Health and wellness begin with the belly.
Or so seems to be the prevailing wisdom these days.
Personally, I have improved my overall health a great deal by making dietary changes, in addition to being easier on my body (AKA not working out as hard), and embracing the importance of good sleep.
In good health and good cooking, there is one staple I appreciate above all others: BONE BROTH
Dr. Jeni Gall and the makings of tonight’s overnight bone broth. This one has chicken wings, beef shank, celery, carrot, mushroom, and plenty of herbs.
I am a huge fan of soup in its infinite flavors, and good broth is key to good soup. It is also great for steaming leafy greens and creating the perfect sauce for chicken marsala (another favorite recipe).
Bone broth is a staple in Paleo cooking and Whole 30, and is recommended for supporting the immune system, decreasing inflammation in the gut, and maybe even improving your hair, skin and nails.
For all these reasons, I started making broth at home about 6 months ago. After some trial and error, I have learned quite a bit and like to think myself something of an expert.
KEYS TO GOOD BROTH, BY JENI GALL
- Use cooked bones. Roasting is best, boiling is okay.
- Chicken is the easiest, and cheapest. The least effort is to throw a whole chicken carcass in the pot, perhaps after a roast chicken dinner (yum). Wings and chicken feet work great – see below.
- Chicken feet and wings have the most collagen and make the thickest, healthiest bone broth. For beef, cross cut bones with marrow are considered ideal.
- Cook it slow! I have accidentally boiled broth on the stove (yuck!) and made oily broth on high in the crock pot (also yuck!) My method: 10-18 hours on LOW in the crock pot = perfection.
- Salt it later. Salt-free broth can be used for anything. Things to add up front: herbs, peppercorns, bay leaves.
- Have it for breakfast! I often start my day with a mug of broth, which I heat on the stove in a saucepan. Add salt, cracked pepper, and perhaps even a slightly beaten egg, and enjoy.
- Pour hot broth in to sterilized mason jars and tighten lids as soon as broth is cool enough to handle. This keeps it fresh. I used to painstakingly separate the fat layer before pouring, but now that I have improved the recipe, this is no longer necessary.
- Eat a good chicken or beef dinner. OR roast a bunch of bones at 425-450 F until browned and crispy.
- Get out your crock pot, add bones (1 whole carcass from large chicken or equivalent; I like to mix eg. 1 carcass + 6 chicken feet)
- Add veggies. My must haves: celery with leaves, carrots. Other good stuff: mushrooms, onion, bell pepper, leftover veggies.
- Add herbs. Dried works great: parsley, basil, oregano, rosemary, fennel, bay leaves or anything else you like. I will add star anise on occasion, or smoked paprika.
- Add peppercorns or cracked pepper.
- Fill crock pot with water to a little above the bones and veggies, approx 8 cups.
- Cook on LOW for 10-24 hours, experimenting with time to suit your schedule and flavor preference.
1 part bones
1 part veggies
dried herbs (if using fresh, use a lot)
2 parts filtered water
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