Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Bad Colds, Flus and Bone Broth

Yes and my plight continues......I am still sick.  For those of you counting I am into week four.  It seems insane to me but here I am and for the most part I have done all the right things.  I say for the most part because I am sure I should be and should've been getting a lot more rest and sleep but as those of you with children will know....that just ain't gunna happen.  I tried, laying down as soon as Big Daddy came home from work, sleeping some, mostly reading and completely brain dead.  I just happened to have a doctors appointment this past week and he gave me a good once over.  No infections but he thinks I probably had 'the flu'.  I think I agree with him based on the fact that I had a certain kind of body exhaustion that I have never had before.  I have never had the flu before, as far as I know.  I also don't recall being sick with a 'cold' for more than a week to 10 days.  Sure I have had a cough that lasted for a month after being sick but this hasn't been a lingering cough (I do have that as well). This has been never ending exhaustion, muscles aches, head aches, sinuses so full my eye sight has been compromised, sore eyes, clogged ears, lack of appetite, lingering pink eye, and a hacking wet cough. As of Thursday this week it will have been a month since the day I said "I feel like I am coming down with something" My famous last words......

Now I am still blowing my nose, my ears pop and I am coughing.  My energy is still pretty low but I am able to get a few things done every day which is really nice for someone who loves to cross things off the list of 'to dos'.  But one of the first things I am going to do when my energy has completely returned is to restock the freezer with life saving bone broth.

Here are some facts about real bone broth/stock

  1. Stock contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily—calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals. It contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons--stuff like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain.
  2. Fish stock made with fish heads and carcasses provide iodine and thyroid-strengthening substances.
  3. When broth is cooled, it congeals due to the presence of gelatin.  Gelatin is a hydrophilic colloid, which means that it attracts and holds liquids, it facilitates digestion by attracting digestive juices to food in the gut. Historically, gelatin has been found to be useful in the treatment of a long list of diseases including peptic ulcers, tuberculosis, diabetes, muscle diseases, infectious diseases, jaundice and cancer. Babies had fewer digestive problems when gelatin was added to their milk.
  4. Gelatin, when ingested, pulls toxins out of the body and helps to clear illnesses. It also helps to heal the body and can reduce allergies.
    So why don't people make broth/stock anymore?  It is a pain in the ass mostly but what most people don't realize is that what replaced it in our diet is incredibly bad for us.  After the Second World War, food companies discovered monosodium glutamate (MSG), a food ingredient the Japanese had invented in 1908 to enhance food flavors. Humans actually have receptors on the tongue for glutamate. It is the protein in food that the human body recognizes as meat.  Any protein can be hydrolyzed to produce a base containing free glutamic acid or MSG. When the industry learned how to make the flavor of meat in the laboratory, the door was opened to a flood of new products including bouillon cubes, dehydrated soup mixes, sauce mixes, TV dinners and condiments with a meaty taste.

    Prepared foods, canned soups and stews contain MSG, often found in ingredients called hydrolyzed porteins. The fast food industry could not exist without MSG, tricking the taste buds into eating bland, tasteless, and nutrient poor 'food'.

    When homemade stocks were pushed out and the thickening effects of gelatin could be mimicked with emulsifiers - an important source of minerals disappeared and the health benefits were lost.  More serious, however, are the problems posed by MSG. In 1957, scientists found that mice became blind and obese when MSG was administered by feeding tube. In 1969, MSG-induced lesions were found in the hypothalamus region of the brain. Other studies all point in the same direction--MSG is a neurotoxic substance that causes a wide range of reactions, from temporary headaches to permanent brain damage.

    So how do you make wonderful good for you broth/stock??  You have come to the right place.  In this post I will cover beef stock

    Beef Stock/Bone Broth
    7-8 pounds of beef bones (including marrow, knuckle and meaty bones)
    4 or more quarts cold filtered water
    1/2 cup vinegar
    3 onions, coarsely chopped
    3 carrots, coarsely chopped
    3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
    several sprigs of fresh thyme, tied together
    l bunch parsley

    Start by roasting and browning up your meaty bones. Place them in a roasting pan and brown at 350 degrees in the oven.  This adds flavour and colour.  Now add your now browned bones in to your stock pot with the rest of your bones, water and vinegar. Let this sit for an hour.  Meanwhile, pour off the extra fat from the roasting pan and deglaze with fresh water, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.  Add this to your pot along with the vegetables and bring to a boil.  A large amount of scum will come to the top, skim this with a spoon. After you have skimmed, reduce heat and add the thyme.












    Simmer stock for at least 12 and as long as 72 hours. Just before finishing, add the parsley and simmer another 10 minutes. You will now have a pot of rather repulsive-looking brown liquid containing globs of gelatinous and fatty material. It doesn't even smell particularly good. But don't despair. After straining you will have a delicious and nourishing clear broth.

    Remove bones and strain stock into a large bowl or pot.  Let this cool and then refrigerate.  Doing this will let the fat rise to the top and congeal making it easy to remove.

    So I have been sipping my cold/flu away with cups of bone broth, and avoiding sugar and wheat and a few batches of soup. This most recent time I used some of the broth to make French Onion soup.  But I will save that recipe for a later date.