HEALTHY HOLIDAY HABITS FOR OUTSIDE THE GYM: MAKE BROTH

I’m a water drinker (which may come as a shock to anyone who knew me as a child when I literally remember drinking water once before the age of 14). I’m pretty content to drink water all year round. December hits, and I want something hot to drink all day. Tea becomes a pretty constant companion, but the focus of this post in our Healthy Holiday series is Bone Broth. Whether you're looking to replace your holiday cocoa habit with something a little less insulin spiking, or you're just looking for a comfort food that is actually nourishing, broth may be exactly what you need.

Bone Broth is basically just a stock that has been cooked for at least 24 hours in a slow cooker to pull the nutrients of the bones into the drink. While bone broth is trendy right now, and its health claims sometimes make it sound like a miracle drug that will fight off all maladies for you, here are three simple reasons to make and drink bone broth (or put it in a soup or sauce or roast)

·      Gelatin: It supports digestion, heals stomach lining issues and improves hair, skin and nail health

·      Calcium: It promotes strong bones and teeth (which if you’re eating a lot of treats over the holidays, your teeth need all the help they can get).

·      Glycine: This one is an amino acid that reduces inflammation in our bodies. Other fun notes about glycine are that it is used to protect the liver from the harmful affects of alcohol and is also used to improve sleep.

So how do you make it?

1)   Get some bones. You’ll want 2-4 lbs of bones. Poultry bones are easily acquired by saving your bones after roasting a chicken or turkey. Beef Bones you can usually grab from a local butcher or farmers market. Look for pastured chicken bones or grass fed beef bones. Ethical reasons aside, you are attempting to draw nutrients from these bones, and you are more likely to get nutrients from a healthy animal than a factory farmed one.

2)   Throw them in your slow cooker with water, vinegar and salt. Cover your bones with water and add a shot or two of apple cider vinegar (about ¼ cup) and a teaspoon or two of salt. These are the only elements that I add to my broth every time. The vinegar is important because the acid pulls the nutrients from the bones.

3)   Add other ingredients. You could stop at the step above, but if you’re looking to make a delicious broth and add some extra nutrients, feel free to add any and all of the following:

Feel free to experiment with with adding vegetables/veggie scraps to your stock but avoid Dark Green Leafies. The prolonged cooking gives the broth a bitter taste.

Feel free to experiment with with adding vegetables/veggie scraps to your stock but avoid Dark Green Leafies. The prolonged cooking gives the broth a bitter taste.

  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Ginger Root
  • Onions
  • Parsnips
  • Bell Peppers
  • Bay Leaves
  • Parsley
  • Thyme
  • Sage
  • Rosemary

 

4. Cook on Low for 24 hours. The stock is tasty after a few hours, but if you're making it for the health benefits, you'll want to cook it for 24 hours.

For those of you who really want a recipe, try some of these:

http://wellnessmama.com/5888/how-to-make-bone-broth/
http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2014/02/bone-broth-from-nom-nom-paleo.html
http://whole9life.com/2013/12/whole9-bone-broth-faq/

Let me know what you try and which you like best.
For those of you who love to experiment, have fun, tell me what you tried and how it turned out.

Make some broth, drink some broth and enjoy a healthy holiday.