Bone Broth is the hot new nutrient-packed drink everyone’s talking about. Move over flat whites, former Times journalist Sarah Maber, founder of Brighton Bone Broth Co. tells Healthista how bone broth changed her energy levels better than coffee ever did
It’s a question I’m often asked: Why did I start the Brighton Bone Broth Co? It’s not, after all, the obvious business choice for a journalist – especially one who was vegetarian for nigh on two decades. The answer? I care about my health, I care about what I eat (years of interviewing experts for health stories has taught me that the food we eat can heal or harm), and I believe that more and more of us will be swapping our flat whites for restorative takeaway broths in the next few months.
I believe that more and more of us will be swapping our flat whites for restorative takeaway broths in the next few months.
Six months ago, however, I confess I had no idea how wonderful a nutritious cup of bone broth could be. I first heard about broth via celebrity food writers the Hemsley sisters, who hailed it as a forgotten superfood.
But the trend for takeaway bone broth was firmly set during New York fashion week earlier this year. Instead of their usual takeout Starbucks, the fash pack were instead snapped sipping health-boosting cups of broth at the shows. Queues at Brodo, the city’s first broth bar, stretched round the block and suddenly, the US press was dedicating cookery columns, features pages, news stories and airtime to ‘the new miracle drink’. Well, we all know by now that what starts Stateside soon follows here, and as health journalist and food writer, I was soon commissioned to write a feature on the emerging bone broth trend.
Instead of their usual takeout Starbucks, the NY fash pack were instead snapped sipping health-boosting cups of broth
A quick Google search revealed that it wasn’t just Manhattan’s food-savvy fashion editors who had embraced the trend. Bone broth is a staple for fans of the Paleo diet, and that a growing number of nutritionists are also raving about broth’s restorative properties.
Stockpots full of bones, vegetables and water have simmered quietly away in kitchens the world over for centuries, gently extracting vital vitamins and minerals into a delicious, nutrient-dense, protein-rich broth.
MORE: 3 bone broth recipes anyone can do
In India and China, broth is still ladled out as an immunity booster, a secret weapon against sickness. The long cooking time allows valuable minerals deep within the bones to be extracted – drink a cup of broth and you’ll also be getting a hit of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium and potassium, minerals that are known to help heal your digestive system and prevent insomnia, fatigue and anxiety.
Drink a cup of broth and you’ll be getting a hit of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium and potassium
You’ll also be packing in the collagen, which strengthens hair, skin and nails and which may even help with inflammatory conditions such as osteoarthritis and IBS. The US broth revival also dovetails neatly into food trends –the Paleo diet, nose to tail eating and the clean eating movement to name just a few. No wonder it had been welcomed so heartily by Manhattan’s hip, health-conscious foodies.
You’ll also be packing in the collagen, which strengthens hair, skin and nails
While I’m no stranger to a culinary challenge – I was tasked with conjuring up delicious, nutritious, low calorie meal plans for the best-selling Fast Diet – the process of making a pot of bones and water taste good took a few weeks. Trial and error eventually threw up some basic rules.
I was soon drinking two-three cups of broth a day, and the benefits were noticeable. My skin was visibly better, and I felt healthier and less sluggish. Bone broth comes in at around 80 calories for an 8oz cup and is perfect for keeping you going between meals, so my sugar/snack consumption nose-dived. Soon the whole family was happily tucking in, from my four year old who started requesting bone broth as his bedtime drink, to my dad, who has suffered from serious digestive issues for years but found a mug of broth soothing and comforting.
Bone broth comes in at around 80 calories a cup and is perfect for keeping you going between meals
We launched the Brighton Bone Broth Co four weeks ago, selling chicken and beef broth made from locally sourced, free range bones, to cafes in Brighton and Hove. We are lucky to live in a foodie city that embraces new trends, and our broth regularly sells out – but as a health writer and formerly wiped out, haggard mother of two, I also want to shout about it as loudly and as often as possible. Ditch the sugar-loaded juices and jitter-inducing cappuccinos, and choose health-boosting, healing bone broth instead.
6 rules for cooking bone broth
1. Treat chicken and beef bones Chicken and beef bones should be treated differently. Beef bones taste best when roasted first, then need to be cooked for a minimum of 12 hours with lots of garlic, tomato puree, herbs, vegetables and, in the final stages, lime juice, ginger and a kick of chilli. Chicken carcasses are easier – simply simmer for 8-12 hours with a big handful of veg and herbs, and add lemon and extra helping of parsley towards the end.
2. Cider vinegar helps Don’t forget to add a good splash of cider vinegar to your pot at the beginning of cooking – this helps extract the minerals.
3. Skim – and skim some more Set aside the first hour or two of cooking to skim, skim and skim some more. Try and keep the water as clean and clear as possible and wipe the edges of your pot when they are dirty. Skimming fat from the surface needs to be done regularly throughout the cooking process.
4. Uses loads of bones For a rich, robust broth, you need a whole lotta bones. I fill the pot, and then cover with water.
5. If it turns to jelly, you’ve won You know you’ve made a good broth when it turns into jelly in the fridge. That’s the gelatin from deep inside the bones, which is full of amino acids and a sign of a really good, nutrient-rich broth.
If reading this article has made you crave bone broth, you’re in luck. The only place for take out broth in London is the Wild Game Co.
Sarah Maber is a former Times journalist and founder of the Brighton Bone Broth Co. Chicken or beef broth sells at £2.99 a cup – for stockists, go to brightonbonebroth.co.uk. Twitter: @bribroboco
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