If there's one great place to start in your journey to a nutrient dense diet that would be broth. Maybe you already know that it’s important to incorporate bone broth into your diet, that it's especially good when you’re sick but aren't sure how to add it into your everyday cooking. I'd like to tell you why its important to incorporate this superfood into your daily routine and how so you're not fooled into thinking its just for colds and the cold weather!
Bone broth is rich is gelatin which is good for joint health, its soothing and healing to the digestive tract and it helps improve nutrient absorption. It is also rich in minerals in an easily assimilated and digestible form. This means your body doesn’t have to work that hard to get the nutrition. Minerals are the spark plugs in our bodies necessary to help make things happen. As our soil has been depleted of these vital nutrients we must take extra care to make sure we get them in our diet and are able to assimilate them. This is why it is important to buy your produce from local farmers, use unrefined sea salt (try adding a pinch to your water) and incorporate bone broth into your daily food routines.
This is how we use broth at our house;
• We cook our grains and legumes in broth. Not only does it add flavor, it adds a lot of extra nutrition which if you have a picky eater on your hands can be really helpful.
• We eat a lot of soups. Pureed soups, chunky soups. This is one of the main ways my son eats his vegetables.
• Sauces. Lately we’ve been making the enchilada sauce recipe from Nourishing Traditions. Its simple, full of great spices and delicious.
• Mashed potatoes. Instead of boiling your potatoes in water and then draining, slowly simmer them in broth until the potatoes are tender and the broth is absorbed. Then add lots of butter, cream or milk, sea salt and pepper. Yum!
If you need more ideas Nourishing Traditions is full of great recipes.
Bone Broth Recipe (from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon)
1 whole free-range chicken or 4 - 5 pounds of bony chicken parts, such as necks, backs, breastbones and wings*
gizzards from one chicken (optional)
4 - 8 chicken feet (optional)
4 quarts cold filtered water
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
1 bunch parsley
*Note: Farm-raised, free-range chickens give the best results. Many battery-raised chickens will not produce stock that gels.
If you are using a whole chicken, cut off the wings and remove the neck, fat glands and the gizzards from the cavity. Cut chicken parts into several pieces. If you are using a whole chicken, remove the neck and wings and cut them into several pieces (If you are buying it from the butcher, you can ask them to do this for you!). Place chicken or chicken pieces in a large stainless steel pot with water, vinegar and all vegetables except parsley. Let stand 30 minutes to 1 hour. Bring to a boil, and remove scum that rises to the top. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6 to 8 hours. The longer you cook the stock, the richer and more flavorful it will be. About 10 minutes before finishing the stock, add parsley. This will impart additional mineral ions to the broth.
Remove whole chicken or pieces with a slotted spoon. If you are using a whole chicken, let cool and remove chicken meat from the carcass. Reserve for other uses, such as chicken salads, enchiladas, sandwiches or curries. Strain the stock into a large bowl and reserve in your refrigerator until the fat rises to the top and congeals. Skim off this fat and reserve the stock in covered containers in your refrigerator or freezer.
*Note: if you are on GAPS adjust the cooking time to 3 hours.