Bone broth is regarded as liquid gold by many and is acclaimed to be one of the many revolutionary health remedies said to make you look younger, give you stronger bones and add mobility to your joints. The increased consumer interest, the importance of health and wellness, and the need for products high in nutrition and health benefits has led to the escalated focus and growing interest in high collagen products such as bone broth. However, despite it being punted as the ultimate solution to so many of our aches and pains, there is no scientific evidence supporting that there is an advantage to consuming the nutrients in bone broth in comparison to other nutrient-dense foods.
What exactly is bone broth?
Often the terms stock, broth and bone broth are used interchangeably and incorrectly. Currently there is a trend to refer to both stocks and broth as “broth”, whereas bone broth is the most recent term that has been added in the culinary world during the last decade or two. Culinary professionals, however, regard it as a term used primarily for marketing purposes and to differentiate between various product offerings on the market. The main difference between the three terms is in the final product that is delivered. Whereas stock and broth have shorter cooking periods and additional ingredients added, bone broth – the ultimate product – is cooked slowly for a long period of time. This extracts the gelatin from the bones and connective tissue, as well as additional components and minerals from the ingredients such as collagen, glucosamine, amino acids, electrolytes and calcium. The nutritional content is much higher, the process takes far longer and, as it is not always feasible to eat bones and connective tissue, consumers ultimately receive the benefit from these ingredients in a more digestible format.
MUST-TRY BONE-BROTH RECIPE: Lamb & beef bone broth
How can you use bone broth?
Bone broth has various applications – it is used as a base for soups and sauces, in stews to add depth and flavour, as a palate cleanser to remove any fattiness and richness in between the various courses on a menu, and often as a nutritious beverage. Broths are even made from grains and a combination of vegetables, but ultimately bone broth made from animal bones remains the preferred product. The benefits are gained from the components that are extracted when boiling bones through a long slow-cooking process. The contents of the liquid or broth includes collagen, bone marrow, amino acids and minerals.
The rich extraction of collagen provides a gelatinous liquid – this is the culinary gold that can be used in various culinary applications far beyond what is presently being portrayed in the marketing of bone broth. For example, bone broth can not only be used in the making of savoury products but also in desserts and confectionary such as marshmallows and gel-like sweets, ice creams that do not melt easily, and foams that add volume in soufflés, mousses and meringue-like products. In savoury applications, you can use it as an alternative to a starch-based thickener to thicken sauces and to provide body to emulsion-based products such as mayonnaise and salad dressings. The liquid gold that is bone broth certainly has the possibility of becoming culinary gold. The time is right for experimenting and turning this very trendy health product into a revolutionary culinary product.
MUST-TRY RECIPE: Tangy BBQ marshmallows
Supported by the Red Meat Industry of South Africa.