Have you ever heard the expression “he or she comes from good stock”?
It means the individual came from a family with excellent physical constitutions that included vibrant health, strong bones, and good teeth.
Your constitution is the strength you are born with and has been passed down to you from your ancestors.
If your constitution is strong, you can thank your parents, grandparents, great grandparents, and all of your ancestors for their wise lifestyle and diet choices.
On the other hand, if your constitution is poor and you are prone to chronic sickness and are easily fatigued, you can slap your relatives at the next family gathering!
A strong constitution is one of the many reasons Grandma Moses or Uncle George (George Burns, that is) could drink and smoke excessively, and party ’til the cows came home, and still live to the ripe old age of 101 with little or no consequences. Those folks are living off the strength of their ancestral lineage.
Unfortunately, many more young people are developing chronic and debilitating sicknesses earlier in life.
This means, with each passing generation, we are growing weaker.
Our “good stock” is plummeting while illness and disease are on the rise. To offset this current imbalance, we need to invest in good stock, literally.
Stock is the liquid gold created through the alchemy of cooking animal bones. Our ancestors did not waste natural resources as the food was scarce at times.
They used every part of the animal, not just the prime cuts. Bones, feet, skin, and scraps too were boiled in water, creating vitamin and mineral-rich liquid.
Folklore in many cultures alluded to bone stock as an all-around panacea for anyone sick or weak. It was traditionally used to cure flu, colds, digestive problems, bone loss, joint pain, skin disorders, muscle weakness, blood deficiency, and many other ailments.
Here’s a great example…
My father grew up in America during the great depression in the 1900s. He told me how his mother used to feed the entire family (five children and two parents) using very little money. She would go to the butcher shop and purchase bones–just bones, no meat, for mere pennies. Then she purchased a single head of cabbage and a couple of potatoes. With those three ingredients, plus water, she made soup. That simple bone and vegetable soup not only nourished the family so they could survive the depression but also kept them quite healthy and strong.
Stock contains a wealth of nutrients including gelatin, marrow, cartilage, collagen, amino acids, minerals, and trace minerals.
Besides being nutritionally beneficial, stock imparts a rich hearty flavor that lingers seductively on the tongue and is used in many professional kitchens as the base for soups, sauces, and gravies.
One of the most amazing attributes of this uber-nourishing liquid is that it is practically effortless to prepare. Once you acquire the bones, the preparation consists of combining them with water, vegetables, and seasonings, then simmering for many hours without having to babysit the darn pot.
If the idea of leaving stock cooking for hours on the stove makes you nervous, it would be wise to purchase a slow cooker. A slow cooker cooks your food, unattended, for ten to twelve hours, and shuts off automatically when finished.
The most labor-intensive part of the stock-making process is procuring the bones or other parts (like feet) at the onset, and preparing it for storage at the end. Stock must be strained, cooled, skimmed, and put into freezer-safe containers.
Trust me — making a savory bone stock one or two times per month is well worth your time and effort. Especially, if you worried about the health of your immune system.
You and your family will feel the benefits of stock all the way down to your bones!
Many folks spend hundreds (even thousands) of dollars on glucosamine and chondroitin supplements to help heal their arthritic and bone woes. Stock contains these elements, organically.
To make stock, ask the butcher or fishmonger for bones, fat, skin, feet, and carcass, of animals. Try marrow bones, stock bones, knuckle bones, feet, necks, shanks, or oxtail. Most markets sell these animal parts at little cost.
Another way to get your hands on some nourishing bones is to save them from the food you are already consuming. How many of us sit down to meals, devour the flesh, and discard the bones? I know I used to – before I became stock savvy!
Each time you dine out in a restaurant or purchase cooked meat on the bone (osso bucco, braised lamb shank, chicken legs or wings, roasted duck, rotisserie chicken, and fried whole fish), there lies an opportunity to acquire bones.
Don’t be shy; ask for a doggie bag. You’ve paid for the meal (including the bones), and you can certainly take them with you. If you feel embarrassed, tell the server the bones are for your precious little doggie Fido or Twinkles the cat.
You can safely store bones in the freezer in a freezer-safe bag or container for a few months, and use them when you have accumulated enough (1 to 3 pounds). The more bones and other scraps you gather, the richer the stock.
Make no bones about it, homemade stock is good nutrition!
It’s time to call a meeting with the shareholders of your company (your family members) and inform them their stock is about to increase!
Here are some easy bone stock recipes for you:
Excerpt from: Health is Wealth – Make a Delicious Investment in You!
Andrea Beaman is an internationally renowned Holistic Health Coach, Natural Foods Chef, Speaker, Herbalist and best-selling author. Named one of the top 100 Most Influential Health and Fitness Experts, she is also a recipient of the Natural Gourmet Institute’s Award for Excellence in Health-Supportive Education and a Health Leadership award from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Since 1999, Andrea has been teaching people how to harness the body’s own preventative and healing powers using food, herbal remedies and alternative medicine.
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