There’s nothing like a hot steaming bowl of rich bone broth on a cold day to give some respite from the chills. It must be one of the most comforting foods known to man, but where did it all begin? And is it really as nutritious as everyone says? Broths and stocks have been a central part of human culinary tradition for millennia. Our ancestors would regularly use all parts of the animal from a hunt, and so a nutritious and warming broth made from the bones was the most practical idea. This explains why bone broths are a tradition in so many cultures around the world!
Stocks, Broth and Bone Broth
It may seem confusing, but broth, bone broth, and stock are actually different from each other even though they are all made with the same water, meat, bone, vegetable and seasoning base. Here is how you define them:
Broth contains mostly meat and some bones. It is simmered for between 45 minutes to two hours and is light in color and flavor, and rich in protein.
Stock contains mostly cooked bones and some meat as well as vegetables and herbs. It is cooked for three to four hours and is often used as a base for soups and other meals rather than as a meal itself.
Bone Broth contains only bones (apart from small amounts of meat on the bones) and vegetables and seasoning. The bones are usually cooked beforehand, and the mixture is cooked for anything upwards of 8 hours!
So now we know the difference between stock, normal broth and bone broth, what are the reasons for choosing bone broth above the rest?
Well, unlike stock and broth, bone broth contains high levels of glycine, gelatin, calcium and phosphorus, which are extracted from the bones due to the long boiling time. Glycine is particularly effective in detoxing the body and increasing red blood cell production, but also helps the creation of bile salts, an important part of the digestive process. Gelatin helps promote healthy skin and is a key protein in supporting a healthy digestive system. Calcium and phosphorous are key minerals that strengthen bones, hair, nails and skin, keeping you feeling healthy! So forget eating an apple a day, it seems that drink a cup of bone broth a day will REALLY keep the doctor away!
Chicken broth has been proven to ease cold and flu symptoms by inhibiting the migration of neutrophil. So, when you’re feeling under the weather and someone offers you a hot chicken broth, you know it’s scientifically proven to help you feel better!
Making the Perfect Bone Broth
Firstly, you will need cooked bones, such as a chicken or a turkey carcass, rib bones, chicken wings or a shoulder joint – the more the merrier. Add the bones to a slow cooker (or heavy lidded pot on the hob) and set to a low heat. Next add 1 tbsp black peppercorns, 2 bay leaves, and any vegetable scraps you may have (carrot and turnip peelings or celery stalks are perfect) and cover with filtered water. Let it simmer for at least twelve hours but preferably twenty-four for a full flavored bone broth! Drink and enjoy, or use as the perfect base to a tasty warming soup!
It seems our ancestors knew what was good for them, and the traditional way of making bone broth still continues today… except of course for the slow cooker! Keep full and healthy with a hearty, warming cup of delicious bone broth. Now… where can we get a Superfood crown to give to this dish?! We know it deserves it!