Zinc… why it’s important & what foods are high in zinc?
Zinc… it’s a bit of a buzz word at the moment as the temperatures drop a little and we are all trying to boost our immune system.
Did you know that a healthy amount of zinc in your diet has been linked to an improved immune system and faster wound healing? The benefits of getting enough zinc don’t stop there. Some studies have linked proper zinc intake to reduced severity and duration of the common cold, improved thyroid function, more effective blood clotting, and even decreased effects of age-related macular degeneration.
Your body doesn’t store zinc, therefore you need to eat enough every day to ensure you’re meeting your daily requirements. It’s recommended that men eat 11 mg of zinc per day, while women need 8 mg. However, if you’re pregnant, you’ll need 11 mg per day, and if you’re breastfeeding, you’ll need 12 mg.
Meat is an excellent source of zinc! Most importantly, RED MEAT is a particularly great source, but ample amounts can be found in all different kinds of meat, including beef, lamb and pork.
Some other ingredients that are high in zinc are mushrooms, potatoes & green beans so add them to your chuck steak stew and you’ve got yourself a hearty, healthy, immune boosting dinner for the family!
This dish is super easy to make Gluten Free & Low FODMAP. You can also drop the potatoes to make it Keto & Paleo too! Either way, it’s just delicious!
Best Slow Cooker Beef Stew with Bacon
Please don’t let the ingredient list length deter you. Look it over… there really isn’t much prep work involved in the making of our Beef Stew with Bacon. In fact, you’re really just chunking up the potatoes, laying them in the slow-cooker, piling on the baby carrots, then tossing the beef with a flour, piling THAT in the slow cooker, and adding the sauce ingredients. It’s very little work for a VERY large payoff…
- 8 medium potatoes, cut into largish chunks
- 8 carrots peeled and cut into largish chunks
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (GF if needed)
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1kg beef (chuck, gravy, blade) cut into cubes
- 500g bacon cooked ’til crisp and drained, fat reserved
- 2 cups beef broth or stock
- 1/2 cup chianti or dry red wine
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce or soy sauce
- 6 cloves garlic peeled and thinly sliced (swap for 1 tbsp garlic infused oil if Low FODMAP)
- 1 large onion peeled and cut into wedges (swap for green part of leek if Low FODMAP)
- 500g mushrooms quartered
- 3 sprigs of thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups frozen peas
- chopped parsley and chives
Layer the potatoes and then carrots in the crock of a slow cooker. Cover, but do not turn on yet. (You can also use a large saucepan on the stovetop or a casserole dish in the oven)
Combine the flour, paprika, salt, and pepper in a zipper top bag, close, and shake to combine. Open the bag, add the beef cubes, and shake to coat evenly. Remove the beef from the bag, shake off excess flour, and set on a plate.
You can either add it straight into your pot or if you’ve got time to brown the meat first it will taste so much better… Heat 2 tablespoons of bacon fat in a large frypan over medium high heat. Add a single layer of beef cubes, taking care not to overcrowd the pan. Let the beef cubes rest on the one side, undisturbed, until you can lift one and it is brown on the bottom, rotate the cubes to brown on all sides. Use a slotted spoon or tongs to transfer the beef cubes to the slow-cooker, and repeat with remaining cubes, adding more bacon fat if needed.
While the beef is browning, whisk together the beef broth or stock, wine, tomato paste, fish sauce or soy sauce.
When all of the beef has been browned and added to the slow cooker, return the pan to the heat and pour in the liquid ingredients, scraping the pan to release any flavourful fond from the pan.
As that comes to a boil, scatter the garlic slices, onion wedges, quartered mushrooms, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf over and among the beef cubes. (If you are skipping the browning of the beef step – you can just add all these sauce ingredients together and pour them into the slow cooker/pot)
Once the liquids reach the boiling point, pour it over the contents of the slow-cooker, cover, and cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours, or until the beef, carrots, and potatoes are tender. Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs (if you used them). Stir in the frozen peas, replace the lid on the slow-cooker and cook for 10 minutes, or until the peas are hot all the way through.
Just before serving, crumble the reserved crispy bacon over the top of the bowl. Garnish with parsley and chives, if desired.