One of the refrains heard repeated often in the world of traditional foods is ‘you are what you eat.’
Unfortunately, this is wrong.
You are not what you eat. You are what you ABSORB. You can pour all of the highest quality food into your body and if you can’t absorb it, it is being wasted. Depending on what your body isn’t absorbing, you can suffer a whole host of bad effects. I lost 2.5 inches off of my height when I was ill thanks to the inability to absorb multiple nutrients, including calcium and D3.
Gut health is critical. If you can’t absorb the nutrients you’re eating, you’re going to suffer.
How do you heal your cut? Gelatin is critical in the process. The easiest way to get gelatin is in a bone broth. In fact, bone broth is the foundation of any gut healing protocol. In addition to gelatin, it contains a number of minerals and is in a very easily assimilated form. It is also very cheap, as it is made out of what is considered to be waste in the typical American kitchen.
There are a number of ways to make a quality stock out of bones. This is how I make my chicken broth. Chicken feet contain large amounts of gelatin, so try to get some to include if at all possible. When I was recovering, I would add 4 feet to each batch of stock, since I had a source of quality, pastured chicken feet for 50 cents apiece. I recommend you cook the stock 24-48 hours if possible. If you’re afraid to leave something on the stove overnight, put it in the crock-pot instead.
Hands-on: 20 minutes
Hands-off: 24-48 hours
The chilled carcass of one roasted chicken or the equivalent in parts, meat removed and chilled
Any chicken backs, necks or wings you can get your hands on, roasted or raw
1-2 chicken feet if you can get them
1 onion, cut into wedges
3 stalks celery
1 bunch of parsley, optional
Place the cold bones, the chicken feet and the veggies into a stock-pot. Measure out one quart of water and add to the pot. If the carcass is not covered, measure out another quart of water and add to the pot. Once the bones are all covered, add 2 tablespoons of white or apple cider vinegar for every quart of water that you added to the stock-pot. Cover and allow to stand for 1 hour. This allows the vinegar to begin leeching the minerals out of the bones and into your nutritious broth.
Turn the heat on to medium and allow the pot to come to a simmer. Skim off any scum that rises to the surface. Cover and allow to simmer for 24-48 hours, checking occasionally to make sure that the water level in the pot remains above the bones. If you are using the parsley, add it the last fifteen minutes of cooking time.
Once you are done simmering, use a skimmer or a slotted spoon to carefully remove all of the solids from the pot. Place an empty stock pot in a clean sink and place a sieve over top of it. Line the sieve with a kitchen towel. Pour the stock through the sieve and into the awaiting stockpot, so that the kitchen towel catches any remaining solids. Immediately move the stock to the refrigerator or surround the stockpot with ice water and cool completely. Pop it in the fridge overnight.
Once the stock is chilled, the fat will have risen to the top and it will be solid if you’ve left it in the fridge a while. You should skim and discard this fat if you cooked your stock more than 8 hours, as there is concern that the fat begins becoming rancid during such a long cooking time.
If you’d like to use a crock-pot instead of a pot on the stove, it will certainly work just as well. I place it on high until it boils, skim and then reduce to low heat for the duration of the cooking period. This method is handy because you can dip out what you need, refill it with the same amount of water and perpetually keep a supply of broth on hand until the broth becomes weak or the bones disintegrate. I use this method through the winter.
Freeze your stock for long-term storage.
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