Saucy Saturday: Let’s Talk Bone Broth
Is this hype or truly healthy? Is it a super-food or a super-trend? Bone broth has had a place in the typical human diet for ages. It’s been in your grandma’s repertoire for health and healing and there is certainly something to be said regarding those tried and true methods to nurse us back to health. With modern scientific influence looking at components in food rather than the food as a whole item, we now know more about why certain foods (or rather, certain nutrients) are so good for us. I would conclude that bone broth is a super-food and though it is super trendy right now, it’s a bandwagon worth jumping on, and here is why:
Bone broth is very nourishing and tolerated by almost everyone. So how do you make it?
I like to save the carcass from a chicken or turkey in the freezer in a large ziplock bag until I am ready to make my broth. You don’t need to make it the same day/night or even the next day from the roast chicken you made. Save two carcasses even and make a large batch. I also like to save the extra nibs, bits and peels of vegetables over a few weeks. As I cook dinner I will store the carrot tops and ends of celery, ribs from bell peppers, etc and I throw them into a big zip lock back and let the collection grow. Once I have a nice collection of bones and vegetables I know I’m ready to start a batch of broth.
You can also go talk to your butcher and get bones that may otherwise be thrown away. It is a super cheap way to source bones to make some broth. You can use beef, lamb, turkey, chicken, venison, fish, really most bones can make bone broth. It’s good if you can source some chicken feet and neck to increase the gelatin in the broth. But beware, adding a lot of chicken feet and forgetting you put them in the pot can make for a horror movie scene when you go to check on your broth. Okay let's get started:
1: Get out a large pot for the stovetop or uncover your crockpot. Place bones in to the pot or crockpot and cover with water. If you are making a lamb or beef broth, it’s nice to brown the meat/bones before starting the broth. Throw in the vegetables you would like to add (you can also add half way through cooking) Add some extra water over the bones, to allow for evaporation. Don't worry so much about how much meat, water and veggies, just get it in the pot and add some water. You can't mess this up.
2: Add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to water prior to cooking. This is so important to pull minerals and nutrients from the bones.
3: Bring the broth to a boil and then reduce to a low simmer for at least 6 hours. Skim the fat off the top as it rises. I recommend cooking for 16-20 hours for optimal nutrients. You can cook longer, many people say low and slow… however, if you cook too long you can have high levels of glutamate which is not optimal. So low and moderately slow.
4: Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Discard solids and strain the remainder through a colander, I also like to strain through a cheese cloth to get all the floaty bits out.
5: Let broth cool to room temperature, cover and chill. Use within a week or freeze for up to 3 months.
You can sip this broth, but I like to also use it to cook and incorporate in meals for my whole family (not everyone is willing to sip a mug of broth every day). I like to add the broth to cook my grains like quinoa, rice, barley, and spelt. I use it as a base for soup or to make a gravy. I use it in curries and noodle bowls like a pho knock off.
This is a warm and delicious fall soup that will satisfy! I love to sprinkle fresh grated romano cheese before serving. I also add noodles to this soup!
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Large Yellow Onion, Diced
4 Stalks Celery, Diced
1 Butternut Squash, Peeled, Seeded, and Cubed
8 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock
3 Tbsp Fresh Rosemary Chopped
1 Tsp Thyme (dried)
1 Can Cannellini Beans Drained and rinsed
2 to 3 Cups Chopped Kale
Black Pepper and Salt to Taste
Noodles can be added based on your families preference, choose a whole grain option, if you choose to add.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for 5 to 10 minutes. Add the celery, squash, and saute another 5 minutes. Next add stock and rosemary and allow to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Add beans, kale and simmer another 4-5 minutes. Next add salt and pepper to taste.
I love to either add pasta or serve with a whole grain bread on the side.
I made this black bean soup last week for my boys (BJ and my dad). It would have been vegan (if you care about that) had I not put plain yogurt on top and a whole wheat quesadilla with cheese. This came with a raving thumbs up from my boys and I even served as a bean side dish with enchiladas later in the week at our bible fellowship.
Next add in all spices and mix around and let cook for 1-2 minutes until you smell fragrances. Add water or broth, rinsed beans, let simmer for about 15 minutes.
Your vegetables should be soft at this point and ready for the immersion blender. If you don't have an immersion blender you can carefully transfer soup to a blender to make smooth. You can also just eat soup as it, I prefer it a bit smooth.
After blending you can serve. I like to add cilantro on top, however I didn't have it this time around. I also serve with a plain yogurt on top instead of sour cream, and this time I had some left over brown rice I added on top too.
This is a super healthy and yummy dish. Let me know once you try it. You can also play with spices to suit your taste.
Caitlin Johnson is a dietitian, wife, lover of ice cream, chef wannabe, California-girl, Christian, liver eating, "food-avore."
218 W. Carmen Lane, Suite 108
Santa Maria, California 93458
Hours: Tues and Thurs 9-5 PST