Ok, so I have finally written another “what should I eat?” blog. I know this one is overdue. If you have read the others, you know how much I love love love good food.
This post is about one of my most favorite things… bone broth. And this is the time of year for it. So, as you are going through your list of spring detoxes consider adding some bone broth to the menu of your self-care. One of the biggest differences between Oriental medicine and Conventional “diet therapy” is a strong belief that your food should be cooked. Slow cooked foods are seen as more nourishing versus raw food, juices, smoothies, and nutrients in pills. Bone broth is at the top of the charts. Bone broth is not a perfect food and is not suitable for some; I will go into greater detail in part 2.
So what is Bone Broth? Well, it’s medicine. Tang in Acupuncture and Oriental medicine (AOM) means soup. It’s also the word used for herbal prescription/decoction/ tea or broth. So bone broth is a decoction of bones, cartilage, marrow, minerals, and meat. Sounds gross till you realize what’s in the water is a bunch of stuff people pay a lot of money for. Also, it makes your food taste really amazing! What this process is doing, with herbs, veggies, and most importantly bones, is removing the active chemical ingredients into the water by means of heat, time, and acid, making the nutrients immediately available to absorb. Furthermore, if you’re looking to get rid of salt and MSG but not the flavor, bone broth is your friend!
Benefits of Bone Broth. Bone broth is rich in minerals that support the immune system and contains healing compounds like collagen, glutamine, glycine, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulfur chondroitin, glucosamine, and a variety of trace minerals. Bone broth is a traditional remedy across cultures for the weak, old, very young, sick, and as preventative medicine. A classic folk treatment for colds and flu, it has also been used historically for ailments that affect the gastrointestinal tract, the joints, the skin, the lungs, fertility, the muscles, connective tissues such as tendons and ligaments, and the blood. In other words, chicken soup really is good for you. Bone broth has a ton of health benefits (if you would like to read some of the science click here)
- Nutrient Absorption
- Supports Hair, Skin, Nails
- Broth is an excellent source of several essential amino acids that are often difficult to get from diet alone: Proline, Glycine, Arginine, Glutamine
- Gut and Immune Health
- Inhibits Neutrophil Migration (helps fight and get rid of cold symptoms)
- Promotes Weight Loss
- Helps with dehydration and electrolyte depletion.
- Improve Mood
- Cancer fighting
- Arthritis and joint-pain relief
- Can help alleviate diabetes and lower blood sugar; supports insulin regulation
- Can improve sleep
- Helps regulate bleeding from nosebleeds, heavy menstruation, ulcers, hemorrhoids, and bladder hemorrhage
- Helps normalize stomach acid, which is useful for colitis, celiac disease, ulcers, and other inflammatory gut condition
Can’t get that from a salad! So yeah, bone broth is really awesome and amazing medicine!
How Do You Make Bone Broth? It used to be that there was a pot always going on the hearth. In it went all the scraps from the day; the heals and peels of veggies, the leftover bones, shells from fish, etc. now we throw all that stuff away or pay for some to cut it off and throw it away. For example, fillet of fish and boneless skinless chicken breast. But that’s where all the good stuff is hiding.
Basically to make bone broth you get water, bones or bony meat from any animal, animal scraps (trimmed off skin, fat, tendons etc.) a splash of vinegar, herbs or salt for flavor, set to boiling then reduce to simmer, forget about for at least 24 hours…abracadabra bone broth.
Really that’s it. Ok there are some other little basic things like strain it, store it, it’s a good idea to scrape that initial foam off the top blah blah blah. However, the bulk of what you need to know is pot, bones, water, vinegar, cook the heck out of it. Because I know that will just not fly for some of you here is a more actual “recipe.” I promise to put up some of my actual recipes for things like turkey necks, oxtail, fish tea, and foot soup in part 3. I say that but y’all should know I’m not a measuring kinda cook 😇
- 2 lbs. of bones from a good reputable source (not Walmart)
- 2-4 inches of sliced ginger
- head of garlic
- 1/2 cup of vinegar
- any herbs seasonings or salt you desire. I love Chinese dates, astragalus, and goji berries,
- water to fill the large pot
- wash bones. an extra step is to brown them under the broiler. It gives a really excellent flavor. I almost never bother to do this.
- toss bones in a large pot and fill with water. set to boil. now I’m not really big into measure things. feel free to google online if you need more exacting instructions
- add remaining ingredients.
- once pot is up to a good boil reduce heat to a medium simmer. be on the lookout for foamy scuzz that will start floating to the top of your broth. scoop it out and toss it
- FORGET ABOUT THE BONE BROTH
- periodically make sure water is still in the pot. turn it down to low and cook for 24 to 48 hours
- let it cool, strain out bones herbs ginger and whatever else you got in there.
- extra steps include leaving in the fridge overnight. This allows for the fat to float to the top where it can be removed. careful only to remove the fat and not the top layer of gelatin. I generally only do this for beef or fatty bones, not poultry or fish.
- I store my broth in 1-quart freezer bags and pull them out as needed.
What to Do with Bone Broth? Where ever you would cook with water, bullion, or soup use bone broth instead.
- rice, barley, quinoa, couscous and other grains
- beans, lentils,
- soups, stews, bakes, casseroles,
- drink it by itself with a pinch of salt, lemon, fresh basil and or mint.
Ok well, that’s it for part one! Watch out for part 2 coming soon.