You’ve heard of it, no doubt. But you kind of skimmed over it because it simply didn’t seem substantial. But the amount of noise foodies are making over Bone Broth warrants a closer look at this retro culinary phenomenon…
Classic Bone Broth: Without the aromatic veggies and herbs that would otherwise make it Stock…
What it is
Bone Broth is just that. But most serious cooks know it by another name: Stock. It’s made by simply simmering meat bones and connective tissues until all the goodies are extracted. That’s vitamins, minerals, gelatin and myriad trace constituents that all add up to an ancient and venerable base for soups stews and sauces.
The French connection
Classic French Culinary tradition mandates the addition of aromatic vegetables and herbs to the simmering process that culminates in Stock. These flavouring are usually added in two ‘doses’. The vegetables – traditionally carrots, onions and celery – are chunked coarsely and simply added to the pot.
The herbs usually include thyme, bay leaf and parsley. But they may also include basil, […] rosemary, peppercorns, savory and tarragon, depending on regional preferences.” Stemmed herbs may simply tied in a bundle with string. When granular herbs or peppercorms are used, they are usually enclosed in a cotton gauze ‘tea bag’ pouch.
After the stock has simmered for up to 8 hours (for heavy types based on red meats, for example) the bones. Meat, cartilage scraps and aromatic veggies are removed, and the bouquet garni is discarded. After the stock has cooled to room temperature, as much as possible of the fat is skimmed off the top and it, too, is discarded.
Finished stock can be used immediately, refrigerated for up to 3 days, or frozen for at least 3 months.
Attack of the Foodies!
Just recently, the Foodies discovered Stock – and rebranded it as ‘Bone Broth’. It’s worth noting that ‘true’ Bone Broth does not incorporate aromatic veggies or herbs. But it’s a darned sight more pleasurable with them!
According to WebMD, one cup of Bone Broth delivers the following nutrients:
- Calories: 39
- Protein: 9 grams
- Fat: 1 gram
- Carbohydrates: 0 grams
- Fibre: 0 grams
- Sugar: 0 grams
… Plus small but significant amounts of calcium, iron and potassium.
Bone Broth benefits
Bone Broth avantgardistes have taken to drinking it as an exlixir. As such, a number of health benefits (per WebMD) are claimed:
The high water content in Bone Broth delivers hydration, plus nutritional elements.
Bone broth contains small amounts of the amino acid glycine, which may promote relaxation and deeper, more restorative sleep.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. Its braided, chain-like structure helps it strengthen a variety of tissues, including skin, bones, muscles, and tendons. Bone broth is naturally high in collagen. But there is limited evidence that eating collagen-rich foods will help your body make more of the protein.
Some studies suggest that bone broth can help reduce chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is associated with a host of conditions, including arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.
Bone broth can be a part of a healthy weight loss regime. It is loaded with protein—about 10 grams per serving—that can help you feel full for longer. This extra protein can also assist in building lean muscle mass, which in turn enables your body to burn more calories throughout the day. Experts recommended that most people take in at least 0.8 grams of protein a day per kilogram of body weight. To maximize lean muscle gain, be sure to incorporate exercise into your daily routine as well.
A way to fight food waste
You may have noted to yourself that the ingredients of Bone Broth are largely parts of meat products that you’d normally throw out. Or gift to the dog. Using them to make Bone Broth is a great way to help fight food waste.
You can also upcycle the carrots, celery and onions you use to flavour your Bone Broth by including them in dishes you ultimately make from your stock.
Call it Bone Broth, Stock or soup base – whatever you like. It’s a classic preparation found in an overwhelming range of traditional cuisines around the world. And it’s stood the test of time.
Drinking it ‘neat’, as an elixir may be an attractive, trendy addition to your daily routine. It can’t hurt you and may in fact help with some the above-listed health conditions. Bone Broth is available boxed like stock in the supermarket. ‘Health Food’ (Supplement) stores also offer concentrates and powdered extracts.
I personally prefer to incorporate Bone Broth in more-complex soups, stews and other dishes that promise greater overaall nutritive punch…
~ Maggie J.