Bone broth has been all the talk, all the rage, over the last year or so. I find it funny that it has taken me this long to really synthesize bone broth and think about how it can relate to me and my needs right now, in this season.
I have somewhat grown up in kitchens, surrounded by large stock pots and steam kettles of varying stocks, stews, soups, broths, and various jams in my case. I always had access to large tubs of this magical bone broth substance. The beauty of bone broth’s jelly like, collagen rich consistency is in the time it takes to slowly cook. Time is a magical thing when it comes to cooking. If you haven’t watched Michael Pollan’s Netflix episode about slow cooking on his series Cooked, I highly recommend it. He explores the beautiful process our food goes through when being prepared gently and thoughtfully over time. The ability to slowly break down fibrous meat, hard bone, root vegetables and the like, to create a vitamin and mineral rich glorious substance, is quite fascinating. You truly cannot rush this process. Boiling is a harsh act, perfect for al dente pasta or a quick blanch and shock of broccoli, but purposeless when you hope to extract all of the goodness found deep inside bones.
Bone health is all the rage. Sure collagen is one of the key attributes to bone both, healing for your gut and fabulous for your skin. What I am after is bone health. The sleeper issue for so many of us out there. Lack of calcium shows up in our bodies when it is too late and we are already fragile, yet you wouldn’t necessarily feel a lack of calcium in your diet during your younger years like you would an iron deficiency. Calcium is essential to strong bones and most of us do not get enough of it. How much is enough? 1000 milligrams a day is what is recommended. I consume very little dairy on the regular, a very calcium rich food. In order to retrieve 1000 mg of absorbable calcium a day from dairy, I would be sending myself into a digestion and hormone imbalanced nightmare. When I do go for dairy, I have been loving a bit of greek yogurt lately where I get a bit of calcium, probiotic, satiety and protein that my body has been craving. My dirty dessert adventures do not count either towards my daily calcium needs. The occasional and very much savored and appreciated cone of gelato just doesn’t do the trick for my mineral needs!
So how do you get calcium? I have learned, that many of the calcium supplements that we take are not absorbed. We are basically taking supplements from calcite or stone that simply passes throughi our system. So, put down that Viactiv and think again about where you can get real calcium. A little yogurt is a great start. Where to next? How about actual bones! Calcium supplements made from bone meal are a clean and very smart way to get more of your daily dose. I have been taking Cardio Tabs calcium supplements and I am very pleased with the results! I am getting real calcium, from bones, without any apparent side effects on my gut. What about broccoli and kale? Absolutely, dark leafy greens are a great source of calcium, but you would have to eat A LOT of this roughage to reach the 1000 mg mark. What else? I am landing on bone broth. This calcium rich broth gives 30% of your daily calcium needs, straight from bones in an 8 ounce cup. Nutritionals vary bone broth to bone broth, but I am loving BrothMasters. A bird has told me that this bone broth was researched to be nutritionally dense, and one of the best on the market. BrothMasters also tastes amazing and I am left feeling satiated but not overwhelmed with a protein and collagen heaviness that some have described when consuming bone broth.
outside of calcium, BrothMasters touts their product to be a great anti inflammatory resource, aids in muscle recovery and more
I have been adamant to not boil this broth when cooking, as I do not want to boil off the vitamins and delicate collagen structure developed during the 48 hour simmering process. Just like beautifully steamed or blanched broccoli is packed with life, overcooked broccoli does little for the palate or your nutritional needs. Since this is in fact a broth and by nature you are going ot want to boil it in order to prepare foods, I highly suggest taking alternative culinary routes and adding this broth after the inclusions are cooked.
In this case I am making a thick and hearty stew, that is comforting yet very easy to digest! Onions are sautéed with garlic and parmesan rind in luxurious olive oil until fragrant and tender. A combination of lacinto and red kale is added to soften with rinsed great northern beans. Use any bean you like but I love the size and texture of this bean with the onions, kale and broth. Once the mixture is soft and harmonious (the parmesan rind is a gift in here) add the bone broth and allow to warm on low. Slow and low is the name of the game!
When you are done, you are left with a hearty stew that is protein, fiber, vitamin and flavor rich! Enjoy!
Bone Broth, Kale and White Bean Stew
(This recipe is doubled and can easily be halved or increased!)
1 can Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed.
16 ounces BrothMasters Bone Broth
2 Cups Lacinto Kale, washed, de-stemmed and cut into 2 inch ribbons
2 Cups Purple Curly Kale, washed, de-stemmed and roughly chopped
1 Small to Medium White Onion, diced
4 cloves Garlic
2 Parmesan Rinds, about 2-3 inches each
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1. In a soup pot or large flat bottomed skilled, heat olive oil on medium low.
2. Add minced garlic and diced onion and begin to soften.
3. Season with salt and pepper and add parmesan rind. Continue to soften about 15 minutes.
4. Add kale and white beans, increase heat to medium high to heat and cook the kale and beans.
5. Turn the heat off (the pan will be quite hot!) and add the broth.
6. Turn the heat back on low and warm the broth throughout, allowing the flavors to merry.
Enjoy this as is or with a slice of whole grain sprouted bread