The Value of Broth and Stocks

Welcome to Hello Palate! Are you ready for the taste of good health?  Using traditional food knowledge to solve contemporary health problems is one of the best skills you can incorporate into daily life.  Part I on bone broth is a three-part series to guide you towards an ancestral way of eating that is delicious, healing, and satisfying. You have probably heard about Bone Broth.   It has been a staple of many eating patterns for years (Weston A. Price to Paleo hackers), and now it’s gone mainstream.

Do you want in? You came to the right place!

Culinary magic. Health elixir. Fountain of Youth. Phew! Google the soup du jour “bone broth”; once a humble food made by traditional cultures for centuries, it is now all the craze.  From coast to coast, bone broth is taking over our palates.  And that’s a good thing!  It is hip to sip, and vegans are joining in with veggie broth.  A true bone broth is slow simmered over 24-48 hours to maximize the nutrient content by releasing the gelatin from collagen rich joints and extracting minerals from the bones.  Grandma’s knew all along stocks are an inexpensive way to nourish their families in a warming, easy to digest, comforting bowl, and many health advocates and foodies alike are realizing there is merit to their wisdom!

If I leave one lasting impression on you, I hope that it is the health benefits and ease of making broth from scratch. Granted, I have always loved to cook, but the missing ingredient before I became a Nutritional Therapist was an awareness of the nutritional deficiencies we face today.  Providing delicious broth that is easy to prepare and to digest is the antidote for my family and clients. If you feel overwhelmed in your healing journey, or perhaps interested in cooking, then learning how to make broth at home is a gateway habit that will lead you back to your kitchen and better health.  Once you get into the habit of preparing broths and stocks, it will become the foundation to enhancing the flavor and nutrition in many other recipes.

Stock vs Broth.  Clarity in our soup bowls

Through my studies with Myra Kornfeld, a wonderful chef and teacher at the Natural Gourmet Institute in NYC, I learned “Bone” Broths are also called “Meat” Stocks.  The difference is in the methodology and cooking times.  In the culinary world, the terms are used interchangeably by trained chefs.  For the Weston A. Price followers, health practitioners and for the purpose of the GAPS Diet by Dr. Natasha Campbell – McBride (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) or anyone enjoying bone broth in order to eat more healthfully- there is a significant difference between the two.

Meat stock

  • Think of meat stocks as Grandma’s old remedy of chicken soup when you weren’t feeling well. “Meat” stock is made from meat that has some bones.
  • Meat stock, rather than bone broth is used in the beginning stages of the GAPS protocol to heal the gut.
  • The simmer is for a relatively short time. 3 to 12 hours.
  • There are some advantages to meat stock in time-saving meal prep for home cooks: Meat stock gives you meat to use for salads, tacos, etc., while providing you with a gelatinous broth to drink. It also gives you bones to make bone broth to make in the future!  Nice!

 

NutriTip:  Using chicken feet in your chicken “meat” stock gives you an extra bump in collagen making the soup thicker and richer, providing the magic of the gelatin that is created in the cooking process. I know feet aren’t fun to look at – but believe me; it’s the most inexpensive anti – aging product out there!

Bone Broth

  • Is just that – broth that is made with bony bones like marrow and knuckle; with a combination of meaty bones such as chuck ribs or neck bones. Bony bones yield gelatin and minerals, while the meaty bones will ensure rich color and a tasty umami flavor.
  • Bone broth is cooked for a very long time, 12 to 24 hours and sometimes for up to 72 hours!
  • This longer cooking time is advantageous for its superior mineral extraction, while retaining the same amazing benefits from amino acids that are found in meat stock.
  • Bone broth, for the purpose of the GAPS diet, is only introduce after the gut is healed and sealed. Some individuals with longstanding gut issues find that consuming bone broth too early before sealing the gut leads to reactions (ex. migraines) to the concentration of free glutamates that result from the longer cooked gelatin.  Making the transition from “meat stock” to ‘bone broth” is an important step towards awareness in your healing.

 

THE RECIPES …

See PDF flyer to print at home for beginner recipes and tips.  Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions is a wonderful reference guide and cookbook to have on your bookshelf for additional recipes and support.

So what’s so special about bones?

A lot!  When you are sipping on something as delicious as bone broth it’s not only soothing for the soul, you are also getting powerhouse nutrition that’s hard to come by in the typical American diet.  The low, slow cooking method draws out the minerals, collagen and gelatin that has been shown to heal the gut and fight inflammation.

The magic of broth is in the elusive nutrients it renders. Some are highlighted here:

A ton of minerals (calcium, magnesium and potassium) are in ionized form in bone broth; this means they are easy to assimilate into our bodies – a true electrolyte solution.  Bone broth can out run any Gatorade, making it the best choice for weekend warriors and athletes.

It is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of our immune system resides in our gut. This makes bone broth the ideal food when healing the body.  Bone broth contains gut healing amino acids proline and glycine that are beneficial to improving our immunity.   Glycine supports detoxification in the body and helps the body assimilate collagen, collagen being the most abundant protein in our body; it makes up our bones, joints, connective tissues, veins, arteries and our gut cellsProline is essential to cell structures by strengthening their walls.   This is beneficial for people looking to heal the gut from digestive disorders, or those seeking skin and cardiovascular support.  It is also why many believe it is the “fountain of youth” with the more superficial aliments like reducing cellulite or improving lack luster skin.

Honorable mention is the excellent digestive support it delivers to our GI track.  The superhero nutrient gelatin acts as a hydrocolloid, (attracts and holds liquid) improving gut health by increasing gastric acid secretion.  According to Jonathon Wright, Md. (author of Why Stomach Acid is Good for You) about 90% of Americans produce too little stomach acid.  Despite contrary belief, low stomach acid impairs digestion and leads to a wide variety of health problems from heartburn to various nutrient deficiencies that impact overall health.  From a holistic health perspective, bringing the body back into balance often starts with addressing the foundation of digestion.  It’s essential to understand that even the best intentions of eating well are ineffectual unless you are able to digest and absorb your food; correcting low stomach acid production is key to better health.   Sipping on bone broth is the ideal starter pre-meal practice for the purpose of better digestion.

To learn more, visit the Weston A Price foundation to read their analysis on these findings.  http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/why-broth-is-beautiful-essential-roles-for-proline-glycine-and-gelatin/ or the following https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3358810/

The Hunt for Bones!

Healthy, enjoyable, quality tasting broth and stocks must come from healthy, happy, quality animals.  Sourcing your raw ingredients is key to the healing qualities of your broth and stocks.  Don’t worry, finding quality bones and meats is easier than ever thanks in part to the “better meat, but less” movement.  An organization called slowfoodusa.com, is leading the way by highlighting the support of ethically sound and sustainable farming practices while reducing our environmental impact. You can join in this movement for quality by asking your local supermarkets to stock up on grass-fed meats and quality pastured poultry.  Please read at your leisure https://medium.com/@SlowFoodUSA/slow-meat-101-5115b6004d76#.bx4727c9l to learn more about the meaning and best practices of grass-fed and quality pastured poultry.

Poultry Pleasing Bones and Meat:

The good news, it is getting easier than ever to find pastured chickens in your local supermarkets and health food stores like Whole Foods.  Chicken stock is perfect for the beginner in all of us, with some of the most inexpensive parts such as the feet and necks, wings and thighs. Making broth from scratch is easy peasy when it comes to chicken.  With it’s mild umami flavor, a perfect food for babies and toddlers, make it a staple in your kitchen.  Check your local farmer’s markets, health food stores, or the online resources below.   It is always best to support your local farmers.  Please remember: the best skill to have when choosing your ingredients is to read labels and ask questions; make sure you are getting what you paid for.

The Beef on Bones

Bone broths are best when using a mix of different nutrient-rich bones, beef or pork bone and marrow with smaller meaty cuts. Collecting your bones throughout the week from your roasts and grass-fed steaks is the best example of “letting nothing go to waste”.  Lately, Whole Foods carry marrow bones in the freezer section.  If you are in the NYC area, Fresh Direct has a selection of grass-fed meats and bones that can be delivered right to your door.

Two excellent online resources eatwild.com and uswellnessmeats.com can also help you in your hunt for quality ingredients and best practices.

Fish Tales and Bones

Lest not we forget the adventurous palate!  Fish broth happens to be delicious, and the most nutritious soup out there.  Let’s just say your local fishmonger would be impressed if you asked for the whole fish.  Ideally, fish stock is made from the bones of sole, turbot or snapper (no oily fish like salmon).  Whole fish is easy to prepare for a weekday dinner. Simply stuff the cavity with fresh herbs, butter and seasoning of choice and bake in oven for as little as 20 minutes.  Enjoy the sweet taste of the fillet then assemble the fish carcass into pure filtered water with some veggies and herbs. Cook time is even less (1 to 1/2 hours) for a healthy broth, saving you time and money.  Sally Fallon’s cook book (Nourishing Traditions) celebrates fish stock for many reasons:  Fish Broth made from carcasses and heads of fish include not only the important mineral iodine for the thyroid gland, but also enriching our western diets with elusive nutrients that support thyroid hormones and other substances that nourish the thyroid gland.  If your feeling fatigued, with accompanying weight gain, experiencing frequent colds and flus, or feeling depressed and having a difficult time concentrating, you are not alone, and your thyroid may be the cause. Some researchers believe 40 percent of all Americans suffer from a deficiency of the thyroid gland.  Why not try introducing our western palates to fish broth and enjoy the healing delicious benefits from this ancient wisdom?

Landlocked? Visit vitalchoicefarms.com for your resource to healthy sustainable fish.

With its array of healing nutrients, delicious umami flavor, and the no waste factor, it’s reasonable why bone broth is getting so much attention.  Check back frequently for upcoming frequent post that will guide you in expanding your palate with many ideas on how to drink up this wondrous healing food.    Once you’ve got the 101 on bone broth, the internet is your playground for recipes and inspiration.  A reminder to print your free Hello Palate PDF flyer to get you started!  Enjoy.

2 Comments

  1. Ellen Lovkavich on January 21, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    i can’t wait to try some of these recipes my kids love chicken soup but i can never make is homemade but i am confident that they will like your style

    • admin on January 24, 2017 at 2:10 pm

      Hi, please keep me posted on your cooking adventures. Homemade is best and allows you to know whats in it with no hidden processed ingredients. Cheers!

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