Saturday, July 20, 2013

Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Wonders of Bone Broth

All fixed up and ready to simmer!

When we set out on our real food adventure, one of the first things I started making at home was chicken stock.  We eat a whole chicken about once a week, and I loved the idea of truly using every part of the bird for nourishment.  I had also read quite a bit about the benefits of chicken stock, or as it is more commonly referred to in the real food community, bone broth.

Bone broth is another one of those foods that has been nourishing people for thousands of years.  When ancient tribes hunted for animals, all of that work meant that every part of the animal was going to be put to use, down to the bones themselves. Bone broth is made with bones (possibly with some meat left on them), vegetables, seasonings, and filtered water.  The difference between bone broth and typical, store bought chicken stock is the amount of time that it cooks.  Bone broth can simmer in a crock pot or pot on the stove for up to a week, until all of the nourishment has been leached from the bones.  The first time I made broth, I followed my recipe's suggestion that if the bones crushed when squeezed, all of the good stuff was now in the broth itself.  It was really exciting to see the bone crumble between my fingers and know that we were now going to be able to consume all of those nutrients!  (I know that sounds weird.  Real food problems.)  The old wisdom about chicken soup being good for a cold is true!

 "Rich homemade chicken broths help cure colds. Stock contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily—not just calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals. It contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons--stuff like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain." ~Weston A. Price Foundation

Bones are also rich in amino acids and minerals.  The amino acid glycine helps your body to detoxify and supports digestion.  This is one of the reasons bone broth is so good for healing Leaky Gut Syndrome!  One of my favorite things about bone broth is that it is a great way to consume gelatin.  Wait, I know what you're thinking:

Yuk, ick, NO!  NOT that kind of gelatin.  But its true, even the store-bought totally nasty stuff is made from bones.  Bad bones.  Don't eat this stuff.  (Can you tell I hate Jello?)  Bone broth gelatin, however, comes from the good bones of your chicken, preferably an organic, free range or pastured one!  And why is this my favorite thing about bone broth?  Well, because gelatin is known to combat wrinkles, cellulite, and stretch marks!!!  "Hey, I have some of those!" you may be thinking.  If so, bone broth is yummier, and cheaper, than plastic surgery.  Gelatin also supports digestive health, which makes it another key ingredient in battling that wicked Leaky Gut so many people are plagued with.  

Now that you know a little bit about why bone broth is so good for you, you may be wondering how you should eat it.  In our house, there is often a crock pot of broth simmering on the counter.  I make a new pot about once a week, maybe more often now that it's for sale at Mama's Mason Jars.  We typically use our broth to make soups in the winter, and rice and quinoa year round.  It is more delicious and a lot more nourishing to use broth in your rice than water, and it's just as easy!  Many people also drink their broth.  Addy's clinician Megan drinks hers from a portable coffee mug!  We are working up to that. I, for one, don't quite have the taste for it yet, but come cold and flu season it is sure to be a staple at our breakfast table.  If you are interested in making your own bone broth, I base mine off of the Nourished Kitchen recipe for Perpetual Soup.  I use Bragg's Raw, Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar to help break down the bones, and throw in lots of yummy organic vegetable scraps to give great flavor.  I also always use Himalayan Pink Sea Salt instead of table salt, because it provides so many good minerals.  If you are interested in buying broth from my store, just send me a message at Mama's Mason Jars!  And if you would like to read even more on the virtually endless benefits of bone broth, check out Nourished Kitchen and Mommypotamus .  They do some pretty good research!  Thanks so much for reading a little about the benefits of beautiful bone broth!

1 comment:

  1. I thought I was out of whole chickens, but I discovered today that I have 2! And they're organic! I made good broth from the last 3 chickens that I had and froze what I didnt use right away. Now it's all gone- sadness.
    Anyways. Do I have to put extra things in it? Or can I just have it simmering in plain ol' (filtered) water? That's what I did the last few times. Is that going to hurt it or just make it more boring to taste?