Our gut plays a huge role in our immune function. In order for our children and ourselves to be healthy we need a healthy gut. There are several things we do here at The Ward home to ensure that we are meeting that need.
One of the most benefical foods I serve to my family is homemade bone broths. Our favorite is chicken broth. This is consumed in many ways. The most obvious is in soups. I use it to make sauces, gravies, in place of water when cooking vegetables and grains. Sometimes just in a cup seasoned with cumin, salt, and pepper.
Why is chicken soup superior to all the things we have, even more relaxing than “Tylenol?” It is because chicken soup has a natural ingredient which feeds, repairs and calms the mucous lining in the small intestine. This inner lining is the beginning or ending of the nervous system. It is easily pulled away from the intestine through too many laxatives, too many food additives. . . and parasites. Chicken soup … heals the nerves, improves digestion, reduces allergies, relaxes and gives strength. Hanna Kroeger Ageless Remedies from Mother’s Kitchen
What is that natural ingredient which feeds, and repairs, and calms the mucous lining in the small intestine? Gelatin. Gelatin lines the mucous membrane of the intestinal tract and guards against further injurious action on the part of the ingesta,” wrote Erich Cohn of the Medical Polyclinic of the University of Bonn back in 1905. Gelatin improves digestion because of its ability to normalize cases of both hydrochloric acid deficiencies and excesses, and was said to belong in the class of “peptogenic” substances that favor the flow of gastric juices, thus promoting digestion. Read more here.
I find it most interesting that while researching, I find “new science” that supports many of the philosophies I plan to share. For example: In the new review, researchers analyzed how microbe dysfunction can sometimes result in malabsorption and diarrhea, which affects tens of millions of children worldwide and is often not cured merely by better nutrition. In contrast, a high-fat diet may cause the gut microbes to quickly adapt to and prefer these foods, leading to increased lipid absorption and weight gain. People there is nothing “new” under the sun. Cohn knew this in 1905! Whoa! wait… did they just say there is benefit to “high-fat diet?” That will be a future post.
Science validates what our grandmothers knew. Rich homemade chicken broths help cure colds. Broth contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily—not just calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals. It contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons–stuff like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain. Read more here. If you want to understand the benefits of each of these mineral and the role they play in our health, read more here.
How do we make this wonderful elixir? This is also where eating real healthy food becomes very affordable and the opportunity to use every part of the chicken, and those organic vegetables your buying.
Be sure to have Apple Cider Vinegar. ACV pulls the minerals out of the bones. If you have ever put an egg in vinegar, you know it eats the shell or pull out all the minerals. If you’ve not done the egg experiment, I recommend it.
Ward Style Chicken Broth is scrap soup. I save all the chicken carcasses from the whole chickens I buy. After, I cook chicken legs or wings I save those bones, too. I save all the ends of onions, carrots, and celery. I have a never ending gallon sized freezer bag in the freezer. Vegetables go in one bag and bones in another.When it is time to make broth I use:
3 carcasses & a handful or 2 of leg/wing bones
2-3 handfuls of vegetable scraps
2 tbls apple cider vinegar(ACV) per gallon of water
Additional health beneficial ingrediets. I warn this next list of ingredients are not going to make you say, yum!
Because I buy my chickens direct from a farmer, I am able to get all these pieces. I also use the head. Nothing is wasted. Broth is still very beneficial without these added parts so, please don’t hesitate to make rich homemade broth just because you may not have access to these pieces.
Allow all of your bones to thaw. Place the bones, vegetables, and any extras you may have. Fill with water, just enough to cover the bones. Add ACV based on how much water you used. Let bones soak for 1 hour, this allows the ACV to penetrate the bones. If the bones are hot, the pores are closed and the vinegar can not pull the minerals out. Bring to a boil, and remove scum that rises to the top. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6 to 8 hours. The longer you cook the stock, the richer and more flavorful it will be. I typically cook mine all night.