The Benefits of Bone Broth: Part 1

Hello to our many wonderful customers at the Broad Street Market. I wonder how we would find you, if we'd peep into each of your homes - hopefully in good, vibrant health. It's amazing that summer is almost behind us and fall is rapidly approaching. We've had many wonderful rains the past few months which we are thankful for. This month, we'd like to tell you about bone broth. Bone broth is an amazingly nutritious food.

Chicken Bone Broth

Chicken Bone Broth

Bone broths are given special emphasis among traditional foods circles. Pre-industrial societies across the globe have always placed particular and special emphasis on the preparation of the whole animal — and that includes emphasis on using bones for making broth. African tribes placed emphasis on bone broths for babies and small children. In Asia, emphasis is placed on stocks and broths made from fish and fish bones. In Europe, stocks and broths have become the foundation of cooking and are used in not only making soups and stews, but also for preparing reductions, sauces, and for braising vegetables and meats.

What’s the difference between broth, stock and bone broth?

In traditional foods circles you’ll hear a lot about broth, stock and bone broth — and they’re typically used interchangeably. Bone broth, broth and stock are built on the same basic foundation: water, meat or bones (or both), vegetables and seasonings. As it cooks, the liquid is typically skimmed (although this is not necessary since the scum that rises to the top of the stock pot — off-putting as it is — is a rich source of amino acids) and eventually the solids are removed by straining the stock with a fine-mesh sieve or reusable coffee filter.

Broth is typically made with meat and can contain a small amount of bones (think of the bones in a fresh whole chicken). Broth is typically simmered for a short period of time (45 minutes to 2 hours). It is very light in flavor, thin in texture and rich in protein.

Stock is typically made with bones and can contain a small amount of meat (think of the meat that adheres to a beef neck bone). Often the bones are roasted before simmering them as this simple technique greatly improves the flavor. Beef stocks, for example, can present a faint acrid flavor if the bones aren’t first roasted. Stock is typically simmered for a moderate amount of time (3 to 4 hours). Stock is rich in minerals and gelatin.

Bone Broth is typically made with bones and can contain a small amount of meat adhering to the bones. As with stock, bones are typically roasted first to improve the flavor of the bone broth. Bone broths are typically simmered for a very long period of time (often in excess of 24 hours). This long cooking time helps to remove as many minerals and nutrients as possible from the bones. At the end of cooking, so many minerals have leached from the bones and into the broth that the bones crumble when pressed lightly between your thumb and forefinger.

Why bone broths are good for you

Bone broths are extraordinarily rich in nutrients – particularly minerals and amino acids. Bone broths are a good source of amino acids – particularly arginine, glycine and proline. Glycine supports the body's detoxification process and is used in the synthesis of hemoglobin, bile salts and other naturally-occurring chemicals within the body. Glycine also supports digestion and the secretion of gastric acids. Proline, especially when paired with vitamin C, supports good skin health. Bone broths are also rich in gelatin which improves collagen status, thus supporting skin health. Gelatin also support digestive health which is why it plays a critical role in the GAPS diet. And, lastly, if you’ve ever wondering why chicken soup is good for a cold, there’s science behind that, too. Chicken stock inhibits neutrophil migration; that is, it helps mitigate the side effects of colds, flus and upper respiratory infections. Pretty cool, huh?

Next month, Bone Broth: Part II will include instructions for making, using and storing bone broth. You can find all the ingredients you need to make bone broth at our Broad Street Market Stand.

Republished from The Nourished Kitchen


Jared NoltComment