Tips and tricks from our expert staff. From Recipes to product recommendations we will be your knowledge source for all things Butcher. 

February 17, 2015 2 Comments

An Introduction to the Paleo Diet
We get a lot of diehard Paleo customers in the shop as well many who are curious about the tenants of the diet. The following is a general overview of the plan. Not only is it very meat-friendly but it’s more of a guideline for eating than a traditionally restrictive “diet.” Paleo is based on the notion that for optimal health, modern humans should return to a pre-industrial era by eating real, whole, unprocessed foods that promote healthy metabolic, digestive, and immune systems. This means avoiding grains, gluten, legumes, dairy, corn, soy and sugar. And instead, filling up on grass-fed meat like cattle, bison, goats, lamb or wild game. The Paleo Diet also includes pasture-raised chicken, eggs and pork, and wild-caught seafood. In addition, one should eat a variety of vitamin- and mineral-packed, organically grown, non-GMO fruits and vegetables.    The Paleo Diet embraces healthy fats. The right types of fat are essential in maintaining healthy arteries, brain function, healthy skin, as well as decreasing systemic inflammation. Healthy saturated fat comes from grass-fed meat, poultry, seafood, ghee, butter and coconuts. Also encouraged is monounsaturated fat from olive oil, nuts and seeds, as well as a healthy amount of Omega-3.   The Paleo plan welcomes fermented foods that work to support your digestive system with naturally occurring probiotics that boost immunity. Kombucha, sauerkraut and kimchi are all great options. This seems like a lot to remember but it's really not. Below is an excellent and handy cheat sheet from the book Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilipino. As you can see, following this "diet" is hardly restrictive! Because Paleo is viewed as a template to healthy living, there is room to personalize. Many people find that chocolate, some dairy, and some alcohol fit nicely into their personal regime. However, it’s recommended one stick to the Paleo template at its most basic before adding or subtracting. You may discover food intolerances, reactions, or or allergies you didn’t know you had. Scientists are beginning to see the benefits of this way of eating. Test subjects who adopted the Paleo Diet reported significant improvements in their general heath, body composition and energy levels. Doctors are finding that it reduces the risks of many diseases, including heart disease and Alzheimer’s. Some reported benefits are: Increased and more stable energy levels Improved sleep Clearer skin and healthier looking hair Mental clarity Improved mood and attitude Improvements in those suffering depression or anxieties Less or no bloating, decreased gas Sustained weight loss Muscle growth; increased fitness Lowered risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer Higher immune function and a general feeling of well being Improved glucose tolerance; decreased insulin secretion and increased insulin sensitivity Improved lipid profiles Healthier gut flora Better absorption of nutrients from food Reduced allergies Paleo diet is anti-inflammatory, most people experience reduction of pain associated with inflammation Improvements in those with respiratory problems such as asthma The Organic Butcher offers wild, grass-fed game meats, free-range chicken and wild-caught seafood, plus some prepared Paleo foods for your convenience.  Try our Bison Meatballs or Green Sausage (chicken or pork) and build your meal from there!

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January 21, 2015

New Arrival: Bulletproof Coffee!
Imagine trekking through the Himalayas, feeling as though the life-force has been sucked out of you, when a sherpa appears like a mirage and hands you a warm and rejuvenating cup of tea blended with yak butter. Butter, you say? Yes, butter. That is exactly what happened to entrepreneur Dave Asprey. One cup of this Tibetan elixir and he felt alert and satiated for the rest of the day. Once back in the states he recreated and modified the recipe with the lowest-toxin coffee he could find and the highest-end grass-fed butter available. He added an extract of coconut oil to improve brain function and coined it Bulletproof Coffee. The drink caught on and now many coffeehouses serve up a variation of this brew. It may be difficult to convince people to ditch cream in favor of butter, but in actuality, butter contains more vitamins — such as A, D, and K2 — and is lower in sugar.  The Organic Butcher is excited to carry the Bulletproof line of products. The coffee is rich in antioxidants, bold in flavor, and low in acid. It also won’t give you the jitters like some lesser brands. We’ll also be carrying the supplements XCT Oil and Brain Octane Oil. XCT Oil is an immune booster that aids the body in absorbing vitamin E, calcium, and magnesium. Brain Octane Oil is said to increase brain function and eliminate the sense of fogginess especially during times of fasting. Both are derived from fatty acids found in coconut oil and can be added to your morning coffee along with butter. If you prefer protein shakes to coffee, Bulletproof Whey Protein Powder is the perfect alternative. It contains no high-fructose corn syrup, fake sweeteners, natural or artificial flavors, or dyes. It is also antibiotic- and rBGH-free and will provide you with a fast source of nutrition when on the go. On a personal note: I'm really happy with the whey protein. It is the cleanest tasting one I’ve tried. Until now, I've only been able to use whey protein isolate because of a milk allergy. Bulletproof is the first concentrates that I’ve been able to tolerate.  (If you can only tolerate an isolate or are looking strictly for the best post workout recovery then I highly recommend AboutTime whey protein). As an avid Crossfitter, I've also noticed that a little Bulletproof collagen protein gives me more sustained energy and makes my joints feel great during and after workouts. You can also make a killer post workout smoothie with a little almond milk, Bulletproof Whey, Bulletproof cacao butter (also in stock), and XCT oil.  Stop in today and load up, you won't be disappointed! (We also carry grass-fed butter for your convenience.)  

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January 13, 2015 2 Comments

What's Hot: Bone Broth!
By now you’ve likely heard about the bone broth trend that’s taken NYC by storm and is spreading across the country. Bone broth is nothing new but nutrition experts and foodies have only recently begun touting it’s health benefits. But what is bone broth and why is it so good for you?  To back up for a moment, for general kitchen knowledge it’s useful to know the differences between stock and broth: Broth is typically made with meat and can contain a small amount of bones (think of the bones in a fresh whole chicken). Broth is typically simmered for a short period of time (45 minutes to 2 hours) and is very light in flavor, thin in texture, and rich in protein. Stock is typically made with bones and can contain a small amount of meat (think of the meat that adheres to a beef neck bone). Often the bones are roasted before simmering to improve flavor. Stock is typically simmered for a moderate amount of time (3 to 4 hours) and is rich in minerals and gelatin. Bone Broth is typically made with bones and can contain a small amount of meat adhering to the bones. As with stock, bones are typically roasted first. Bone broths are simmered for a very long period of time (often in excess of 24 hours). This long cooking time helps to remove as many minerals and nutrients as possible from the bones. The bones may crumble when removed. Bone broths are very high in minerals and amino acids. They are low in sodium but rich in collagen. This collagen is said to contribute to joint, skin and hair health. Bone broth has become an add on, of sorts, to the Paleo Diet in which coffee is omitted. In New York, windows and storefronts have popped up that serve broth in to-go coffee cups for your morning commute. Whatever the health benefits may be, there is no doubt that rich, warm bone broth is delicious. If you are a Vietnamese Pho fan, this is definitely the trend for you. Bone broth is quite easy to make at home. It takes a bit of time, but the results are well worth it. We tried the recipe from Brodo, NYC’s first take-out window devoted to the sippable broth. We used marrow bones and knucklebones only and it was insanely delicious. While it may not replace your morning cup o’ jo, it just might find a place in your daily routine. INGREDIENTS 1 ½ lbs bone-in beef short rib 2 ½ lbs beef shank or oxtail 2 lbs beef knucklebones or neck bones, or a combination of both (or add 1 more pound beef shank or oxtail) 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons tomato paste ¼ cup apple cider vinegar 3 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped 3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped 2 onions, halved and peeled 1 (14.5-ounce) can tomatoes (they can be whole, peeled or diced) 1 head garlic, excess skins removed, top chopped off to expose the cloves 2 bay leaves 1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley ½ bunch fresh thyme ¼ ounce dried shiitake mushrooms 1 tablespoon black peppercorns PREPARATION Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place meat and bones in a roasting pan or on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, turning to coat, then brush all over with tomato paste. Roast until browned, 30 to 35 minutes. They don’t need to cook all the way through but to just develop some color. Put roasted meat and bones in a 12-quart stockpot and add vinegar and enough cold water to cover by 3 inches (about 6 quarts). Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer, uncovered, for 2 to 3 hours. While simmering, occasionally skim fat and foam from the top using a ladle. Add all the remaining ingredients. Continue to simmer, uncovered, for a minimum of 3 hours. If using knucklebones, simmer overnight, 9 to 15 hours, so the knucklebones have sufficient time to break down. Remove meat and bones with a slotted spoon or tongs; reserve meat for another use (such as soup). Pour broth through a fine-mesh strainer into a large heatproof bowl. Once broth has cooled, store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

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