My Google Reader is full of clean eating* blogs and there is rarely a day that goes by where I don’t read something new and interesting. A few months ago, two of the blogs I follow both wrote posts about broth and its benefits. Cave Girl’s post detailed the various types of bones and how they should be cooked and Diane’s post included a super simple recipe. Thanks to these ladies, I’m on my way to a delicious (and nutritious!) cup of broth per day.
Since I’m not an expert or even versed in nutrition aside from what I read here in the inter-web, I will not spout broth’s benefits myself. Both blog posts have great info and Cave Girl’s includes a few links at the bottom that go into more detail.
I did a little math to figure out how much broth I would need for one cup a day plus cooking. Two crock pot broths for a month seemed about right, so next I needed to purchase quality meat. Quality is important. If you are going to soak all the stuffs out of animal bones, you want the bones to contain good stuffs, not crap, right? (And if you’ve read anything about the way conventional animals are treated, it’s just not cool.)
I belong to a Meat CSA through Marin Sun Farms that delivers locally once a month. All meats are either grass fed and finished (ruminants) or pasture raised (pork, poultry). My package includes 5 lbs of ground and 4 lbs of roasting meats. I can add on extras at a slight discount to retail, so I have a very easy way of collecting quality broth ingredients. You can find good bones at a local butcher, farmers market, or Whole Foods as well.
From Cave Girl’s post I learned that you want to treat different bone types differently when it comes to cooking times. The more gelatinous bones should be cooked for shorter periods so that the gelatin is not broken down to a point where it’s useless. Less gelatin-rich bones though should be cooked longer to allow all of the minerals (and other good stuffs) to be fully extracted. I picked up regular beef bones for my long-simmering, mineral-rich broth and chicken necks for my short-simmering, gelatin-rich broth. (Yes, I should have gotten feet for the most gelatin-rich bones, but one step at a time, people!)
Tonight happened to be my July pick-up date! As soon as I left work I was off to the Mission to pick up my goods. Check out what I got:
I forgot to take a picture of all my loot before filling the freezer, but this is what was in my box this month: 3 lbs ground beef, 2 lbs ground pork, 2 lb pork belly (homemade bacon!), and 2 lb sirloin tip. I also added 1 lb lamb stew, 3 dozen eggs, and an ingredient for my August food challenge.
Last but not least, today was my first soda-free day at work in a long, long time.
*The more I read and understand, I’m not sure if I’m Primal (I do like the OK on red wine), Paleo (yes, I get why grains are bad), a Traditional Nutrition eater (raw cheese, please), or what. So I’m going to call it clean eating from here on out. I’m sure I got the idea from yet another blog, I just don’t know which.