January is the perfect month to bring the self-health habit of broth into your life. Comfort foods are what we tend to long for in the colder months of the year, and having some broth or stock at the ready makes nutritious meals come together in no time at all.
Admittedly, learning to make bone broth or meat stock may sound intimidating, but it’s pretty straightforward. Once you’ve made the initial purchase of a stock pot large enough for the job (or a 6-quart slow cooker) and found a reliable resource for the most nourishing ingredients, it’s mostly a matter of throwing things together and allowing them the time to work their magic.
Why is this habit worth your time? These wholesome elixirs will soothe and heal all sorts of concerns. To name a few: if it firms up when cooled, your joints, nails, and skin will be singing your praises for the gelatin feast, which will also improve your digestion. And the health-giving minerals drawn out by the cooking process are aplenty and easily absorbed by your body—exactly what it wants.
What’s the difference between bone broth and meat stock? Bone broth is exactly what you think it might be—a variety of bones (knuckles, feet, femur, etc.) combined with some apple cider vinegar, vegetables, and filtered water. The key is allowing it a long and slow simmer at a low temperature. Meat stock, on the other hand, involves a much shorter cooking time using basically the same ingredients. As the name implies, along with the bones, you’ll be using a whole chicken cut into parts or beef stew meat as well—broth and a full meal to boot.
Next, how do you know which one to make? For most of us, either will be a healthful addition to our kitchens and tables. However, Monica Corrado warns bone broth isn’t ideal for everyone. In “The Dark Side of Bone Broth,” she notes the longer cooking process develops considerably more glutamic acid than meat stock. This can cause real problems for people who may be dealing with a leaky brain or leaky gut. So, if you live with an autoimmune disorder or nervous system disorders (e.g. Autism Spectrum Disorders, ADHD, or ADD), meat stock is the way to go.
I encourage you to bring this self-health habit into your routine this month. Sipping on a mug of warmed broth you lovingly made for yourself can set most anything right in the world.
Interested in digging a little deeper?
- Briana Goodall shares several recipe ideas in her post “Beneficial Bone Broth, Five Delicious Ways.” Whether you’re craving something with an Asian flare or a classic combination of lemon and chicken, Briana has your back. Once your broth-making skills have developed, you’ll want to try them all.
- Nourishing Broth: An Old-Fashioned Remedy for the Modern World, by Sally Fallon Morrell and Kaayla T. Daniel, has the answer to any question you could possibly have about this new self-health habit for January. Flip to the recipe section, and you’ll hit the jackpot.
- “Soup in the Summer? Why It’s Wise to Eat Soup in the Summer,” by Maria Atwood, will have you enjoying your new habit year-round.
Image from iStock/oska25.