Bone Broth, A Holistic Approach to Food

Yesterday, I espoused the whole “You are what you eat” cliche when talking about Shine Cafe.  But, this cliche I totally buy into…especially when you have newspapers making current events out of the correlation between processed sugar consumption and heart disease.  Seriously!  I’m thinking that a scoop of ice cream after dinner is loosing it’s appeal when thinking of my heart and the number one killer in the US.

It is always great to learn what is harmful and what I should stay away from, but I really get excited about the trends that are hitting hard regarding the body healing itself through food.  I call this a trend because at one time it was normative, but since the 1950’s and the dawn of conveniences, whole foods had been “out” and processed foods had been “in”.  Just think about those nifty American Cheese slices and you will get my drift.

Enter this Trendy Tuesday’s highlight: bone broth.  What is it?  Well, think old school….I mean super old school (as in, a cooking technique that has been in for 100’s, if not, 1000’s of years).

Firstly, why bother making bone broth?

Screen Shot 2014-02-04 at 10.43.17 PM

Screen Shot 2014-02-04 at 11.16.41 PMSecondly, what the heck is it??

If you guessed a rich stock made from bones….ummm, your right?  Sounds kinda cave-man, but you can read even more benefits here and here.  But ThePaleoMom puts it in great technical terms:

“Glycine and proline are two key components of connective tissue, the biological “glue” that holds our bodies together. There are many types of connective tissue and these two amino acids feature prominently in most of them, from the cartilage that forms our joints to the extracellular matrix that acts as a scaffold for the cells in our individual organs, muscles, arteries etc. Without these two amino acids, we would literally fall apart. So, it is no surprise that we need these two amino acids to heal, not only gaping wounds, but also the microscopic damage done to blood vessels and other tissues in our body caused by inflammation and infection. In fact, glycine is known to inhibit the immune system and reduce activation of inflammatory cells in your body. Whether you are trying to heal from an infection, address an auto-immune disease, or reduce inflammation caused by neolithic foods or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, high levels of dietary glycine are critical. In addition, glycine is required for synthesis of DNA, RNA and many proteins in the body. As such, it plays extensive roles in digestive health, proper functioning of the nervous system and in wound healing. Glycine aids digestion by helping to regulate the synthesis and of bile salts and secretion of gastric acid. It is involved in detoxification and is required for production of glutathione, an important antioxidant. Glycine helps regulate blood sugar levels by controlling gluconeogenesis (the manufacture of glucose from proteins in the liver). Glycine also enhances muscle repair/growth by increasing levels of creatine and regulating Human Growth Hormone secretion from the pituitary gland. This wonderful amino acid is also critical for healthy functioning of the central nervous system. In the brain, it inhibits excitatory neurotransmitters, thus producing a calming effect. Glycine is also converted into the neurotransmitter serine, which promotes mental alertness, improves memory, boosts mood, and reduces stress.”

I was super intrigued, so I headed to the butcher section of my local grocery store and bought some beef bones (actually, Sean was out, so I asked him to grab them at the store….he did a triple take both when I asked for him to pick them up, and again when he saw that the grocery store readily sold them and had them already packaged).

DSC_3507My first step was to roast them for some added flavor.  The color drastically changed.

DSC_3510Now into my crockpot!

DSC_3512The first ingredient is 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, used to help pull the nutrients from the bones.

DSC_3514Next step is completely flavor based.  Add in onions, carrots, and celery.  Then top it all off with fresh water.

DSC_3516Now get ready to crock pot this thing for what seems like eternity.  For beef bones, it’s recommended cooking them on low for 72 hours (if you choose to use chicken bones, then cook for 24 hours).  I simply checked it daily to see if any additional water needed to be added as it cooked.

DSC_3519After 72 hours it was looking brown and delicious!  I then added some ice cubes to cool it down and get it ready for bottling up for use later in the week.

DSC_3517A quick sieve and it was ready to go!

DSC_3530My first step was to put it in bowls and refrigerate it until the fat solidified for scraping off.

DSC_3533Crazy how easy it was to remove the fat.  Just chunk it up and throw it away.  Then, using a funnel, I pour my broth into large mason jars.

DSC_3534Looking good and ready to make some awesome dishes!

fajita frittata_0002
DSC_3543Well, if you are ready to jump on the trend wagon of whole, holistic foods….give this a try.  As of now, I am using this broth as a soup base, an additional flavor for making rice and of course, sauces.

Bon apetit et bonne sante!