A street vendor in NYC recently received some press for selling bone broth in coffee cups as a cozy, nourishing treat/meal. The story about him then got picked up by the Washington Post and some other news outlets and went viral.
Why the hype? What is bone broth?
It’s simply a soup broth made by boiling chicken or beef bones with water, some seasoning, and sometimes added veggies. It’s something many of our grandmothers made, and their mothers before them… for centuries; no one has really talked about it until recently, when sexy nutritionists, hippie health practitioners, and cool NYC vendors have started bringing it back.
Why is it good for you?
The articles I linked to above give some info on the nourishing aspects of it.
My perspective is borrowed from Chinese Medicine theory: when we are so tired – tired from work, tired from raising kids, tired from a lifetime of binging and detoxing, tired from life – we can experience a sense of exhaustion so deep it feels like our bones are tired. This kind of tired can affect our sleep and bring on joint pain, back pain, digestive issues, hair loss, hormonal highs and lows, blurred vision, zapped libido, and trouble peeing and pooping, among other things. We like to call this yin deficiency, i.e., a slow-down in the body’s ability to recover, bounce back, restore and rejuvenate its cells. It’s when our adrenals are tapped.
What helps heal this state of exhaustion? Many little things that work together, like, getting in the habit of going to bed early and often, eating easy-to-digest foods, dispersing the sense of stress you feel at work and at home, having fun in life, feeling connected in your relationships, and getting support from healers of all kinds. For some, the best healers are pets. For others, you may prefer your massage therapist, acupuncturist, yoga teacher, nurse practitioner, neurologist, or psychologist to help shed some light on your tired world.
Another way to heal this exhaustion is with nutrition: bone broth is one way to soothe this yin deficiency. It’s like a warm bath or an internal hug for your organs – it’s full of minerals that infuse your cells with fresh fuel to soothe as well as perk them up.
Here’s how I make my bone broth:
- Roast or cook a whole, organic, free range (as happy as possible) chicken in the slow cooker.
- After I’ve pulled all the meat off the cooked chicken, I put the bones and leftover parts (any skin, fat, etc.) back into the slow cooker.
- Fill up the slow cooker with water nearly to the top.
- Add a couple teaspoons of salt.
- Sprinkle in spices like cumin, garlic, turmeric, maybe even Italian seasonings and a dash of cayenne paper. Whatever tastes delicious to you. You can add veggies into this now too.
- Turn slow cooker on Low, cook for 8 hours (I do this overnight).
- At the end of 8 hours, I strain out any hard or tough parts, pour the leftover liquid in jars and put them in the fridge or freezer.
- When cooking rice, mashed potatoes, or soups – anything that requires water, I’ll use this broth instead.
- And, you can pour yourself a cup or small bowl to sip on in between meals or 30 minutes before a meal as an appetizer.
- NOTE FOR MY FAVORITE VEGANS: You can use the same process to simmer water, seaweed, your favorite veggies like onions, parsnips and carrots, extra seasonings and brewer’s yeast.
For those of you who don’t have time to bother cooking this, buy it! Whole Foods has some.
Either way, enjoy a cup o’ warmth!