Strengthening Native American Communities & Economies
Recipe from “Feeding Seven Generations Recipe Book” and “Native Infusion: A Guide to Ancestral Beverages” by Valerie Segrest and Elise Krohn.
Broths are simple to make. You put bones, vegetables, herbs and spices in a pot, cover with water and simmer over a warm stove for a period of time. Marvelously, broth satisfies hunger with its comforting tastiness and supporting aromas. Even more magical is its ability to resurrect, restore, regenerate and beautify. Nearly every culture around the world has food traditions that include broths or stocks. Boiling bones is perhaps the greatest example of how our thrifty ancestors honored wild game and seafood by using every part of them. Broths were traditionally prepared as stone soups by dropping hot volcanic rocks in to a cedar basket or bentwood box lined with clay and tree pitch, fashioned well enough to hold water and bones. Eventually the water gets so hot it turns in to an instant rolling boil. Nowadays we have stovetops and crock pots to simplify the process.
Preparing your own bone broth and incorporating it in to your daily program is a great way to boost your health and immunity. These incredible liquids contain crucial minerals, like calcium and magnesium, which are anti-arthritic, anti-diabetic and great for nourishing and treating folks with conditions like cancer, anemia, muscular dystrophy and the flu. The components of bone broth go beyond water and micronutrients like minerals and vitamins. Collagen, cartilage and bone marrow are also key players.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body, making up about 25 to 35% of the whole body protein content. It is one of the most prevailing building blocks of our skin, muscles, blood vessels, digestive tract and connective tissue. Simply put, it is the glue that holds us together. As we age, collagen production naturally diminishes, and this can be addressed by drinking enough hydrating fluids and include bone broth in your diet.
Bones house nutrient-rich marrow deep in the central cavity. Marrow is a highly nutritious and central to brain development. Our ancestors treated marrow as a dietary supplement for children, a multi-vitamin and oftentimes a substitute for breast milk. Made largely of healthy fats and immune building blocks, it takes much less energy to digest than plant foods.
Cartilage is the glistening silvery white gristle swirling through your elk steak and tucked in to the corners of that T-bone steak. These whitish globs also reside between our bones and are what our body uses as a shock absorber and friction reducer as we attempt any weight-bearing movement. It is what makes our anatomy strong, resilient and pliable. Without it, our bones would grind together and life would be painful. When preparing bone broth, cartilage is released in to the preparation and takes form as gelatin. Wiggly and indiscrete, gelatin is responsible for restoring and repairing the inner lining of the digestive tract. It binds to the walls of our intestines and assimilates nutrients like nobody's business. Make no bones about it, gelatin is behind the scenes powering up this healing elixir's potential.
Ultimately, broths are a great way to incorporate more water into your daily program. They truly make for concentrated healing and some say they are the oldest and most powerful medicinal beverage. They are filling, rich, complex and soul-satisfying. They also quell inflammation, speed wound healing, combat fatigue, address insulin resistance, promote a healthy gut and build immunity. Specific conditions that bone broth can address are listed below.
Conditions that Bone Broth Addresses
|aging skin||diabetes||inflammatory bowel disease||Osteoporosis|
|anemia||fatigue||intestinal bacterial infections||palpitations|
|anxiety||food sensitivities||irritability||periodontal disease|
|atherosclerosis||gastritis||joint injury||rapid growth|
|attention deficit||grain maldigestion||kidney stones||
|brittle nails||heart attack||leaky gut||Rheumatoid Arthritis|
|carbohydrate maldigestion||high cholesterol||loss of appetite||rickets|
|Celiac Disease||hyperactivity||meat maldigestion||seizure|
|colic||hyperchlorhydria (reflux, ulcer)||memory||shallow breathing|
|confusion||hyperparathyroidism (primary)||muscle cramps||stupor|
|constipation||hypertension||muscle wasting, weakness||virility|
|dairy maldigestion||hypoglycemia||Muscular Dystrophy||vomiting|
|dental degeneration||increased urination||nervousness||weight loss from illness|
|depression||infectious disease||Osteoarthritis||wound healing|
If you are a hunter who processes their own animal, set aside the major marrow bones. Try to process them small enough for a soup pot and if you are not ready to make your broth quite yet, freeze the bones until you get set up. They should be good for at least six months in the freezer.
If you are purchasing your bones it is most ideal to by them directly from a farmer or butcher who is engaged in non-toxic management practices. Organic, grass-fed, pasture-raised animal bones is the goal. Remember we are trying to make medicine and animals raised with the highest integrity are going to be more nutrient dense and contain a significantly less amount of toxins then those raised in commercial animal feedlots. The best bones are knuckles, joints, femurs, backs, neck and feet.
Using steel, cast iron, enamel or aluminum cook pots are best. A slow cooker and pressure cookers are impressively convenient and also highly recommended. Metal colanders and cheesecloth are also nice to have on hand and useful for straining out any floating bits.
Freezing is the easiest way to store your prepared brew and can keep you stocked up for three months out. You can also store your broth in the refrigerator but try to use it up within the week. Find freezer-safe containers or try using wide-mouth Mason jars. If you are using glass jars make sure you only fill it up three-fourths of the way to allow space for the crystals to form and to avoid making an explosion happen and a mess out of your freezer. Let the jars cool before you refrigerate or freeze them so the temperature drops at a safe rate.
Basic Bone Broth Recipe
Combine all ingredients in a large stockpot, ensuring everything is completely submerged under water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for up to 12 hours. Strain the bones and remnants out of the stock using a colander or sieve lined with cheesecloth. Allow to cool to room temperature and then store in the freezer for up to three months, or the refrigerator for up to five days. Use your prepared broth as a base for soups or gravy, or as a cooking liquid to replace water. You can also warm it up and drink it like a tea.