Mo’ Soup for You! M’s Bone Broth
Written by Michele Vieux
Broth, the base of any soup. But this isn’t your ordinary broth, it’s healthy and nutritious bone broth which can be used not only as the base of your favorite soup(s) but also as a meal replacement or snack on it’s own.
What Makes Bone Broth So Special Anyway?
The name ‘bone broth’ may sound repulsive to you but once you realize that it’s just soup broth of the highest quality, you’ll be rushing to the store to gather the ingredients to make your own to enjoy. A sip a day can really keep the doctor away by preventing and treating illness, especially those related to gut health and cold and flu viruses .
Have you ever made a stock (bone broth) from scratch only to have it gelatinize in the fridge once it’s cooled? That’s exactly what you want and a good sign you have a high quality broth on your hands! The gelatin found in bone broth is a hydrophilic colloid – it attracts and holds liquids, including digestive juices, thereby supporting proper digestion. And it promotes healthy hair and nails !
It can also help you save money by cutting down on the need to supplement since it contains valuable minerals – many of which people spend an arm and a leg on in pill form – in a form your body can easily absorb and use, including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulfur chondroitin, glucosamine, and a variety of trace minerals. Recognize any of those from your medicine cabinet?
Chondroitin and glucosamine, two supplements commonly taken for joint pain, can be extracted from the boiled down cartilage, so make sure you select bony pieces like necks, wings and feet for your broth. These elements, along with amino acids found in bone broth like glycine, proline and arginine, all have anti-inflammatory effects and glycine has been shown to help you sleep better .
It’s pretty common knowledge that calcium and magnesium play an important role in promoting strong, healthy bones and bone broth contains high amounts of these minerals. It’s also very filling – as hot liquids tend to be – so it can be an excellent tool for weight management, since it leaves you feeling full and is chock full of nutrients without all the extra calories.
How to Use Your Bone Broth
Since it’s so delicious and takes very little cooking skill to create, it is easy to incorporate into your diet a few times a week. Make a batch at the beginning of the week and sip on it, cook with it, or use it to make your favorite soup. (Bone broth is the perfect base liquid for many soups!) Not hungry in the morning before your workout? Bone broth! Need a little snack before bed? Bone broth! On the go and in need of nutrition? Bone broth!
Pro Tip: Freeze whatever you don’t plan to use within the first couple of days. It’s best to freeze smaller portions (1-2 cups) so that you can just thaw what you need. You can use Tupperware or even plastic freezer bags. I’ve even frozen broth in ice cube trays and then popped out the frozen pieces into a plastic freezer bag to use in recipes that call for a splash of liquid for cooking.
Check out the recipe below to make your own. It’s important to note that store-bought broths do not yield the same benefits as homemade. No matter what type of bones you use, make sure you get free-range, organic and hormone-free. Besides trying to avoid all the chemicals and hormones that are pumped into non-free range animals, they are also fed an unnatural diet that is filled with potentially harmful additives us health-conscious folks are trying to avoid. And research shows that chickens (and cows) raised in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) tend to produce stock that doesn’t gel . We want gel!
Bone Broth Recipe (makes 4 quarts)
1 pound bones from organic, free-range, hormone-free beef or chicken (I like to use turkey necks & beef feet with skin attached together)
2 pounds of meat & bones
3 celery stalks, chopped in large pieces
3 carrots, chopped in large pieces
1 onion, quartered
4 bay leaves
2 tablespoons organic apple cider vinegar (helps leach minerals from bones)
4 quarts water (cover ingredients in a crockpot)
A few dashes of fish sauce (I use 10)
Salt & Pepper
Red pepper flakes (optional if you like it a little more spicy)
4-6 dried Shitake mushrooms (Optional for a little different flavor)
Put all ingredients in a 6-quart crockpot and cook on high for 24 hours. Or for quicker cooking time, use your pressure cooker for 3 hours. It is important to cook the bones long enough for them to start breaking down so don’t short the time on this step. Strain out all ingredients. Cool and then refrigerate and eat within one week. If you aren’t going to eat it all within the week, freeze for later use. DO NOT STRAIN FAT! If you got your bones and meat from a healthy animal then this is good for you. It is okay to use the carcass from cooked meat – like your leftover Thanksgiving turkey carcass – but you’ll need more bones to yield a broth as hearty as one from raw bones and meat.
Also Check Out…
Rennard BO, et al. Chest. 2000 Oct;118(4):1150-7.
Weston A. Price January 1, 2000.
Luiking YC, et al. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2005 Jan-Feb;29(1 Suppl):S70-4.
See ref. 2