Bone Broth and Harmony

Tell me whatcha gonna do…when your stomach is upset?

I had this conundrum last week. Since reintroducting fructans, I’ve felt really awful, as bad as I felt before starting the FODMAP diet. I have been bloated and gassy for over 3 weeks, making it difficult to wear pants, tights, or anything remotely constricting. Last week, as I was going through this, we also had a death in the family, and we had to attend services each night. Services which were catered with non-FODMAP friendly food! I ate too much, too fast, too many “bad things”, etc. and by the end of the last night of service, I was ill. I had horrible pains in my stomach, gas/bloating/diarrhea, and none of my normal remedies were working. It was suggested to me to try bone broth as an inflammation-reducer. Let’s talk a little bit about the benefits of broth:

1. Bone broth is made up of many vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, potassium, and calcium.

2. The gelatin in bone broth can help with digestion, by protecting and healing the lining in the digestive systme, as well as making things easier to digest. Bone broth contains glycine and proline, both of which aid in digestion.

3. It contains glucosamine, which helps heal inflammation.

4. It’s warm and comforting on a day when you feel sick!

adapted from this article, courtesy of Yahoo.com

BONE BROTH AND HARMONY
makes 56(!!!!) oz

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Ingredients:
2 lbs of soup bones, I used beef bones (see note below)
1 carrot, peeled
1 celery stalk, washed
1 bunch of parsley
2 tbsps apple cider vinegar (or just white vinegar)
1 tsp salt

Directions:
1. Add soup bones, carrot, celery, and parsley to a large dutch oven.
2. Pour vinegar over soup bones. Cover soup bones with water. You want the bones just covered by the water. I stopped measuring after I got through 8 cups of water. I’d say it’s somewhere between 10-12 cups.
3. Add in salt.
4. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer, and cover with a lid.
5. After 1 hour of simmering, remove lid and skim the “scum” off the top. You may have to do this periodically throughout the process.
6. Simmer for 4-12 hours, depending on bones and how much time you have. I simmered my broth for 8 hours.
7. Remove from heat, and let cool.
8. After cooling, remove bones, carrot, celery, and parsley. Put liquid broth in heatproof containers or jars. You can keep the broth in the fridge for 3-5 days, or freeze. I kept the large jar in my fridge, and the smaller jars in the freezer.

Bone broth can be consumed alone, or you can use it to saute vegetables, in soups, or when reheating cooked meat. I have enjoyed heating up about 6oz of broth with 1/2 tsp of salt, and consuming as a snack.

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NOTES
1. My local supermarket sells a beef “soup bone” package, but not all supermarkets are this amazing. If you prefer to use chicken, you could buy a whole roasting chicken, cook the chicken, save the bones, and use that for broth. You could also buy a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken, remove the meat, and use the bones for broth. I prefer the “soup bone” package because it’s easier.
2. How long you cook your broth for also depends on the bones. Chicken bones need less cooking than beef bones. Some sources will tell you to cook bones for 12-48 hours! I did not have that much time to devote to this project, so I would say 4-10 hours is sufficient, but if using beef bones, err on the side of 6-10 hours.
3. Why cook so long? The longer you cook, the more the bones break down, releasing all that good stuff (amino acids, vitamins and minerals) into the broth. After refrigerating the broth, you want to check for “gel”; basically, gelatin gets released into the broth, and upon refrigerating, it turns to “gel”. Don’t worry, once you warm up the broth, the gel goes away, but that’s where all the good stuff is!
4. Why use vinegar? It helps draw the vitamins and minerals out of the bones. I used ACV, which is not entirely FODMAP-approved, but you can always use plain white vinegar.
5. When freezing jars, leave a little bit of space at the top before adding the lid. This allows for expansion in the freezer, and reduces the chances of having a jar break.

So what happened when I consumed broth? I did feel a lot better, albeit still bloated and gassy immediately after consuming. After doing research, I realized that I had kind of “flooded” my system with all this great stuff, but it might have been too much, too soon. Whoops! That being said, broth has “regulated” my system as well, so I can’t hate on it too much. If you’re new to the broth game, try consuming 4oz at a time, then stepping it up. You can consume broth daily, or just keep it around for when you’re feeling ill.

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