What if I told you there is a superfood that can improve the look and feel of your skin, help your joints feel better, give you more energy, heal any digestive issues you may experience and help you lose weight? What if I told you this superfood was quick and easy to make, versatile, delicious and inexpensive? Would I have your attention? If the answer is yes, then read on to learn about… BONE BROTH!

That’s right, bone broth. Bone broth (and fermented foods) is the original super food.  Check out some of the amazing things bone broth can help:

  • It fills you up—without adding pounds. Bone broth and bone-broth soups are rich, hearty, and soul-satisfying meals.  Because bone broth is so nutrient-dense and mineral-rich, it is a deeply nourishing food that satiates your body’s need for nutrition and your spirit’s need for emotional satisfaction. With almost zero carbs and few calories, you can indulge in this tasty treat anytime.
  • It’s packed with collagen. Collagen helps your body burn fat and form lean muscle mass, shaping your arms, legs, and core. Collagen is also an essential building block of our delicate skin tissue and tends to decrease with age. Supplying your body with easily-assimilated collagen slows down and can even reverse the formation of wrinkles, crows’ feet, laugh lines, and liver (age) spots.
  • It detoxifies your body. Bone broth provides a complete array of amino acids. Two in particular, glycine and proline, aid your liver in removing toxins from your body.
  • It heals your gut. Gelatin present in broth helps heal the gut lining and digestive system by battling problems like constipation, diarrhea, and gas. Bone broth contains copious amounts of glutamine, which helps maintain a healthy microbiome in our guts. A healthy digestive system is important for healthy weight maintenance and minimizes the likelihood of diabetes, Alzheimer’s (dubbed Type 3 Diabetes), heart disease and more.
  • It supplies you with easy to absorb essential minerals. Including Calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
  • It aids digestion. Bone broth is hydrophilic, meaning it attracts and holds liquids, like digestive juices. This is another reason why it helps you digest food more efficiently.
  • It heals your joints.  Bone broth gives you a generous supply of glucosamine, chondroitin, Hyaluronic Acid and other glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) that help heal your joints. GAGs also help your body lay down collagen where it’s needed.
  • It’s anti-inflammatory When you heal that inflammation with nutrients like those concentrated in bone broth—including anti-inflammatory proline, glycine, and arginine—your weight starts to fall off. Many diseases are caused by an underlying problem of chronic inflammation. Heal the inflammation and seemingly unrelated illnesses and other issues start to clear up.

If you’re feeling motivated to start adding bone broth to your diet, and are heading to the store to pick up a few boxes of aseptic broth, hang on. These benefits are available from home-made broth. If you are inclined to make your own, it is super-easy to do! (recipe below.) If you are needing a quick fix for dinner tonight, or simply don’t have the time or interest to make your own, the Co-op now carries a line of amazing, made-right bone broth from a company in Bellingham called Cauldron Broths. From their website “We partner with small, local, farms and use only certified organic / non-GMO ingredients. We keep our footprint small and our farm partnerships tight.” Check for it in our frozen section to take some home to make dinner tonight, or grab a cup of hot broth from our deli for a quick and delicious pick-me-up.

To make your own, just do this:

Get some bones. A great place to start is buying a whole chicken (an easy way to save money on a few dinners!), roasting it, and saving the carcass for the Crock-Pot. Or, Jones Family Farms beef bones are available for purchase in bulk or by the package from the Co-op. Email [email protected] to find out more.

Put bones (1 chicken’s worth or 1-2 lbs of beef bones) in a Crock Pot or large stock pot. Cover with water, add 2 tsps of Apple Cider Vinegar to help draw out the nutrients, turn on to a low simmer and leave for 18-24 hours. (Boiling the bones will diminish the collagen content so keep them at a simmer.) You can add veggies to simmer with the bones (carrots, onions, celery, etc), herbs, or keep it simple and just go with bones.

Strain the broth and use! If you are feeling extra inspired, replacing a morning cup o’joe or tea with warm broth is a great way to start your day. Or make a soup, tomato sauce, enchilada sauce, and so much more. Here is a recipe from one of my favorite books, Nourishing Broth, to get you started:

Curry soup (Adapted from Nourishing Broth, page 209)

4 cups chopped chicken meat (2 breasts, 2 leg quarters)
¼ cup coconut oil
2 onions, peeled and chopped
2 Tbsp. peeled and grated fresh ginger
5 cloves garlic, minced
1½ tsp. ground coriander
1½ tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground turmeric
½ tsp. ground allspice
3 quarts homemade chicken stock
1 medium butternut squash, baked with seeds removed and flesh scooped out
2 bunches beet greens, stem removed and chopped into 1-inch pieces

Poach chicken breasts and leg quarters in pan large enough to cover them with water for 45 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from hot water and set aside. Once cooled, remove the skin and discard. Remove the meat from the bones and chop into ½-inch pieces. Chill until ready to use.
Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and ginger and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, coriander, cumin, turmeric, and allspice and saute for one minute. Add the stock and butternut squash, increase the heat to high, bring to a boil, and blend well with a whisk or handheld blender. Add the greens, return to a simmer, and simmer for about 20 minutes until the beet greens are thoroughly cooked. Add the chicken and cook to heat it through. Season with salt, ladle into bowls, and serve.

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