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How Bone Broth Restores the Postpartum Body

Basic Bone Broth Recipe

Borrowed from danielafreda.com


Bone broth truly is magical!


In Chinese Medicine, bone broth is considered the single best healing food for new moms. Broth is easily digested medicine that is full of blood-building properties to restore the blood and fluid lost in giving birth. It is different from simple chicken soup or broth because it is boiled for a long time, extracting all the nutrients and iron-rich marrow. The broth strengthens the body and it is deeply hydrating for breastfeeding people who require extra fluid intake for breastmilk production. It contains collagen, which is know for it's restorative properties and helping to bring more elasticity to tissues and organs (read - help out with that little belly pouch!)

Photo by Chinh Le Duc


Traditionally, in China, one or more women of the older generation such as mothers, aunts, grandmothers, etc. would temporarily move into the new parents' house. She would bring all the ingredients to make bone broth, set up shop, and do everything that needed doing in the house. She would cook, clean, do laundry, but most importantly, she would make sure that the mother and baby were undisturbed in there space for at least 40 days to give time to bond, heal, and establish a solid breastfeeding relationship.


The wisdom passed down through the generations in this way was a treasured part of the community of women and birthing people. Sadly, due to globalization, and the transient nature of the world, many young people move away from their hometowns or countries, and cannot receive the care that was once a critical part of their postpartum traditions.


Let's bring back this custom!

Picture by @kadircelep


Below is a recipe for a simple bone broth that can help heal and restore the body before, during, and after labour, and during the postpartum period. Bone broth is also very healthy for ALL people, during any time of life.

 

Ingredients:


Bones-from chicken, turkey, fish, beef, pork, lamb. You can use raw bones (with or without skin and meat), a whole carcass or parts (feet, ribs, necks, knuckles, etc.). Raw bones may be browned in a pan in the oven at 400 degrees to enhance flavor and separate some of the fat. I recommend this!! You can use cooked bones, with or without skin and meat from a previous meal. **Use organic, grass-fed meat and bones when possible, which you can often find at your local farmer’s market, butcher, or health food store.

Cold water (enough to cover the bones)

A splash or two of Vinegar (apple cider, rice, balsamic, red or white wine) or lemon juice. Adding an acidic substance helps draw out the nutrients from the bones.

Optional: vegetables (such as peelings and scrap ends or entire vegetables like onion, leek, celery, carrot, etc. I keep a bag in my freezer that for veggie peelings) and seasonings (fresh ginger, black peppercorns, bay leaf, garlic, etc).

Instructions:

Combine bones, water, and vinegar in a pot and bring to a boil. Remove any scum that rises to the top. Cover the pot, reduce heat and simmer on low (6-24 hours for chicken stock, 8-72 hours for beef stock). Adjust the temperature low enough that you see small, gentle, slow bubbling. Check the broth every once in a while to make sure that the water level doesn’t get too low. You can add more water if needed.

You can also use a crock pot or a pressure cooker to make broth. I like to use a pressure cooker because it does a thorough job of extracting the nutrients, but is far quicker than a slow cooker or on the stovetop.

You can add the vegetables and seasonings at the beginning of cooking for flavor. Optionally, you can add fresh vegetables in the last hour or two of cooking to increase the mineral content of the broth.

Once done, allow the broth to cool. Strain broth through a colander and discard the bones, vegetables and seasonings. Reserve the meat for soup, salads, or other recipes.

To skim the fat, use a fat separator, or refrigerate the broth and skim the fat that hardens at the top of the broth. Broth may be frozen for months, or kept in the refrigerator for about four days.

Freezer storage:

To store broth in the freezer, I suggest using Pyrex glass containers (with rubber lids) or canning jars. Leave an inch or two of space to the top of the container to prevent the container from cracking when the stock freezes and expands. I first store the stock in the refrigerator until it is completely cool, then I will transfer to the freezer. If using Pyrex containers, you can stick the completely cooled broth into the freezer. If using canning jars, you need to make sure the lid is loose when putting into the freezer. Once the stock is fully frozen, you can tighten the lid. (This step will prevent the jar from cracking) You can also use reusable silicon bags.


Uses:

Soup - add vegetables, beans, grains, and/or meat to make a soup or stew.

Cooking liquid - use your beautiful broth to cook grains, beans, rice, anything you can imagine.

“Tea”- add sea salt and sip broth like tea.


I hope you enjoy this recipe!


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