This months Soul Food blog by Amanda Hanna is all about Bone Broth and its benefits which are truly celebrated during the season of Winter where we are vulnerable to the illnesses running through the community….
I bet most people can remember being at Grandma’s house when they were young and it was the day after a chicken or turkey dinner. The house smelled so amazing with the aroma of homemade soup on the stove. That, my friends, was the beautifully crafted cure-all we call bone broth.
You can use any bones you want- chicken, turkey, beef, whatever- and you throw them in a pot of water with chopped veggies and a ton of spices. Then you just let that do its thing on simmer for a couple days. I like to begin the process by adding apple cider vinegar to the mix so that it helps bring out all of the good nutrients that are deep within the bones and the marrow. Then I just walk away and let the goodness seep out of crevices and fill my home with all the aromas of happy health. Once this bad boy is done, I pack small portions into baggies to throw in the freezer and take them out whenever I need stock for any soup. I literally add bone broth stock to any and every soup, stew, even chilli, I make. It gives it a savoury, rich flavour without overpowering the dish you’re creating.
So what is it good for? Absolutely Everything!
Your joint health depends on the health of collagen in your ligaments, tendons and on the ends of your bones. Bone broth is packed with glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), think of glucosamine for example, which is always recommended in supplement form for joint health. Why not skip the tablets and get it from a delicious concoction of your own creation? When you consume GAGs in their food version you can be sure that they are being absorbed in their true, intact form.
How outrageously great your skin, nails and hair will look!
People are always looking to feel younger, tighter, more full of life or “glowing” if you will. The collagen factor in bone broth can do that for you and at a fraction of the cost. Collagen can help firm your skin. It reduces the look of wrinkles. It adds strength and integrity to your nails. Collagen also helps your hair grow strong and full. Who doesn’t want these things in their life?
G for Gelatin; G for Gut health!
Gelatin fills the little holes in your gut lining; these holes are caused from the havoc we wreak on our digestive systems everyday. We use and abuse our bodies through excessive consumption of alcohol, refined and processed foods, caffeine, stimulants, and all the other not-so-great things. I’m not saying don’t indulge, you do you, I’m just saying be aware of what’s going down on the inside. These foods attack our gut lining, making it weaker and more likely to breakdown which lead to holes where these substances and undigested proteins can seep into the bloodstream. When this occurs, we develop food sensitivities, when we ignore these sensitivities and continue to consume these foods, this causes you to feel those allergy-like symptoms; headaches, fatigue, sluggishness, brain fog, irritability and on and on. Because we know ourselves well enough to know we’re not going to completely eliminate all of the things we love (red wine is such a good friend sometimes), we might as well protect our gut as best we can.
Support your liver- Detox and Cleanse!
The liver is one of the hardest working organs in our body and does hundreds of different jobs, including cleansing and detoxifying the body or harmful substances, toxins and excess hormones. Glycine is an insanely important amino acid to the detox process of the liver; without it, detoxing the harmful toxins and chemicals that go into our bodies by the minute and cleansing the bloodstream of excess hormones and other build-up cannot happen.
Making bone broth is one of the best things you can do for your overall health and it helps to use up any vegetables that may be about to go to waste, win win!
Here’s what I do:
4 pounds beef bones with marrow
4 carrots, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
2 medium onions, peel on, sliced in half lengthwise and quartered
4 garlic cloves, peel on and smashed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme
5-6 sprigs parsley
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
18-20 cups cold water
Place all ingredients in a 10 quart capacity crock-pot.
Add in water.
Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce and simmer gently, skimming the fat that rises to the surface occasionally.
Simmer for 24-48 hours.
Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Discard solids and strain remainder in a bowl through a colander. Let stock cool to room temperature, cover and chill.
Use within a week or freeze up to 3 months.