Sipping on Bone Broth

Originally published in Optimum Wellness, Fall 2017, p. 13 

Sipping on bone broth: Traditional nourishment now in convenient formats

Autumn is an ideal time to tap into the bone broth trend, either as a sip or a soup. Going beyond cans and boxes of chicken or beef stock, today’s on-trend bone broths fall more in the realm of nutrient-dense foods offering protein, minerals and savory satiety. What’s new about broth? These broths are liquids denser than typical stock, made from the bones of grass-fed cows or pastured chickens and simmered for 18 to 24 hours for maximum nutrient extraction and rich flavor. They are designed for sipping more than souping, as a tonic, supplement or healthful snack.

Broth has long been a staple for traditional food lovers embracing the health-supporting nutrition and resourceful use of well-raised livestock. Just like Bubbe’s chicken noodle soup, bone broth replenishes the body with minerals and electrolytes whether after an illness or a tough workout. Broth is easy to digest and has plenty of protein and few carbs, a big plus for Paleo, Ketogenic, and Whole30 dieters. Rich broth has gut-healing benefits from collagen, joint support from glucosamine and chondroitin, and gives a shiny boost to hair thanks to gelatin.

This broth-sipping trend began in late 2014 when a New York restaurant chef opened a kitchen window selling “brodo” as a beverage. In just a few short years, Paleo-minded entrepreneurs have joined in, making bone broth a small but rapidly growing grocery category. Numerous formats offer a style for everyone: shelf-stable boxes for the pantry; jars and bottles for the fridge. Some broths are found in the juice case, designed as a pressed-juice alternative. Or not: Bonafide Provisions makes Drinkable Veggies + Bone Broth, an innovative juice-soup hybrid. Instant broth powders, K-cups, and even frozen kits with bones and seasonings are other styles that allow for convenient broth creations.

The easiest way to slip into the broth trend may be to find one for soup- or stew-making this season. Or experiment with a few for sipping in lieu of herbal tea or smoothies, finding one with the strength and flavor that suits the palate. Convenience, budget, and flavor will guide choices. And while home cooks can easily make bone broth themselves with bones from the meat counter, this trend is so hot, it’s driven up the cost of bones in some regions!

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