Boil your bones!
THE BENEFITS OF BONE BROTH Forget green juice or coconut water, the latest craze for health-conscious New York fashionistas is a steaming cup of nutrient-dense, calorie-light bone broth – and it’s set to become a huge trend in the UK, too.
British chef sisters Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley are big fans – they even sell their own tote bags bearing the slogan ‘Boil Your Bones’. ‘Growing up with a Filipina mum, we always knew bone broth as the heart of everyday cooking. Now it has become a massive trend, partly because nose-to-tail eating is more frugal and also because of the health benefits. For us, it’s a big part of feeling great,’ says Jasmine.
The only difference between bone broth and stock is in the cooking time (obviously it never comes from a cube). Bone broth is the flavour-packed result of simmering good-quality meat bones for 12 hours or more until they crumble (see recipe, below). That’s key because the bones need to release their abundance of nutrients, which include gelatine, collagen and glucosamine plus some minerals (calcium, magnesium and phosphorus) and anti-inflammatory amino acids glycine and proline.
Apart from the cosmetic benefits of firmer, brighter skin, glossy hair and stronger nails (thanks to the collagen and gelatin), a daily dose of bone broth may help a range of conditions. As Jasmine says, ‘There is a new understanding that the state of your gut is the state of your health’, and that includes mind as well as body, with new research focusing on the connection between depression and your gut.
Dr. Amy Myers, author of New York Times bestseller The Autoimmune Solution, recommends bone broth for healing gut problems: ‘The gelatin protects and heals the mucosal lining of the digestive tract and helps in the digestion of nutrients.’ Broth could also help fight infections, she writes. Home-made chicken soup has been credited by researchers with relieving cold and flu symptoms via its anti-inflammatory action.
Also, the minerals in bone broth help our bones to grow and repair, and glycine can be calming and aid restful sleep.
HEMSLEY + HEMSLEY'S BONE BROTH
Use bones from the healthiest animals you can find, ideally grass-fed and organic. Many butchers and online meat suppliers offer good-value boxes of bones (such as Eversfield Organic Farm in Devon/01837 871400 or www.eversfieldorganic.co.uk).
Makes 3-4 litres, depending on your pan size
2kg-3kg (4ó lb-6ó lb) chicken carcasses, beef, lamb or marrow bones – or the bones from a roast 2 handfuls of onions, leeks, carrots and/or celery ends 1 tbsp black peppercorns a few dried bay leaves a splash of vinegar or wine
• Put all the ingredients in a large stainless steel pot. Fill with cold water to 5cm (2in) above the bones, leaving room at the top so it doesn’t boil over.
• Cover and bring to the boil, then simmer for six to 24 hours until bones crumble. (A potato masher is brilliant for bone bashing.) Or use a slow cooker on high for 12 hours or more.
• Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Use immediately or cool before storing. The broth will keep in the fridge for up to a week, as a layer of fat will form and seal it from the air.
BEACH BODY PLAN TOP UP: TIME TO EAT CAKE!
Congratulations to all the YOU readers who have almost completed Louise Parker’s six-week programme. To celebrate, Louise says: ‘You absolutely should eat cake again now, if you want to. Eat beautifully 70 per cent of the time and enjoy a special meal once or twice a week with no thought to being super-healthy. The mantra for your new normal is “consistency not severity”.’