Try Bone Broth to Quell Those Winter Blues

Posted Wednesday, Nov 4, 2015

The winter can be a hard time for a lot of people: shorter daylight, rough weather, and the next cold or flu always seems to be on its way. If you find your energy waning and your mood less sprightly than normal, the solution could be as simple as maintaining healthy eating habits. One way to supplement your diet is to add bone broth to the mix. Bone broth has been used for thousands of years for its healthful benefits, and it’s definitely making a comeback.

Bone broths are well known for their nourishing qualities, and are not only rich in minerals but also high in the amino acids glycine, proline, and glutamine. These amino acids are important for immune function, gut health, muscle recovery, skin, hair, and joint health, as well as much more. Bone broth has a protein sparing effect, in that it supplies supplemental amino acids, reducing the amount of protein required from other food sources. Beyond the nourishing aspects of bone broth, it is also an important step in consuming the whole animal. From a sustainability perspective it creates less waste and maximizes the food provided by each animal.

Empty Broth Pot
First things first, you'll need a large stock pot!

A simple recipe for bone broth:

1. Get some bones! The same process can be used for chicken, lamb, beef, pork, bison, or any animal bones.

2. Place your bones on a baking tray, and brown them by using the broil function on your oven. You don’t need to cook them thoroughly, just brown the meaty bits. This will impart a deeper and meatier flavour.

3. Put the bones in your stockpot, and add water to 1cm above the bones.

4. Keeping the lid off, turn the burner on high until the water starts to boil.

5. Once it boils, turn the heat down to low, cover the pot, and simmer for 8-10 minutes.

6. Discard the water, and add fresh water to start again.

7. Once your broth is simmering again, cover the pot

You want your broth to be gently simmering, where the bubbles are lightly coming up around the bones. Try to avoid a rolling boil. You can leave your broth for anywhere from 5-48 hours, depending on your schedule or taste preference. The longer the time, the richer and more nutritious the stock!

Chicken Broth boiling
Simmering chicken stock.

8. For the last hour, add any vegetable discards you have on hand. Carrot ends, onion skins, leek ends, celery tops, or parsley stalks all work great. Vegetable discards can be collected over time and kept in a bag in the freezer until you make your stock.

9. Let the broth cool, and strain. Spoon off the layer of fat on top to use immediately for soup, or, pour into containers for storage.

10. Put your containers of broth in the fridge, and when the fat has hardened on the top, you can remove and discard it. 

Et voila: a nutritious broth to make soups, stews, sauces, gravies, or even to drink as a nourishing tea. Just add a little salt and pepper and enjoy. Broths can be kept in the fridge for up to a week, and also keep well in the freezer.

Remeber, it’s important to get high quality bones, as environmental toxins can concentrate in the broth. Sunnyside Natural Market carries a variety of different bones from great farms that reach our high standards. Check out our frozen or fresh meat section. Due to the small family farms we deal with, we won’t always have a full variety available, but there will always be something!

Finished Broth
The finished product!

If you’re looking to save some time but still want the nourishment of bone broth, we carry Osso Bueno broth in our frozen section. Osso Bueno is based in Cochrane, and makes a delicious bison or chicken broth. Only organic chickens, and grass fed, free-range bison are used to make these salubrious elixirs. 

This winter, you can help fuel your body and maintain your health with the nutritional benefits of bone broth. Although its positive effects can certainly be enjoyed year round, there's just something special about a good hearty broth on a cold winter day.

Matt Gigg Posted Nov 4, 2015