BRR, frigid, windy, cloudy, flurries. Winter has arrived. And Chicago is ready.
Those of us who have lived here for more than a few years know the routine–gloves, hats, warm boots and lottsa layers.
Something you may want to add this year–instead of–or in addition to– your Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts is bone broth.
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.
Restaurant and walk-up locations for bone broth that have been hot in New York and the north east for the last few years are starting to make in-roads in Chicago at spots including the Near North’s, Hi-Vibe Superfood Juicery and Lincoln Square’s Han Bat Restaurant but is not yet widely available.
The fix: Make your own. Although there are many books on bone broth and recipes online, the process doesn’t have to be complicated. Just ask your grandmother.
Basically you need only bones and water. Any bones including beef, chicken, pork or any combination of bones will work. Boil the water, add the bones and cook on medium heat–at least 4 hours but longer if you have the time–until the liquid becomes gelatinous.
You can add veggies, herbs and spices, if you like or not. Be creative!
If you want to get more scientific, you’ll want to make sure to use filtered water and about 3 to 4 lbs. of bones per gallon of water for chicken and about 7 lbs. of beef bones per gallon of water.
When the broth has gotten to the thickness desired, strain the broth from the bones (some people reuse the bones 2 or 3 times to make more broth).
Then you are good to go. Add the hot bone broth to your favorite drink carrier. I love S’well bottles.
These amazing bottles, originally produced in an attempt to rid the world of “plastic bottles,” keep warm beverages hot for 12 hours–for real–no matter how cold it gets outside.
I use public transportation, cross country ski and take my dog for long walks–so needless to say I’m outdoors a lot.
I’ve found that a shot of bone broth (or more) can warm me up and improve my mood.
If the many health benefits that are touted for bone broth–such as–preventing wrinkles, eliminating cellulite, easing digestion, and healing arthritis are true–that’s an added bonus.
So let’s toast to winter cold with a steaming cup or bottle of bone broth.
Click here to see what’s ahead for Chicago’s winter along with some survival tips and indoor escapes.
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