An ancient tradition that has become a health craze – bone broth has turned into an uber-trendy beverage. Looking at a bone, one might think it has nothing to offer in terms of nutrition. But locked away inside its shell is a wealth of essential nutrition, anti-inflammatory and gut-healing properties, good fats, and a wealth of minerals. Homemade broth is full of nutrients, underrepresented in today’s modern diet, in a form the body can easily absorb.
Folk wisdom throughout the world values broth for its healing properties. Until the modern era, most households kept a stockpot simmering over the fire or on the back burner. They regularly ate from it and continually added whatever ingredients became available, making long-cooked soups and stews the original “fast food”.
In this post we share with you all the nutritional benefits your body can gain by consuming bone broth, an easy at-home recipe to try and demystify the confusion between broth vs. stock.
BROTH VS. STOCK
People often ask what is the difference between a broth and a stock? A stock is a flavorful liquid extract produced by simmering bone and/or vegetables and aromatics. Stocks are usually short-cooked and used to flavour other dishes like soups, stews, and sauces and as a cooking medium for grains, pasta, and vegetables. Broths are like stocks but not quite the same because they are long-cooked and contain much higher levels of beneficial nutrients than a stock. While there is some debate in the culinary world about the technical difference between broth and stock – a broth is generally considered salted or seasoned that can be consumed on its own.
Here are some Dubai-based companies making fresh, delicious bone broths that you can enjoy in the comfort of your own home. If you prefer to make your own, continue scrolling down for our easy DIY bone broth recipe.
CLEAN LIVING COMPANY:
This company offers beef and chicken bone broths in a variety of packages to suit every budget.
Chicken Bone Broth, PRP AED 57, available at cleanlivingcompany.ae
The original bone broth company in Dubai offering beef, chicken and lamb broths to feed your body goodness.
Organic Chicken 1 Bone Broth, PRP AED 72, available at bonebroth.ae
Grass-Fed Beef Bone Broth, PRP AED 88, available at bonebroth.ae
Grass-Fed Lamb Bone Broth, PRP AED 122, available at bonebroth.ae
LONG VS. SHORT COOKED BROTH
Lab analysis by Biodynamic Wellness, based in California, USA, in 2013 showed that longer cooking times affected the mineral content of the bone broth. The four top amino acids found in bone broth: glutamine, glycine, proline, and alanine were three times higher in long-cooked broths compared to short-cooked. Typically, poultry bones can be cooked for anywhere between 6 to 24 hours, and harder bones like lamb or beef bones can cook for 8 to 48 hours.
HOMEMADE VS. STORE-BOUGHT BROTH
Broth, often labelled as stock, in grocery stores often relies on high temperature and fast cooking techniques which result in a watered-down version that does not gel. You miss out on some of the health benefits that can only be achieved by low-temperature slow cooking which results in a gelatin-rich broth. Additives like Monosodium glutamate (MSG) and flavours are often added to store-bought versions of broth. So, if you are interested in the healing properties of bone broth it is better to make your own. We are sharing an easy and healthy bone broth recipe so that you can experience firsthand the difference an at-home bone broth has on your body and wellbeing.
RECIPE FOR A SIMPLE CHICKEN BROTH
- 1 kg farm raised, free range chicken bones, necks, and feet
- 4 litres filtered water
- 4 celery stalks, roughly chopped
- 2 carrots, roughly chopped
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Place chicken bones in a large stainless-steel pot with water, add the vegetables, and apple cider vinegar. (Note: Adding an acid like apple cider vinegar helps extract more minerals from the bone during cooking)
- Let stand 30 minutes to 1 hour. Bring to a boil and remove any scum that rises to the top for the first hour of the cooking time. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 6 to 12 hours. The longer you cook the broth, the richer and more flavorful it will be.
- Remove the bones and vegetables with a slotted spoon. Strain the broth into glass containers or jars for storage.
- When the broth cools, a layer of fat rises and hardens on top. This layer protects the broth beneath and you may discard it when you are about to drink the broth.
The broth can be stored 4-5 days in the refrigerator. Alternatively, it can be frozen in freezer-safe containers for later use.
BONE BROTH BENEFITS
A good source of collagen
Collagen is a structural protein that builds strong skin; it is also the glue that holds the body together. Collagen supports the skin and internal organs, it helps our skin retain its youthful firmness, suppleness, elasticity, and protects it against ageing and wrinkling.
In nature, collagen is found in the skin, bones, and joints of the animal. Cooking the bones breaks down the collagen so it becomes more easily digestible. This form of cooked collagen is better known as gelatin.
Collagen production in the body slows down with age and ill health, causing skin, joints and other body parts to become drier, less pliant, thinner, and weaker. Drinking bone broth is a good way to supplement the body and consume a natural form of collagen.
Rich source of minerals and amino acids
Bone broth is extremely high in minerals and amino acids. Bones from land animals are rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. Fish and seafood are rich stores of iodine, which helps protect sluggish thyroid – a major cause of weight gain, thinning hair, and loss of energy.
The mineral content from bones is drawn out into the boiling water and one can know this for certain because the bones are often crumbly when the broth is done cooking. Smaller bones like chicken and fish can sometimes entirely dissolve in the broth. Additionally, some of the star amino acids in bone broth include glutamine, glycine, proline, and alanine.
Supports the digestive system
Bone broth is very healing for the digestive tract, and it helps to prevent inflammation that leads to ageing. It is a rich source of Glycine which contributes and stimulates the production of stomach acid to aid digestion. Glycine is also an important component of bile acid which is necessary for the digestion of fat in the small intestine and helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
Glutamine is another amino acid abundantly found in both broths. It is well recognized for its health-giving potential and is a natural remedy for “leaky gut”, an unpleasant and sometimes dangerous condition where the barrier between the gut and the rest of the body isn’t working properly. Allowing the molecules that should stay inside the gut to cross over into the bloodstream and potentially set off a cascade of autoimmune reactions. Glutamine helps maintain the function of the intestinal wall preventing this damage from occurring. It also helps the villi of the small intestine to heal and grow which is very important for people suffering from malabsorption.
Broth made from bones and joints contains several nutrients that help strengthen our skeletal system. The collagen in broth supports the bones, tendons and ligaments, and other flexible tissues. Another benefit of bone broth comes from glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) a family of carbohydrates in bones and connective tissues, which show positive effects on reducing joint pain.
The best-known GAGs are Glucosamine, consumed by thousands in supplement form to support joint health; and Hyaluronic which has been used as an effective treatment for osteoarthritis. According to the principle “like feeds like” broth gives our bone strength and flexibility, and our joints cushion and resilience.
An often unknown fact of consuming bone broth is that it supports the body’s natural detox pathways. Glycine an amino acid present in broth is a key player in detoxification. Glycine supports the liver to remove and get rid of anything dangerous from the body, helping it to re-energize and de-age the cells. Glycine is also a precursor amino acid for glutathione, a powerful cancer-curbing, age-slowing antioxidant that also supports liver detoxification.
Bone broth is a valuable supplement food for all of us. It can be used as a foundational ingredient in soups, stews, and sauces and therapeutically for colds, digestive disorders, joint problems, and skin health. With a myriad of bioavailable minerals and anti-ageing nutrients, one can say it is time to put bone broth back on the table and nourish our bodies from the inside out.