Nourishing Broth – A Book Review

In Book Reviews, Nutrition by James0 Comments

It’s official: Bone broth is the new coffee. Not really, but bone broth has recently reemerged into popular culture and people are taking notice. I saw an article recently about a man in New York who was selling cups of bone broth like coffee stands sell coffee – and he was doing quite well. More and more restaurants are offering it in mugs and mason jars for sipping. Why the sudden interest? I think the recent interest comes from the emerging popularity of the Paleo diet. More and more people are ditching grains and carbs and switching back to traditional diets consisting of saturated fats, proteins, and vegetables. Popular government approved science has even back tracked on what it preached for years and finally admitted that fat doesn’t make people fat, and that cholesterol is actually good for you. Along with the reemergence of traditional diet wisdom comes an updated science based understanding of why it works. One of the foundations of the traditional diet is of course bone broth. Bone broth dates back to the stone age. “The first soups were “stone soups,” in which hot stones from nearby fires were added to the abdominal pouches of butchered animals in order to simmer up mixtures of meat, fat, bones, herbs, wild grains, and water.” Until the modern era of overly processed and substitute “food stuff” homes kept a continuous pot of broth simmering over the fire or back burner of the stove. Broth was the original fast food as people continually ate from it throughout the day and added various scraps to it as they became available. Chicken broth is often times referred to as “Jewish Penicillin” as the Jews have a strong tradition of using homemade chicken broth to treat various types of illness. Sally Fallon Morell, the author of Nourishing Traditions teamed up with Dr. Kaayla T. Daniel to bring us the ultimate book on broth, Nourishing Broth: An Old-Fashioned Remedy for the Modern World. After reading the book and making two homemade batches of my own beef bone broth I’m confident in saying that I’ll be making it for life. Bone broth truly is liquid gold, and this book tells us why, then tells us how to make our own. That’s what you call a Win-Win.

What’s in the book?

The book is separated into three major parts. The preface includes the folklore and history, then leads into the meat of the book.

Part I: Basic Broth Science
Chapter 1: Collagen: Holding the Body Together
Chapter 2: Cartilage: Helping Us Move
Chapter 3: Bone: The Body’s Living Framework
Chapter 4: Marrow: The Body’s Blood Bank
Chapter 5: Conditional Protein Power
Chapter 6: Four Key Amino Acids
Chapter 7: Proteoglycans: Sweet on Collagen, Cartilage, and Bones

Part II: The Healing Power of Broth
Chapter 8: Research Pioneers
Chapter 9: Osteoarthritis
Chapter 10: Rheumatoid Arthritis
Chapter 11: Scleroderma
Chapter 12: Psoriasis
Chapter 13: Wound Healing
Chapter 14: Infectious Disease
Chapter 15: Digestive Disorders
Chapter 16: Cancer
Chapter 17: Mental Health
Chapter 18: Sports and Fitness
Chapter 19: Anti-Aging

Part III: Recipes
Chapter 20: Basic Techniques
Chapter 21: Stock and Broth Recipes
Chapter 22: Soups (Unblendable, Blended, Soups that make their own broth)
Chapter 23: Aspics
Chapter 24: Stews and Stir-Fries
Chapter 25: Sauces
Chapter 26: Meat with Sauce
Chapter 27: Grains and Legumes
Chapter 28: Broth for Breakfast
Chapter 29: Tonics
Chapter 30: Broth on a Large Scale

Highlights

The book starts out with 140 pages of history, science, and testimonials and leads into another 120 pages of recipes. The first part, however, is the most interesting in my view. Perhaps it’s the old “Give a man the ‘why’ and he can bear any ‘how’.” Once you understand all of the benefits of broth it’s hard not to get excited about it. And the great thing about broth unlike a lot of things that are good for you, broth tastes amazing, it’s often times the foundation of what people call “comfort food” and it’s equally comforting on its own. Once you try homemade broth and compare it to the stuff that comes in a box on the shelf, or in small dried cube, there simply is no comparison. Broth is the base for soups, sauces, and gravies, and it can be stored in the freezer. With that comes a peace of mind knowing you have in house the foundation for wonderful soups and sauces whenever the desire strikes to whip up something delicious and nourishing. It’s especially nice to have on hand when an illness or cold is coming on. The biggest highlight for me has been taking the knowledge I learned and putting it into action. As of this post I have now made four 5-quart batches of beef bone broth. I’ve been drinking about 2 cups every morning with my breakfast and I’ve also made two large pots of Kimchi jiggae (kimchi stew) using the broth as the base. Since making homemade broth a part of my daily routine I have noticed an increase in energy throughout the day, less food cravings late in the day, and better digestion. It’s also nice to drink your bone and joint maintenance in the form of a synergizing multi-faceted liquid rather than taking a variety of powdered pills that have less than optimal levels of bioavailability compared to broth.

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Varied Meat Bones

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Beef Shank

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Beef Foot

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Cover bones with water after 40-60 min vinegar soak

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Add veggies after first hour after removing surface scum

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Strain into mason jars and let cool at room temp

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Put in refrigerator. Broth will jell and fat will rise to top. Skim fat to save for later cooking or leave it.

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Use broth to make amazing soups and stews. This is a Korean comfort stew called Kmichi Jiggae

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Kimichi Jiggae

Final Thoughts of a Wannabe Farmer

I haven’t been this excited and motivated to commit to a change in my regular diet in long time. The ways that broth can change your life for the better are numerous to be sure, but when you add on the fact that  it opens up a new world of eating savory delicious meals the appeal becomes almost irresistible. It’s one of the big culinary win-wins everyone should be taking advantage of. One of the first things you learn in culinary school is how to make broth. Sadly though, most people have not experienced real broth or broth based soups. Very few restaurants actually make or use traditionally rendered broths. I’ve been lucky living in Korea as Korean culture has not strayed too far from its traditional diet and real broth is still an easily found staple at restaurants and super markets. Finding the bones to make proper gelatinous broth is also easier in Korea that in the U.S. However more and more people are jumping on the broth train and there are now ways for all Americans to access what they need to make their own nourishing broth. Start getting into the habit of bagging and freezing your bones, and try your own batch of homemade bone broth. Your body and mind will thank you for it.

Below is an interview with co-author Dr. Kaylaa Daniel talking about the History and benefits of Bone Broth 

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