So, here we are. Winter. At least they say it’s winter. Even though it’s a balmy and wet 62 whole degrees outside here in Georgia.
I’ve noticed a lot of things lately (besides the strange weather) and it includes a lot of sniffling noses, coughing, and body aches. What is up with the weather and people suddenly falling ill? People here in this area always blame our crazy, wackadoo weather conditions on the sudden health ailments of everyone but it actually has very little to do with that at all. It’s just the simple fact that people are spending a lot more time indoors as opposed to outside. And when you think about the fact that a major holiday just passed and people did what? Hung out with tons of family members INDOORS in CLOSED IN areas. People together. Tight quarters. Germs abound. So with all these colds, the flu, and viruses being spread around I started thinking that maybe I needed to up my defense. Besides my normal dose of gummy adult (yes, adult) vitamins I take I’ve also been downing a glass of orange juice a day for better measure. I’ve been thinking a lot about bone broth lately and perhaps incorporating that into my routine as well.
I got a reminder from Facebook this morning saying that exactly one year ago to the day I posted about making stock. So funny that today, in my crock pot, sits a mess of bones and vegetables and herbs for just that.
I watched a video the other day with Ben Greenfield who is a brain and body coach and well known biohacker. He wrote a New York Times bestselling book called, “Beyond Training: Mastering Endurance, Health, and Life.” In the video he talks about how to make your body the best body it can be. A lot of tips are reinforcing what most of us already know, such as getting the proper amount of sleep, staying away from sugar, and exercising. But he delves deeper. He tells you what supplements to take and why, the proper ways to exercise, as well as little things you can do to improve your daily performance as well as improve sleep. One of the things he mentioned was taking a regular dose of collagen. You can catch his video here:
So, What Exactly Is Collagen?
Collagen is a protein that actually accounts for 1/3 of the total protein found in our bodies. It’s the glue that holds our bodies together. It is found not
only in the skin but also in the bones and connective tissue. Loss of collagen starts occurring in your mid twenties and usually becomes more pronounced in your 30’s with loss of elasticity in the skin. Of course there are factors that can cause rapid or premature collagen loss such as smoking, large sugar intake, sun exposure, and autoimmune disease.
There are some things you can do to counter this loss though and it includes taking the recommended dose of Vitamin C, which helps synthesize collagen, and eating foods that are high in alpha-hydroxy acids which are found in vegetables, fruits, and milk. The best vegetables to consume are dark leafy greens like kale and spinach. Fruit-wise, stick to berries, which are high in antioxidants. And eat proteins like salmon, tuna, and grass fed beef which are high in Omega 3’s. This is where the bone broth comes in.
What’s Bone Broth?
Let’s forgo the bone broth hype and call it what it is. It’s stock. It’s not fancy. It’s not boujee. It’s bones. It’s water. It’s vegetables and herbs. It’s the base of soups. It’s the backbone of sauces. It’s necessary. And it’s so simple to make. A good stock is not only rich in flavor but rich in body, too. And it’s full of collagen. And since collagen is found in bones and bones are used in stock, why not drink said stock? And call it something fancy like, hmmm, bone broth?
Roasted Chicken stock:
- 8 lbs chicken bones and trimmings (I’m using back bones)
- 1 pound mirepoix; chopped in 1″ pieces (1/2 pound onion, 1/4 pound celery, 1/4 pound carrot). <Or one large onion, 2 carrots, and 2 stalks celery chopped.>
- 1 satchet of cheesecloth (lil bundle) with: 10 parsley stems(leaves removed), 8 sprigs thyme, 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, 2 bay leaves, 2 garlic cloves. <Or throw it all in sans cheesecloth. It’ll get strained out in the end anyway. >
- Olive oil (about 2 tablespoons)
- Salt (kosher or sea) and freshly cracked pepper
Today I followed that recipe exactly. The only difference in the recipes was that for this crock pot version I did not roast the vegetables with the bones and added the vegetables after putting the bones in the crock pot. I also cooked the stock for a total of 8 hours.
Instructions for Crock Pot Bone Broth:
*Brown the bones in the oven at 425° for one hour and place them in a large crock pot.
*Add fresh raw vegetables for this version and cover with water about an inch from the top of the pot (about one gallon of fresh cold water).
*Cover and turn on high. Once stock starts boiling uncover and skim surface of impurities and turn to low. Cover with lid.
*Cook on low heat for 8 hours.
*Strain though fine mesh strainer.
*Cool down to room temp.
*Refrigerate or freeze. This makes 10 – 12 cups of beautiful gelatinous stock
All bagged up and ready for the freezer!
I’ve been inspired to drink stock. Half of this will find its home in my fridge for me to consume like a cup o’ coffee and the other half will go in the freezer. It’s kind of the perfect time for inspiration isn’t it? Heading into a New Year. Making little tweaks here and there, and maybe even a complete overhaul for some. I think I’ll start with this simple little tweak by adding a cup of “broth” into my daily routine. I know what went into it because I made it. It doesn’t need a fancy label to tell me that..or a 12 dollar price tag.
Have you jumped on the bone broth bandwagon? What are your thoughts and/or experiences with this trend? Comment below!