Friday, December 28, 2012

Foodie Fix-It: All About The Bone Broth, Baby

Tonight's mission was to cure the yuckies that ail us. And when I get on a mission, I will not stop until it is completed.  We all know that chicken soup cures everything. But what is it about the soup that can practically resurrect the dead? Is it the chicken? The noodles?  Nope. It's all about the broth.  And a good broth has become a lost art form. I won't delve into a bunch of details as to why it is also financially so much cheaper to make and freeze your own broth while utilizing the chicken in various dishes, but rather focus on the types of chicken broth.  

For one, there is the chicken bouillon cube. Now I'm not dissing the cube. It has its purposes. But health benefits, not so much. If you dissolve the cube in a hot mug of water and drink it, the heat alone may help to loosen up some mucus but that's about it. You'll also have high blood pressure.

Another type of broth is canned or boxed. Not altogether bad. It does its job for quick cooking purposes, but it's more expensive and doesn't boast HALF of the flavor as a prepared broth. Not to mention, it is highly processed and doesn't boast any real health benefits.

Next is a broth made from boiling actual chicken. Okay, now we're getting somewhere. This is an actual broth. The flavor is drawn from the meat where the amount and strength of broth you yield is dependent on the chicken-water ratio.

The best, most healthful, and flavorful type of chicken broth is dark meat bone-in broth.  There is more fat, moisture, and flavor in the dark meat of a chicken so that will be very evident in the broth. Beautiful shimmering greasy circles will form on the top letting you know it will be delicious. But the most important part is the bone itself. By boiling the bone, there are trace minerals such as glucosamine and chondroiton that are released which are fairly expensive supplements to buy in a store.  A good bone broth is also rich in magnesium and calcium as well as phosphorous.  All very necessary for healthy body function.  Gelatin is also found in the bones of animals and if ingested can be wonderful for joint health.  

To ease my daughter's head and chest congestion, I boiled her a bone-in organic chicken thigh and let her hang her head over the yummy smelling broth steam. It cleared her temporarily and I boiled her brown rice in the homemade chicken stock, then froze the rest for later consumption. This in conjunction with the onion & honey syrup I made for her earlier, and she sounded exponentially better than she did earlier this afternoon.
I hope this information can help your family's stuffy noses or chest congestion in the future!  Please feel free to leave comments and let me know if you know any more helpful home remedies relating to good 'ol fashioned chicken broth! 

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