Sunday, March 28, 2010

Bones for my Bones

Broths made from bones are highly nutritious, and the base for classic gourmet and traditional foods the world over. Did you know if you make it right, broth provides a wealth of minerals in a form our bodies can readily use? Minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and trace minerals are easily absorbed from good stock or broth used in soups, stews and sauces.

Research studies have shown that the gelatin in well-made broths help build strong bones and cartilage. It also helps the digestive system, our muscles and skin tone. By the way, MSG is added to most commercial stocks (and canned soups and sauces) to get the taste of real meat or chicken... and it's toxic to the nervous system. The name is often disguised, but it's there.

Part of my personal nutrition program has to be geared around what I can chew, since I have
mostly "removable teeth" that do not fit well. That means I can elect to put hard foods in a blender, eat yucky baby foods, or occasionally cook up some really nutritious soups and stews from homemade stocks. I think I prefer to make stocks! (Actually I do make stocks, just have not in a long time, nor with a tad of vinegar to dissolve the minerals in the bones. I once always used vinegar, don't remember why I forgot.)
Good stocks also contain chondroiton sulfates and glucosamine, broken down from the cartilage and tendons in the carcasses and/or bones we cook down for broths. I've been paying over $30 a month for those joint supplements and see very little difference except to my pocketbook. (According to Dr. Kaayla Daniel¹, connective tissue regenerates slowly, so don't expect overnight miracles.)

I will write more about recipes for stocks later, but basically you cover bones with water and a little vinegar for a couple of hours, then bring to a boil, skim any scum, and simmer several hours. I'll do the simmer part overnight in my crock pot.

You can add any veggies and/or herbs you choose, but strongly-flavored ones will impart their taste on the stock. I have a freezer container of carrot pulp from making juice, and some odds and ends of cooked vegetable water to add.
Some bones, like beef and lamb, benefit from slow oven roasting before soaking and simmering, giving up a more flavorful broth.

For more information, see
Sally Fallon, and
¹ Dr. Kaayla Daniel

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