Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Minerals for your bones, from bones
I believe one of the single biggest flaws in the average Paleo person is the absence of bone stock in the diet. It is absolutely true that paleolithic people did not use dairy and that dairy foods are not required for optimal calcium intake. However, non-dairy eating, paleo person had an extremely good, frequent source of not only calcium, but every other mineral that is required to create strong bone in our body. They got these bone building minerals straight from...other bones. One early cooking method used by several indigenous cultures involved placing chunks of meat and bone into a vessel containing water and heating the contents either over fire or by adding hot stones to the mix. Bones were cracked open and the marrow eaten out and they were sometimes ground and eaten powdered. Fish bones from small fish were always eaten whole (which is why sardines with the bones in are such a good source of calcium whereas boned sardines are not). Even our great grandmothers fed their families bone minerals. A few generations ago no self respecting head-of-the-kitchen would have thrown away a chicken carcass or beef knuckle bone. It would have gone into the stock pot. Modern day Paleo folk who sustain themselves on salmon fillet, boneless chicken breasts and ground beef are missing out. Have your kids do the following experiment just to make it fun. Try to bend a chicken thigh bone. Feel that it is hard. Soak the bone in vinegar for 24 hours. Now check it out. It is rubbery. All the hard minerals like calcium have been dissolved by the acid in the vinegar and are now in solution in your water. Here is how to do it as a delicious stock instead of as a science experiment.
1 chicken carcass precooked. My family likes roast chicken so I use the leftover gristly pieces and bones from our roast chicken. I take any leftover meat off before this process.
Fill a large stock pot with non-chlorinated water. Add 1/4c of vinegar (you won't taste it in the soup). Add the carcass (don't add the leftover gravy or gelatin). Add a couple bay leaves, a few celery stalks, a quartered onion and a few hunks of carrot. Leave this pot at room temperature for about 2 hours.
Bring it to a boil on the stove and then turn it way way down, until it is just barely simmering. Leave it simmering for about 1-2 hours.
Let the stock cool just a little. I set up a large colander over a huge pot or bowl and I dump the contents of the pot into the colander. All the beautiful stock drains into the bowl and I get rid of the rest.
Now you have a plain chicken stock that you can use right away or freeze for later. All winter long you should be consuming bone stock daily. Soup for breakfast is my favorite in cold weather.
EAT BONES FOR STRONG BONES