cups dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans)*
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 ½ cups water
  • 1 cup light tahini paste (Ottolenghi recommends 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons, but I thought anywhere between ⅔ and 1 cup was great)
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
  • 6 ½ Tablespoons ice cold water
  • Unrefined olive oil and sweet paprika for finishing, if desired
  1. Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and cover with at least 4 inches of cold water. Allow to soak 6-8 hours.
  2. Drain the chickpeas. In a medium saucepan over high heat, add the drained chickpeas and the baking soda. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the water and bring to a boil. Make sure the water covers the chickpeas by at least 2 inches. Reduce heat and simmer, skimming off and foam and any skins that float to the surface. The chickpeas cook faster this way and may only need from 20-40 minutes to become tender, but possibly longer. You know they’re done if you can squish a chickpea in between your thumb and forefinger.
  3. Drain the chickpeas. You will have about 3⅔ cups. Transfer the chickpeas to a food processor fitted with the metal blade and process until you get a stiff paste. With the machine running, add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. Lastly, slowly drizzle in the ice water and allow it to mix for about 5 minutes until you get a really smooth and creamy paste. I actually set my timer for 5 minutes and washed the dishes in the meantime.
  4. Transfer to a serving bowl and allow the hummus to rest for at least 30 minutes. If not serving right away, refrigerate until needed. Make sure to remove it from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving. If desired, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika.
*Or you can use 2 15-ounce cans of cooked chickpeas, drained, and peel the skins manually. Place the peeled chickpeas in the food processor and proceed with Step 3.