Over the last couple of weeks I have written articles regarding the bodies immunity defence systems and how we can assist this by what we eat. With the lockdown now in force within the UK
I thought I would write a few articles regarding preparing and making foods that can assist in building up our immunity. I have already written a lengthy article on the benefits of fermented foods and there are three recipes you can find in our journal.
In this article I would like to cover all things bone broth. Now this is something you may remember from your youth. My grandma always seemed to have a pot of bacon bones boiling. She would let us chew on the bones then would then serve us the broth for our dinner.
Now why was this? Well the use of bone broth dates back 2500 years and our hunter gatherer ancestors made this out of necessity. Because food was scarce, when an animal was slaughtered the whole of the animal was consumed unlike today when we only eat the choice cuts.
This then developed and was used in Chinese medicine to support digestive health amongst other things. This then progressed and in the 12th century Egyptian physicians would prescribe chicken soup as a remedy for colds and asthma
Chicken soup in itself has its history rooted deeply within the Jewish community and is sometimes know as the Jewish penicillin.
I think during my grandparents times the use of bone broth was just a way of extending the foods held within the pantry. This was because they lived through World War 2 and all the rationing it involved but no doubt they picked up the recipes from their parents who suffered similar restrictions during World War 1.
So here we are again not at war with another country but at war with a worldwide pandemic. I’m sure many of you have been to the supermarkets and seen the chaos and panic buying.
So in the spirit of our grandparents I will explain why we should all be making our own bone broth to make our food go further. I will show you my attempts at making it along with the recipe I use.
So now we have a little understanding of the history behind bone broth lets look at why its so good for us to eat.
So what exactly is bone broth you may ask?
Bone broth is a liquid containing brewed bones and connective tissues. In theory any type of animal bone can be used but the common ones for us in the UK are chicken, cow and pig.
The benefits of bone broth are as follows.
1. Highly Nutritious.
The bones themselves are rich in vitamins and nutrients including calcium, magnesium and phosphorous as well as collagen. The connective tissues and are also rich in cartilage and collagen. Now as you know our companies USP is collagen and the reason why we chose this is because of the numerous benefits of consuming collagen over other types of protein. I have written a full article on collagen itself which is worth reading along with this.
2. Protects Joints
When we boil the bones the cooked collagen turns into gelatin. Now gelatin has important health benefits due to its unique combination of amino acids. Gelatin has been shown to play a role in joint health and brain function, and may improve the appearance of skin and hair.
As mentioned in my previous article collagen is the most plentiful protein found in humans and animals. It is found almost everywhere in the body, but is most abundant in the skin, bones, tendons and ligaments.
It provides strength and structure for tissues. For example, collagen increases the flexibility of the skin and the strength of the tendons. However, it is difficult to eat collagen because it is generally found in unpalatable parts of animals hence why we have bone broth.
3. Helps Osteoarthritis
As we age we become more susceptible to suffer from arthritis. Studies have shown that by supplementing with collagen improvements have been made in the joints of sufferers.
4. Reduces Inflammation
I have mentioned in many articles I have written about the dangers of too much inflammation and how it is the cause of most chronic disease. Well the consumption of bone broth provides us with a healthy dose of the amino acid glutamine. In studies this amino acid has been shown to heal the lining of the gut and help prevent conditions such as leaky gut syndrome.
5. Aids Sleep
6. Assists the Immune System
The consumption of bone broth also provides a healthy dose of the amino acid arginine. Along with the amino acids glutamine and glycine all of these are crucial for supporting the INNATE part of our immune system. The bone marrow also contains lipids called alkylglycerols. Now these are crucial for the production of white blood cells which are the soldiers of our defence system.
So as you can see there is no reason why you shouldn’t be consuming bone broth. Now this can be purchased ready made from some supermarkets but I like to make my own so I know exactly what the ingredients are. Also you get much more satisfaction from making your own and feeding your children pure goodness made by your own fair hand.
So this is how I make my bone broth. I use a slow cooker for mine but you can just use a pan on a stove. I have just purchased a pressure cooker to cook my soy beans for my natto. I’ve yet to use this to cook a bone broth but research online shows this can be done in around two hours as opposed to the lengthy time in a slow cooker.
For now I will stick with the slow cooker method which Ive used several times. To date I have only made broth using chicken bones.
The ingredients you will need are a medium size chicken, hot water, chopped Garlic, herbs, spices of your choice and a chicken vegetable stock cube.
Now this recipe will make a large tub of gelatin rather than a broth style soup with vegetables.
The reason I do it this way is because the gelatin produced can then be used as a basis for other recipes.
Place the whole chicken in the slow cooker
Dissolve the chicken stock cube in boiling water
Add the water to the slow cooker and fully cover chicken
Add chopped garlic and herbs and spices of your liking
Cook on low for 8 hours.
Now I do this prep in a morning with a view to eating the meat off the chicken later that evening.
After 8 hours I pick all the meat off the chicken. You will find that the meat just falls off the bone. This can be a bit tedious but persevere its worth it. I then serve this meat for dinner with vegetables.
Having picked off all the meat I am left with the carcass, bones and skin in the slow cooker.
I again cook this for a further 4 hours. Once done I then filter all the hot broth into another container and throw away the bones and skin. I let the broth cool to room temperature and then place it in the fridge over night. The next day you should have a gel like substance. Now this is gelatin which is 99% protein. Now you can use this in various ways. You can put a tablespoon in your daily smoothie or you can make yourself a vegetable soup and add the gelatin into that. I personally just put the gelatin into a pan and heat it up again. You will then find it goes to a liquid again and tastes just like a chicken broth. You can add noodles and make a chicken noodle soup.
Here is a picture of my efforts showing the chicken in the slow cooker and the gelatin after chilling in the fridge overnight.
Well I hope this has given you some inspiration to try and make your own bone broth.