Blossoming Health with Nanny Bee

By Linda Pecone

Editor’s Note: The Lyons Recorder does not endorse the contents of this article as medical advice, and encourages readers with serious medical conditions to contact a professional health provider.
Bone broth has made an epic comeback into kitchens everywhere. It reigns supreme in its health benefits, is inexpensive, simple to prepare, warming and delicious, and such a comfort food.

For a struggling digestive system, the slow-cooked nature of bone broths makes them easy to digest. They are so healing because they help gut permeability and provide a natural seal to the gut lining. This helps to reduce inflammation, while at the same time still allowing other vital nutrients to be digested.

Bone broth is an important source of many amino acids. These amino acids are essential for the production of collagen. Collagen is the basis for building and growing strong and healthy hair, skin, and nails, and

to support joint integrity and recovery. Bone broth is also rich in the amino acid glycine. This amino acid is also required for immune function, fat metabolism, and calms the central nervous system. The amino acid proline, also found in bone broth, is essential for promoting cardiovascular health.

The old wive’s tale about eating chicken soup for illness has its basis in chicken bone broth. Chicken bone broth contains the amino acid cysteine. Cysteine thins excess mucus off your lungs, making it less sticky and congestive, and easier to pass.

The sky is the limit with flavoring your bone broth. You may add warming spices such as turmeric, ginger, chili, garlic, or mushroom. I like to add mushrooms for the health benefits they offer. Add seasonal vegetables towards the end of the cooking time to allow them to hold their shape and retain their flavor. Important in the process is adding a splash of apple cider vinegar to the simmering broth. Apple cider vinegar helps to leach minerals from the bones into the broth, allowing them to be more bioavailable to the body.

Bone broth freezes well so make a big batch. I always keep some on hand for soups, or for days when I just need a little extra nourishing. I freeze it in ice cube trays so that I can add it to my dog’s food, or to add a little richness to vegetables and grains.

5 lbs organic bones (e.g. beef, chicken, lamb) or 3 chicken carcasses
2 chicken feet (optional, for additional gelatin)
10 cups cold water (approximately)
½ cup apple cider vinegar
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
A few pieces of dried seaweed, such as kombu or wakame, or 1 heaped tbsp of flakes
4 cloves garlic, smashed or halved
For extra flavor add 2 inches chopped ginger, or 1 bunch herbs such as parsley, thyme, oregano, 1 tsp peppercorns, 1 stalk lemongrass, bruised, 2 bay leaves; 1 tbsp turmeric;

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F) and place the bones with extra meat on a baking tray. Brown in the oven for 45mins. (I don’t always do this, but it does make the broth more gelatinous.

Meanwhile, place the remaining bones in a large pot or slow cooker. Cover with cold water and apple cider vinegar and allow to sit until the meaty bones are ready.

Remove the bones from the oven and add to the pot, along with the chicken feet, onions, carrots, celery, vegetable scraps, herbs and spices.

Cook on a low simmer, covered, for 24 to 48 hours if making beef bone broth (12 hours for chicken or poultry, 6 hours for fish).

Note: This can also be done in a slow cooker set on low and let simmer for 24 to 48 hours.

Top up with an additional 2 cups of water 3 to 4 times while cooking if the liquid level drops below the bones, but not during the last 4 hours to allow for a more concentrated flavor.

With 20 minutes of cooking time left, add the seaweed and garlic to the broth.

Skim regularly to remove the foam or any impurities that float to the surface to maintain a clear broth.

When ready, remove the bones from the broth with tongs and strain. You should be left with approximately 2 quarts of broth.

Allow the broth to cool, then refrigerate for an hour. Once chilled, remove fat layer from the surface and discard. Avoid removing the jelly from the broth, as this is the gelatin that will provide many of the nutrients that the broth is made for.

Linda Pecone, along with her husband, is a long time resident of Lyons Colorado. She has a degree in nutrition, and is a certified herbalist. She enjoys creating healthful recipes for families and pets. She is also the owner of The Lyons Little Yellow Wellness House on Second Avenue.

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