Hot This Season, For A Good Reason...
You may have heard by now but bone broth (also known as soup stock) is stealing the show in terms of fashionable liquids this season. Heck, a bone brothery (?!) recently opened its doors in NYC, serving up custom broth on the spot. As irritating as some food fads can be this one has some substance behind it. One of the mainstays of the Paleo movement, this traditional food has been gaining some recognition for its nutritive healing properties.
Making bone broth on the stove is such a simple and replenishing thing to do. Even before you taste it the aroma of a simmering stock will lift you up.
Plainly put, bones are rich in restorative goods. Your broth will be flush in the same way, rich in many essential nutrients especially minerals and amino acids. Bone broths are a good source of amino acids – particularly arginine, glycine and proline. Glycine supports the body’s detoxification process and is used in the making of hemoglobin (which helps to oxygenate the body), bile salts and other naturally-occurring chemicals within the body. Glycine also supports digestion and the secretion of gastric acids (imperitive for proper digestion). Proline, when paired with vitamin C, supports good skin health. Bone broths are also rich in gelatin, which improves collagen status, thus supporting skin health. Gelatin also supports digestive health and is very healing to the gut. And, lastly, if you’ve ever wondering why chicken soup is prescribed for colds, there’s a reason for that too. Chicken stock inhibits neutrophil migration; that is, it helps decrease the side effects (symptoms) of colds, flus and upper respiratory infections.
The best part is, it’s easy to make and easy for your body to digest. It is both energizing and calming. It’s the original comfort food. The first comfort food.
You can use any bones for your bone broth: poultry, fish, shellfish, beef or lamb (cooked bones from a previous meal too, with or without the meat). Use the whole carcass or just parts. For broth, the choice parts are usually the ones that give us trouble or we waste: feet, ribs, necks, and knuckles.
· Start with cold water. Just enough to cover the bones (or 2 cups water per 1 pound bones).
· Add a splash of vinegar, any kind, 1-2 tablespoons, or substitute lemon juice for vinegar.
· Vegetables are optional: you can use skins, ends and tops or the entire veggie. Traditional choices are: celery, carrots, onions, garlic, and parsley, but any will do.
Combine bones, water and vinegar in a pot, bring to a boil, and reduce heat. Continually remove any scum on the surface. Broths can take a long time to simmer down (6-48 hours for chicken, 12-72 for beef and the longer the better,) 24 hours is best. To reduce cooking time you may smash or cut bones into smaller pieces. If desired, add vegetables in the last 30 minutes of cooking.
Strain through a colander and discard bones. If fresh meat was used with bones you may reserve the meat for soups or salads.
If you wish to remove the fat for use in gravy, use a gravy separator while the broth is warm, or skim the fat off the top once it has been refrigerated. Cold broth will gel when sufficient gelatin is present (the more bones boiled down the more gelatin).
Broth may be frozen for months or kept in the refrigerator for about 5 days.
SOUPS: Sauté vegetables or meat in the bottom of a stockpot, then add broth and simmer until ingredients are cooked through, season with salt and pepper or other spices.
BROTH INSTEAD OF WATER: Use broth to steam or boil your vegetables to cook rice.
GRAVY: Put fat (removed from the top of a refrigerated broth) or butter in a skillet. Add thickener (arrowroot or tapioca starch)1 tablespoon at a time, stirring constantly until browned. Whisk in broth and cook till thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste.
TEA: You can just add salt and sip broth like tea. This hits all the right spots in the winter, on the rainy days or, of course, when you’re feeling sick. Broth is simultaneously energizing and calming, it can replace your morning coffee, afternoon tea or evening nightcap. Or keep it handy, put it in your thermos and sip on it all day.
TRADITIONALLY: Serve seasoned broth as a first course, to warm the taste buds and enhance the digestion of the meal to come.
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Traditional Bone Broth in Modern Health and Disease by Dr. Allison Siebecker, in the Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients Feb/March 2005 #259/260 p74.
For the full article see:
For additional information on broth, search “broth” at www.westonaprice.org or see: Why Broth is Beautiful by Kayla Daniel, http://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/513-why-broth-is-beautiful.html.
I am a naturopathic doctor practicing in Toronto, Ontario. I practice evidence-based natural medicine with a focus on ancestral nutrition. I have a special interest in digestive, endocrine and mental health.