Brodo bone broth cookbook: lose weight, feel great

Brodo bone broth cookbook: lose weight, feel great
Photograph by Michael Harlan Turkell

Instead of lining up for a doughnut at Doughnut Vault or caramel corn at Garretts how about lining up for something healthy like a steaming hot cup of bone broth.

Bone broth? That dirty dishwater colored thin liquid that my grandmother used to make? Well you could say that--at least sort of. Except now bone broth is hot. Not just hot as in warm liquid but hot as a trending liquid with a long list of health benefits.

Devotees praise its curative powers claiming that bone broth burns fat, tightens skin, controls wrinkles, relieves arthritis, reverses gray hair, cures acne, curbs cravings, promotes weight loss--even promises to resurrect the dead according to a South American proverb.

In case you hadn’t heard bone broth is the new green juice. This ancient broth sometimes referred to as Jewish penicillin—is good for a lot more than colds and the flu.

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Marco Canora at his bone broth takeout window. Photograph by Michael Harlan Turkell

In New York's East Village, people are standing in line in the cold at a takeout window, Brodo, attached to Chef Marco Canora's popular hotspot Hearth to pay $4.50 and up for a to-go cup of bone broth--kind of a Starbucks experience for brothers rethinking their hot beverages.

Bone broth has its critics, its converts and its true believers. Paleo websites are calling it a super food and the likes of Dr. Oz, Al Roker, Salma Hayek, the LA Lakers basketball team and, of course, Gwyneth Paltrow are jumping on the bone broth bandwagon.

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Book cover. Photo: Michael Harlan Turkell

Two recently published books Brodo A Bone Broth Cookbook by Chef and restaurateur Marco Canora and the NYT best seller Dr. Kellyann's Bone Broth Diet are praising its benefits and offering recipes and challenges.

When I received the Brodo book in my inbox on a cold January day, I thought, why not check it out. After all, the author, Marco Canora, is almost single-handedly responsible for putting bone broth on its recent pedestal. Even Dr. Kellyann, sipped her first cup of the magic liquid a little over a year ago at his storefront Brodo window attached to his Hearth restaurant.

I always (or at least, 97% of the time) make my broth from scratch--so I was more than a little curious as to why one would need to read a whole book to learn how to throw some bones in a pot and boil them.

After reading the book, I discovered that there's a lot more to bone broth than I realized. Yes, it is about boiling bones but not just throwing them in a pot without the right tools and techniques.

In a nutshell, bone broth is made from bones that are often roasted then boiled for extended periods--sometimes as long as 24 hours or more. The long, slow cooking process is what breaks down the bones releasing nutrients and minerals that are easy for the body to absorb like collagen, gelatin, and glucosamine.

The small-format Brodo book breaks down the mumbo jumbo surrounding the bone broth craze with its easy to follow format which serves as a primer to the bone broth world. What I like about the book is that it doesn't make huge claims or challenges. It is written from Canora's personal experience with bone broth, how it makes him feel and his chef-driven recipes.

He holds the readers hand during the broth-making process giving sources for bones,* basic recipes, flavorings, then proceeds to some very good recipes that use broth. The amazing variety of broths covered in the book include veal, duck, pork, veggie, fish, clam, seaweed, mushroom (and others) along with recipes using broth in risottos, Brodo bowls and more

What's nice about bone broth is that anyone can whip up a variety of healthy bone broths in their home kitchen or, if the trend continues, grab a cup of broth at a takeout window on the way to work.

If you are ready to give bone broth a try, I'd suggest starting with a basic chicken broth such as this one from the Brodo book. This recipe makes about 6 quarts. According to Canora, it keeps 5 to 7 days in the refrigerator or you can freeze it in ice cube trays or glass or stainless steel containers (avoid plastic) for months.

Once you've mastered the basic broth you may want to try the three-day mini- cleanse using the Golden Chicken Broth, the Grass-Fed Beef Broth and Hearth Broth--a favorite of Canora that he named after his famous restaurant. The purpose of this is to give your digestive system a rest. Along with the broth you can drink as much water or non-caffeinated herbal tea as you want.

*Here are a couple of local (Wisconsin) links for ordering grass-fed beef and bones suggested by Katy Deardorff, Communications Manager for Visit Milwaukee: Eat Wild and Wisconsin Grass-fed Beef Cooperative.

All recipes reprinted here are from Brodo: A Bone Broth Cookbook by Marco Canora. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers.

Bone Broth in Chicago

Hi-Vibe (160 W. Kinzie) has just added bone broth to its menu of "superfood" juices.

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