On the last few years, devouring tones of podcasts and blogs about nutrition, I came up on “bone broth”. Since English is my second language, this term was not familiar to me. After I google it, I realised that the wonder food that the nutrition world was so excited about, was actually a very old dish in the Romanian cuisine: “racitura” or the warm version of it – “ciorba de oase”.
Racitura (google translates it as Jellied – but if I translate it literally it would be something like Cold-food) is the cold version of the bone broth, when the cold liquid has the consistency of a jelly. This is a main dish that we have for Christmas (made from pork) and for Easter (made from chicken – actually we use either a rooster or an old hen, as they have better bones).
Ciorba de oase (bone broth) is a dish that the Romanians have very often… in different variations…
But let’s have a better look at the bone broth and try to understand why the nutrition world is so ecstatic about it.
First of all, let’s describe what is bone broth and how you make it.
- Bone broth is a highly nutritious stock made by simmering animal bones and connective tissue. The difference between a regular soup and the bone broth is that you MUST use bones (doooh, it says in the name, right?) and not only plain meat, preferable bones which contain marrow and cartilage. It is great if you can add some connective tissue too, like cartilage from the joints and ligaments, because these ingredients have the most collagen (chicken feet are great when you do chicken bone broth), which, when is cooked, it turns into gelatin (because of the gelatin, when the bone broth is cold, it will have that jelly consistency).
- You can use bones from different animals, not only pork or chicken, but also from turkey, beef (beef legs have such a great marrow), lamb, fish…
- The first key thing in making a bone broth is to add some acid, such as vinegar or lemon juice, to break down the collagen and connective tissue and to extract all the minerals from the bones.
- The second key thing is simmering the bones for a loooong time, 5-12-24 h.
My recipe for bone broth is like this:
- I place the bones in a big pot with water, salt and vinegar.
- I keep it on high heat until it starts to boil. When it starts to boil, I put it on low/medium heat and leave it there for at least 5 -10 h, adding extra water from time to time.
- When the broth is almost done, I like to add some extra meat and vegetables.
- I add some cloves of garlic and some onion, then I add parsnip, celery root, carrots, paprika, sometimes I also put tomatoes… It depends on what I have in the fridge. Feel free to put any vegetables you like.
- I DON’T add potatoes or pasta. I like to keep it as carb free as possible.
Sometimes I add extra spices as black pepper, oregano, basil, bay leaves.
The main ingredients of the bone broth offer a lot of nutrients:
- The Bones have a lot of minerals like calcium, phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, potassium, sulfur and silicon.
- The Marrow has vitamin A, vitamin K2, omega-3s, omega-6s and minerals like iron, zinc, selenium, boron and manganese.
- The Connective tissues provides glucosamine and chondroitin, which are popular dietary supplements for arthritis and joint pain.
- Additionally, bones, marrow and connective tissue are all largely made up of collagen which in bone broth they became in a form which is easily absorbable by the body.
What are the health benefits of the bone broth?
The bone broth is high in various minerals and electrolytes that our body needs. These minerals are in a form that our body can easily absorb and it may provide some impressive health benefits:
- It helps in joint and bone health. Beside all the minerals that helps the bones, gelatin contains important amino acids that support joint health. It contains proline and glycine, which your body uses to build its own connective tissue. The collagen helps restore cartilage. Also, collagen helps elastin and other compounds within skin that are responsible for maintaining skin’s youthful tone, texture and appearance.
- It helps with sleep and brain function. Glycine may help you relax.
- It helps with weight loss. Even if the broth is usually very low in calories, it can satisfy the hunger because the gelatin from the broth promotes the feeling of fullness.
- It plays an anti-inflammatory The amino acids found in bone broth, including glycine and arginine, have strong anti-inflammatory effects (reducing also the joint pain). It boosts the immune system and heal disorders like allergies, asthma and arthritis. The amino acid in gelatin called glutamine helps maintain the function of the intestinal wall. Glutamine is known to help healing “leaky gut”.
- as a bonus, if you are starting a keto diet, the bone broth will help you to ease the keto flue symptoms which are mostly caused by the loss of minerals when your insulin levels are doping.
The nutrients from the bone both may vary depending on various factors:
- Quality and quantity of the bones
- Length of time you cook the broth.
- If you used enough quantity of acid (without making it too sour 🙂 ).
#bonebroth #keto #ketodiet #ketoflue #jointpaint #leakygut #antiinflammatory #boostimunesystem #bonehealth #colagen #skincare
Note: for the readers that don’t know where is Romania, it is a country in the South-East of Europe which has a Balkan influenced cuisine, so probably you will find this dish in other neighbour countries.