“Traditional Bone Broth In Modern Health and Disease” Dr. Allison Siebecker
Broth, made from the bones of animals, has been consumed as a source of nourishment for humankind throughout the ages. It is a traditional remedy across cultures for the sick and weak. A classic folk treatment for colds and flu, it has also been used historically for ailments that affect connective tissues such as the gastrointestinal tract, the joints, the skin, the lungs, the muscles and the blood.
Bone broth contains the ingredients that are in bone, and the ingredients in the cartilage that surround the ends of the bones to form joints. Bone and cartilage are both classified as connective tissue. This connective tissue functions to bind or hold together the body. Connective tissue provides strength and structure because it is composed of a matrix built from numerous essential minerals, collagen and elastin.
Broth can be thought of as a protein supplement and a calcium supplement. Bone broth contains glycine and proline (collagen/ gelatin), calcium and phosphorus (minerals), hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate (important components in our cartilage and joints), among many other minerals and amino acids. Bone broth is nutrient dense, easily absorbed, and makes a distinctively good medicine.
Broth has fallen out of favor in most households today, probably due to the increased pace of life that has reduced home cooking in general. Far from being old-fashioned, broth (or stock) continues to be a staple in professional and gourmet cuisine, due to its unsurpassed flavor and body. It serves as the base for many recipes including soup, sauces and gravy. Broth is a valuable medicine and food.
1. Bones • From poultry, fish, shellfish, beef, lamb (pork not recommended) • Remnants of a previous meal, with or without skin and meat • Raw bones, with or without skin and meat • Use a whole carcass or just parts (good choices include feet, ribs, necks and knuckles) • Don’t forget shellfish shells, whole fish carcasses (with heads) or small dried shrimp • Raw bones and meat may be browned first in the oven, or in the bottom of the stockpot to enhance flavor and color.
2. Water • Start with cold filtered water • Enough to just cover the bones • Or 2 cups water per 1 pound bones
3. Vinegar • A splash of apple cider, red or white wine, rice, balsamic • Lemon juice may be substituted for vinegar (citric acid instead of acetic acid)
4. Vegetables • Peelings and scraps like ends, tops and skins • Celery, carrots, onions, garlic and parsley are the most traditionally used, but any
Simple everyday ingredients; chicken and beef bones, vegtable scrabs and herbs.
• Combine bones, water and vinegar in a pot, let stand for 30 minutes to 1 hour, bring to a simmer, remove any scum that has risen to the top, reduce heat and simmer (6-48 hrs for chicken, 12 –72 hrs for beef). To reduce cooking time, you may smash or cut bones into small pieces first. If desired, add vegetables in last 1⁄2 hour of cooking (or at any point as convenience dictates). Strain through a colander or sieve, lined with cheesecloth for a clearer broth. Discard the bones. If uncooked meat was used to start with, reserve the meat for soup or salads.
• An easy way to cook broth is to use a crockpot on low setting.
• After putting the ingredients into the pot and turning it on, you can just walk away. If you forget to skim the impuri- ties off, it’s ok, it just tastes better if you do.If you wish to remove the fat for use in gravy, use a gravy separator while the broth is warm, or skim the fat off the top once refrigerated. Cold broth will gel when sufficient gelatin is present. Broth may be frozen for months or kept in the refrigerator for about 5 days.
• Soup – Make soup by adding vegetables, beans, grains or meat to broth. Briefly cook vegetables and meat with but- ter or oil in the bottom of a stockpot (5 minutes). Add broth, and grains or previously soaked beans if you wish. Simmer until everything is cooked through. Time will vary with the ingredients used, but count on a minimum of 20 minutes. Season at the end of cooking with salt and pepper and spices of your choice. Consult cookbooks for spe- cific recipe ideas.
• Cooking Liquid - Use broth in place of water to cook rice, beans or other grains. Bring broth to a boil, add grains or beans, reduce heat and cook for instructed time. Or you can simmer vegetables or meat in a little seasoned broth until cooked. Remove to a plate, thicken broth with cornstarch, arrowroot or flour, then pour over vegetables and meat.
• Gravy – Make gravy to put on vegetables, meat or biscuits. Put fat (removed from the broth, or use butter) in a skillet. Add any type of flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, and stir constantly until browned. Whisk in broth and cook till thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste.
• Tea – Don’t forget you can just add salt and sip broth like tea. This is especially nice in the winter or if you’re feel- ing sick. Since broth is simultaneously energizing and calming, it can take the place of morning coffee, afternoon tea, or evening nightcap. Try it in a thermos and sip throughout the day. Of course, the most traditional use for seasoned broth is as a first course, to enhance the digestion of any meal to come. INGREDIENTS ING
Conditions supported by bone broth: Aging skin, allergies, anemia, asthma, atherosclerosis, brittle nails, Celiac Disease, colic, constipation, dental degeneration, depression, detoxification, diabetes, diarrhea, food sensitivities, fractures, gastritis, high cho- lesterol, reflux, ulcers, hyperparathyroidism (primary), hypertension, hypochlorhydria, hypoglycemia, immunodepression, in- creased urination, infectious disease, inflammation, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis), in- somnia, intestinal bacterial infections, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Jaundice, joint injury, Kidney stones, leaky gut, muscle cramps, muscle spasms, muscle wasting, muscle weakness, Osteoarthritis, Osteomalacia, Osteoporosis, Periodontal Disease, weight loss due to illness, wound healing
Original article available at: http://www.townsendletter.com/FebMarch2005/broth0205.htm