June 25, 2010

Stock Full of Goodness

Chicken Noodle Soup
About three years ago I got my hands on Nourishing Traditions, a cookbook full of wonderful ideas. The gist of the book is based upon the research of A dentist, Dr. Weston Price, who lived in the 1900's. He suspected that the increase of processed foods in the diet of people then was contributing to more caries and tooth decay.So he took his life savings and did some traveling around the world to see what isolated traditional sociteies who did not process their foods were eating. He discovered that not only were the people healthier in significant ways, they often had similar ways of preparing foods even though in very different parts of the world and isolated from most everyone else. The findings are interesting. Here is an excerpt from the Weston Price Foundation website.

Characteristics of the Tradition Diets

1.The diets of healthy, nonindustrialized peoples contain no refined or denatured foods or ingredients, such as refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup; white flour; canned foods; pasteurized, homogenized, skim or lowfat milk; refined or hydrogenated vegetable oils; protein powders; artificial vitamins; or toxic additives and colorings.

2.All traditional cultures consume some sort of animal food, such as fish and shellfish; land and water fowl; land and sea mammals; eggs; milk and milk products; reptiles; and insects. The whole animal is consumed­--muscle meat, organs, bones and fat, with the organ meats and fats preferred.

3.The diets of healthy, nonindustrialized peoples contain at least four times the minerals and water-soluble vitamins, and TEN times the fat-soluble vitamins found in animal fats (vitamin A, vitamin D and vitamin K2--Price's "Activator X") as the average American diet.

4.All traditional cultures cooked some of their food but all consumed a portion of their animal foods raw.

5.Primitive and traditional diets have a high content of food enzymes and beneficial bacteria from lacto-fermented vegetables, fruits, beverages, dairy products, meats and condiments.

6.Seeds, grains and nuts are soaked, sprouted, fermented or naturally leavened to neutralize naturally occurring anti-nutrients such as enzyme inhibitors, tannins and phytic acid.

7.Total fat content of traditional diets varies from 30 percent to 80 percent of calories but only about 4 percent of calories come from polyunsaturated oils naturally occurring in grains, legumes, nuts, fish, animal fats and vegetables. The balance of fat calories is in the form of saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids.

8.Traditional diets contain nearly equal amounts of omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids.

9.All traditional diets contain some salt.

10.All traditional cultures make use of animal bones, usually in the form of gelatin-rich bone broths.

11.Traditional cultures make provisions for the health of future generations by providing special nutrient-rich animal foods for parents-to-be, pregnant women and growing children; by proper spacing of children; and by teaching the principles of right diet to the young.
Sally Falon the Author of Nourishing traditions took Dr. Prices findings of a traditional diet and created 675 pages of information and recipes on cooking traditionally. More than being healthy these recipes are delicious. Our first and most favorite recipe is for stock/broth...mostly chicken stock but I have tried fish and beef as well. This little secrect is the difference between ok soup and wow that is fantastic soup.
I heard about this book when reading a book review on it at the Bulk Herbs website (see sidebar for link) Shoshanna, the author of Bulk Herbs, says this about broth in her article, Healthy Broth 
"Old fashioned broth is packed with important minerals that have disappeared from the American diet. They have been replaced with the discovery of monosodium glutamate (MSG). What is MSG? It is a neurotoxic substance that causes a wide range of reactions from temporary headaches to permanent brain damage. You might think you do not use MSG, but it is in bouillon cubes, canned broths and soups, dehydrated soup mixes, sauce mixes, TV dinners, most restaurant food, condiments, and more. Fast food restaurants could not exist without MSG. Enough about MSG; this article is about broth.

Okay! So, what is broth? “It is a flavorful liquid resulting from slow cooking bones, hooves, knuckles, bird feet, eggshells, meat, poultry, fish, or vegetables in water. This process pulls nutrients from cartilage and tendons, like sulphates and glucosamine, which is used as a supplement for arthritis and joint pain.” It all might sound a little disgusting, but, believe it or not, it is delicious. The benefits for the body are amazing, as well. It is an herb in itself, healing and strengthening the body’s digestion. It contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily, like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur, gelatin, and trace minerals.
Broth has been used to treat arthritis and joint pain, peptic ulcers, tuberculosis, diabetes, muscle diseases, infectious diseases, jaundice, cancer, help cure colds, and even put in babies' milk to aid digestion. Broth is also used as a thyroid strengthening substance. Not only is broth great for health purposes, but it is a MUST in cooking. I use broth for cooking vegetables, noodles, rice, sauces, soups, gravy, stews and more."

Below is the recipe I use from Nourishing traditions.

Chicken Stock

1 Whole free-range chicken or 2 to 3 lbs of chicken parts, such as necks, backs, breastbones and wings
2-4 Chicken feet, (optional)
4 Free-range or organically grown egg shells
4 Quarts cold filtered water
2 tbsp vinegar
2 Carrots peeled and chopped, if organic do not peel
3 Celery stalks chopped
4 Whole garlic cloves
1 Onion chopped
1 tsp pepper corns
1 Bunch parsley

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for at least 6 hours or as long as 48 hours.

"Good broth resurrects the dead." A South American Proverb

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