05 August, 2016

Adventures In Bone Broth

Health issues have plagued our nation for years. It breaks my heart to see families ripped apart with the loss of a loved one, but it doesn't have to be that way. Our bodies were designed to heal themselves, but as my mom always says, "garbage in, garbage out". The standard American diet does far more harm than good and we are the products of what has happened to our food. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, was a wise man when he said "All disease begins in the gut". The reason most things start in the gut is because a very large portion of our immune system is located in it. For more information check out this great article from  Authority Nutrition. A survey was taken in 2013 that showed 74 percent of Americans are living with GI discomfort. That's a huge number, and a percentage I really don't want to be a part of. 
I have taken the bull by the horns, so to speak, and transformed my eating habits along with many others here at John Henry's. According to the American food charts of healthy eating, USDA , my family was eating healthy. I, of course, have access to the most amazing Grass Fed Meats, Free Range Chickens and Pastured Pork. Our meat choices have always been the best because we raise it ourselves and take pride in using organic practices and giving our animals the best and happiest lives possible. I always choose organic options at the grocery store. My family followed the 80/20 rule where 80 % of the foods we ate were very healthy and nourishing, the other 20% was just ok. But we ran into some snags when I was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition and my son developed large patches of eczema that no cream could tame.  No natural remedy we tried seemed to help us, so we sought out some guidance from a great holistic doctor. He told us to change our diet and eliminate grains along with other things that cause inflammation in the body. I then found Dr. Axe's  "Heal Your Gut" program and started feeding my family all gut healing foods and introduced bone broth. Within a few weeks, my autoimmune symptoms were gone, and my son's eczema rashes cleared up. I was so skeptical that these changes would even do anything because I felt like we ate healthy. But what we were missing was the foods to help us heal. Sometimes we took our 80/20 rule and probably let 20% grow to 30% or 40%, but that doesn't happen anymore. We have kept the nourishing foods at the center of our diet. We have reintroduced some things and will never reintroduce others, but we are ok with that because we have seen such amazing transformations. Bone broth continues to be a staple for me and with every cup of hot liquid I know it is going straight to work on my gut, helping to feed the good bacteria, and keep that intestinal lining strong. 
Just yesterday, I walked into our office space where my mom was happily gathering her supplies for the bone broth we were going to make. I just talked her into buying an Instant Pot, which is a super awesome electric pressure cooker. She had bought me one for Christmas last year and I have been raving to her about how I can never be without it. My husband actually makes fun of me because it has found a permanent home on our kitchen counter top. I just can't seem to put it away because I make a batch of bone broth about every other day. 
I consume bone broth to: 
1) Treat leaky gut syndrome
2) Overcome food intolerances and allergies
3) Improve joint health
4) Reduce cellulite 
5) Boost my immune system 
Nutrition researchers Sally Fallon and Kaayla Daniel, of the Weston A. Price Foundation, explain that bone broths contain minerals in forms that your body can easily absorb: calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulfur and others. Chicken broth also contains amino acids that reduce inflammation in the respiratory system and improve digestion. Keep in mind that you will not reap these amazing benefits if you are buying a box of "stock" or "broth" at your local grocery store.  American food these days has been so commercialized that most of the time you will find flavored water and some grocery store "broths" are loaded with neurotoxins like MSG. You definitely do not want to be drinking that! The real deal bone broth is referred to as nature's multivitamin. Homemade bone broth is packed full of over 19 bio­available ( easy for your body to absorb) essential and non­ essential amino acids, collagen (which helps to keep all your connective tissue in good health), other nutrients that support digestive functions, immunity and brain health. Bone broth is a game changer! It can help you heal so you have the strength to go out and make the world a better place. 
Here is my tried and true Instant Pot Bone Broth Recipe.   Some important things to note if this is your first Bone Broth adventure: 
Bone broth made in the Instant Pot takes about 4 ½ hours from start to finish. If you chose to make the broth in a stock pot you would want to bring the broth to a boil and then reduce the heat to a very low simmer, allowing it to cook for a minimum of 12 hours and preferably up to 24 hours for chicken or 48 hours for beef. Turn off the heat and allow the broth to cool. Strain it through a fine strainer lined with cheese cloth, the bones and any meat can then be discarded or given to your cat or dog. Our cat, Skywalker, loves broth day! Put the cooled stock in containers for storage in the refrigerator or freezer. Bone Broth can store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and it is good in the freezer for several months. Be very careful if freezing your broth in mason jars. Unfortunately, I lost about 10-12 jars of broth; I don't believe the jars I had were meant for freezing because they would break every time. I have since purchased these great BPA free freezer containers. They work amazingly and I have not experienced any cracks or breaks. Remember to leave a space at the top of your container as the broth will expand. A word of caution, do NOT microwave your bone broth. The microwave changes the molecular makeup of the gelatin in homemade broth and it becomes toxic to the liver, kidneys and nervous system! I have a small 1 quart stainless steel pan I use to rewarm my broth. If you know that your body has some healing to do I recommend 2-3 cups of bone broth a day. Sometimes, it is helpful to have 1 cup with each meal. If you are in good health and looking to keep your gut healthy, 1 cup a day is a good rule to live by. 

John Henry's offers so many different bones for broth. Here is a breakdown for you:
Chicken Feet - They are very high in collagen; even similar to what is found in green leafy vegetables. Click here to see an article discussing the health benefits of chicken feet. 
Necks & Backs- All the different small joints in these bones make them the gold standard broth. You cannot go wrong with a mixture of these bones
Whole Fryer - If you do not have any of the special bones listed above, you can always use a fryer chicken. Super simple! Just toss the whole chicken in the pot and start the adventure. The meat that is left over is mostly mush but perfect for your dog or cat. They gobble it up and are also reaping the benefits of the broth still locked inside the meat. 
Soup Bones -These are beef neck bones. They do have some meat still left on them and they are great for your standard beef broth. 
Knuckle Bones - Bones from the beef knuckle- these make great broth because of the tendons and other connective tissue still attached to the bones. 
 Marrow Bones - A great Super food. Bone marrow is nutrient dense and full of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and lipids. Consuming bone marrow will help improve brain function, maintain healthy bones, support immune systems, speed up the healing process of any injury. 
Oxtail - Just like the name suggests this is beef tail. Believe it or not, the oxtail makes a delicious soups. All of the connective tissue, tendons, ligaments along with the marrow goes through the tail. There is plenty of meat on the tail for a soup or to make a great meaty flavored broth.
Look for our John Henry's "Bone Broth" class coming in the fall to your area.

Hormone Free Grass-Fed Beef, Pastured Turkey Pork, Open Range Chicken

The benefits of eating pasture raised, grass-fed meats are hard to deny. From the extra nutrients to the shaky ethics surrounding commercially raised animals, pasture-raised cows and free range chickens win every time. While we hear the most about steaks and beef, the same benefits can apply to any animal raised without hormones in its natural habitat. Typically pork or chicken is referred to as pasture raised, or free range instead, as these animals are natural omnivores and eat a little of everything. Our family farm produces grass-fed beef, pastured pork, and free range turkey and chicken. Our gourmet meats and dairy products are shipped fresh to customers in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and the Chicago, Illinois area. Pastured pork, beef, chicken, and turkey is not only better for the animal, but it’s also better for the consumer too. If you’ve shopped for meats at most grocery stores, you probably saw bright red packages of similar shapes and sizes, which is different from the varying packages of beef you would find when shopping with an small, local farmer. Each animal is unique, and John Henry’s doesn’t use steroids, hormones, or fatty feeds on our farm. This produces a higher-quality cut of meat that can vary in size, shape, and color depending on what muscles were exercised more. Grass-fed beef, and pasture raised turkey, pork, and chicken also have fat that is more yellow due to healthy beta carotenes that are present. We also cut each of our meats fresh and ship it to you the same day! If you haven’t tried grass-fed beef, pastured pork, or free range turkey and chicken you don’t know what you’re missing. Save $10 on your first shipment with promo code “New10” John Henry’s ships to Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennesee, New England, Virginia, West Virginia, THe Carolinas, And more!