It’s still early in the year, when many are making resolutions to live better, eat more nutritiously, be more active and overall improve many aspects in their lives. It’s also the time of year when some areas are receiving the coldest temperatures in years, record breaking lows. The north American winter months tend to make us think of rich, hearty, and indulgent comfort foods. I know that personally, growing up, it meant pots of creamy potato soups, stews with thick soda breads, and cookies and pies to enjoy on the sofa in front of a fire.
I’m preaching tenet #1 this week about how tapping into our genetic heritage will maximize our happiness, and, well, our prehistoric ancestors couldn’t grab a cup of hot chocolate and nestle into a nice sugar coma.. So how do WE balance this wanting to be healthier, more nutritiously aware, and active when our bodies are begging for extra padding (in the form of the standard American diet)? It’s interesting that we combat this often at the beginning of the year, but the plethora of resources available for those looking to eat more primal/paleo are vast and there is a cleaned up version of any comfort food you could think of.
So you want to make soup, eh? Well the base of any soup is broth, but you’re better off making your own for the amazing nutritional properties homemade broth has vs. processed. (plus it’s a lot more likely your ancestors did this rather than running to their nearest supermarket)
First off, Food Renegade tells us that in other cultures, people use broth as a palate cleanser before meals, which also helps with digestion. Not only that, but using good, grass fed, bones for your broth can add some insane nutritional benefits to your diet. She quotes an article by Sally Fallon that tells us WHY we need bone broth:
“Stock contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily—not just calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals. It contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons—stuff like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain.
Fish stock, according to traditional lore, helps boys grow up into strong men, makes childbirth easy and cures fatigue. “Fish broth will cure anything,” is another South American proverb. Broth and soup made with fishheads and carcasses provide iodine and thyroid-strengthening substances.
When broth is cooled, it congeals due to the presence of gelatin. The use of gelatin as a therapeutic agent goes back to the ancient Chinese…. Although gelatin is not a complete protein, containing only the amino acids arginine and glycine in large amounts, it acts as a protein sparer, helping the poor stretch a few morsels of meat into a complete meal. During the siege of Paris, when vegetables and meat were scarce, a doctor named Guerard put his patients on gelatin bouillon with some added fat and they survived in good health.”
So now that it’s clear why we need it, here’s how to make it, simply:
1. Get some grass fed bones. I used grass fed beef bones from a local market. (about $5!)
2. I roasted them for about 15 minutes in the oven to get them cooking (375 degrees) I probably would NOT do this next time. I didn’t like the flavor it gave the broth.
3. I added them to a crock pot that had a layer of chopped onion, carrots, and garlic on the bottom, and covered with water. I FORGOT to add seasonings, but I don’t think a dash of a good salt or pepper would hurt. I think a few sprigs of rosemary would be great in a chicken bone broth.
it will not be very pretty at this point, but don’t give up:
4. I cooked overnight and strained, to remove all bones, vegetables and any “gunk” that didn’t break down.
5. Threw my pitcher in the fridge and waited until the fat rose to the top and turned into a gelatin like substance. Removed that layer for the final product.
this top layer will turn solid:
I haven’t yet tried it, but I read that the top layer can be used in cooking- maybe to sauté some vegetables. The broth can be used as a soup base or just consumed straight from a cup.
I’m really surprised that this is not more mainstream yet, because the time involved was very minimal, plus, this is a great way to maximize our efficiency as consumers. I love animals, but I also love to eat them, so if we are going to use animal products, I want to put as much of it to use as possible, leaving little waste.
I’m hoping to make some soup this week using my broth- I have some amazing Ethopian Berbere spice mix from Teeny Tiny Spice Co. that I think could put a really unique twist on classic ground beef and vegetable soup!
Nom Nom Paleo - Slow Cooker Beef Broth
Food Renegade - How to Make Beef Broth
(FYI) This can be done with any meat bones. I wanted chicken feet, but could not find any grass fed, free range chicken bones when I started my search.
What do you use for broth? Any other ways you can recommend to use the final product?
Come gather around the warm glow of the fire and listen, watch, share, discover, and be inspired by the conversation. It is here where we explore stories, and new ideas. Pull up a rock.