Rethink WELLNESS Hub

BROTH… the real reason the mug was invented!

Who doesn’t enjoy a steaming hot soup with rich, nourishing broth?

Who just scoots the carrots and celery out of the way so the best and last drops of broth can be slurped from the bowl?

Who knew that it’s the broth which makes chicken soup so legendary for healing?

As I have jumped into the research for rethinking wellness, I have been so thrilled to learn just how wonderful many of the traditional foods really are!  Bone broths are at the top of the list!

Some time ago, the meat industry began appealing to the working mom’s plight of preparing dinner with as little fuss as possible.  With the availability of de-boned chicken breasts, many of us grabbed the boneless, skinless chicken breast packages from the grocery store and threw together the family favorite casserole.  Such a time-saver… no bones to deal with.  Well… as with countless other modern conveniences… we have unintentionally removed from our diets some of the most nutritious parts of our meals!  Bone broth comes from those “pesky” bones.  Those bones that we were so happy to have removed for us!  So guess what we are re-discovering at the Perkins’s home…


Recently I had the pleasure of attending one of the national premier nutrition conferences of the year.  The annual conference for the Weston Price Foundation was in Atlanta, Georgia this past fall, and I was absolutely exploding with delight to learn from some of the best voices in wellness.  One of the lessons I now apply in my kitchen is the addition of homemade bone broths.  With all the added expenses of using organic items, I am so delighted to find a way of doing something so inexpensive and so powerful for the human body — simmering and keeping my own broth!

I want to tell you some of the reasons that you, too, could benefit from this simple staple utilized in kitchens around the world:

  • slowly-simmered bone broth releases lots of minerals that our bodies can readily accept and use:  calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sulfur, and a host of trace minerals as well.
  • broth is pivotal in healing and sealing the lining of the digestive tract (from whence most of our health originates!  See page BLESS the GUT for life-changing details)!
  • gelatin actually originates from the bone and is a great source of beneficial protein and collagen!  Some ancient cultures prized gelatin as the quintessential food necessary for systemic healing ( joints! skin!).
  • the components in broth work within the body to promote healthy bones, hair, and nails too.
  • L-glutamic acid is found in bone broth.  Why do you need that stuff?  It is used by the body as a precursor to the production of neurotransmitters for our mental function.  Surely you have heard of the very evil additive found in the majority of processed food in America… MSG?  (Often noted in the ingredient list under other names such as  “natural flavor,” or “yeast extract.”)    Interesting little tidbit:  the natural form of L-glutamic acid is beneficial for brain health.   The synthetic form called d-monosodiumglutamate (MSG) is actually a stimulant for the nervous system and results in all sorts of chaos for the body — including headaches, increased blood pressure, and even brain damage for some! Run… flee… get MSG off your plate and out of your body!
  • bone broth is also a great source of glucosamine and chondroitin, which offer further relief for the achiness of arthritis sufferers!
  • inflammation in the body is reduced by bone broth, which certainly accounts for its effectiveness in healing illnesses and its reputation for being the healing elixir of Grandmas throughout the generations!

Making bone broth is so very easy!  A few details might be helpful so your results are rich and nourishing…

drinking brothMy favorite broths are quite traditional… chicken and beef.  (Certainly, many bones can be used… fish, turkey, duck, etc.)

For chicken broth, I purchase an organic chicken — the highest quality I can find since I don’t yet raise these little birds.  Immerse the whole bird in good water.  (I do avoid tap water for this too.  We have well water, but actually I use reverse osmosis water purchased at healthy grocery store or co-op.)  Toss in all the veggies you like for flavor.  I add 1 or 2 onions, many peeled whole carrots, sometimes celery, bay leaves.  The ingredient that I didn’t know to add before my recent research was an acid to pull the nutrients from the bones.  Very important little ingredient!  I add 1 to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (Bragg’s brand) or juice from an organic lemon.  That’s it!  I bring to boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Cover and continue to simmer for about 3 hours.  After 3 hours, I remove the chicken and take away the chicken meat that I will use later in the week for soups, etc.  I continue to cook the “carcus” for another couple of hours… even as long as 24 hours!  Crockpot would be best for these long simmering sessions.

I have learned that when the digestive tract needs some healing, the shorter simmered broths are better to start enjoying.  The longer simmering does yield higher amounts of certain nutrients that can actually be difficult for some to digest… especially autistic children, for example.  If you aren’t working to heal some troublesome digestive concerns, then the longer you can simmer the broth, the better!  I have read that even 72 hours of simmering is delicious and so good for you.  Shorter simmering is best for “easing” into healing the digestive tract.  Absolutely wonderful for the lining of the gut!  

bone broth chicken

bone broth braggs

bone broth chic

beef broth

So there you have it!  Few hours in the pot.  Let it cool.  Strain out the bones and the veggies to capture the nourishing broth.  I use lots of Ball jars around my kitchen these days.  The broth needs to cool before going into the refrigerator.  I use the broth for nearly everything I make during the week and then next weekend, I start over with a new organic chicken.  The routine is actually something that I look forward to and enjoy quite a bit.

The joy of sipping a mug of lightly salted (unrefined sea salt please) and peppered, warm chicken broth after a day at work is one of those very simple pauses that replenishes in profound ways.

beef broth in pot 2Beef broth is made much the same way.  A local dairy farmer sells a 2 gallon bag of raw beef bones to us for just $4!  You can make a whole lot of broth with 2 gallons of bones!  I place 4-5 bones in the largest pot I have, cover with good water, add the veggies and sometimes a few mushrooms, little apple cider vinegar, and repeat the simmering as with the chicken broth.  When 3 or more hours have passed, I strain away the veggies and place broth in jars to cool.  The broth is even shared daily with my dogs.  I warm a small bowl and pour over their dry food each morning.  They are wild about it.  I am happy to share with them.

beef broth in potSimple pleasures for a great life!

And, another very obvious treasure for keeping homemade broth on hand — beyond the awesome health benefits for you and your family — is the amazing flavor you will be adding to all your favorite soups, stews, gravies, sauces, casseroles!  No more buying the cartons of broth at the grocery that are made from cheap meat and added who-know-what to give it flavor.  Your homemade bone broths will be superior in every way!

If you would like more information on bone broths, consult with Sally Fallon’s book, Nourishing Traditions (please click here to read review from the RETHINK LIBRARY) or visit the Weston Price Foundation site.  Most French cookbooks refer to this wonderful staple… again, Julia Childs did not lead us astray!  Even this morning as I was preparing this post, my husband turned on the radio and guess what?  I couldn’t help but laugh out loud as I heard Dr. Josh Axe sharing about the healing properties of bone broth!  The program was hosted by one of my beloved chiropractors, Dr. Pete Sulack!  Another great resource online for great insights.

broth1So, I’m telling you… bone broth is the next big craze!  Nothing like revisiting what really works!  Borrowing from the generations past to try to heal our own.

Thanks goes out to all the Grandmas who knew instinctively to give the generations healing from their loving wooden spoons.  While taking so many “convenience” shortcuts, we have inadvertently done the same to our lifespans!  Let’s rethink wellness.  Let’s get in our kitchens with a plan…  Bone broths!

broth and veggies lunch

Delicious lunch! Roasted veggies and mug of bone broth with dash of sea salt, pepper, onion, parsley on top! When can you be here?

3 comments on “BROTH… the real reason the mug was invented!

  1. Karen
    February 1, 2014

    Deana, I am loving your blog! So much great info on the things I’m so interested in but still not fully informed on. So happy for the bone broth instructions.

    • dea perkins
      February 4, 2014

      Thanks, Karen! So glad to hear your kind comments. I am so enjoying the journey here with this blog. So many wonderful ways to do something better for ourselves and our families! Be blessed in your efforts and your kitchen and your health!

  2. Pingback: 17 YEARS of THYROID MEDS but NO MORE… you won’t believe this! | Rethink WELLNESS Hub

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