Boy, the mid-winter germs are out in full force! Even though it has been like 80 degrees almost every day this month, cold and sniffle season is heating up all the same. Almost everybody I know, from family to work, has gotten some kind of illness in the past few weeks. It finally hit me this week. I went to a ladies basketball game (Go Ladyhorns!) on Monday night and screamed my heart out (especially for the dancing dogs at halftime). When I woke up on Tuesday my throat was killing me. I chaulked it up to yelling, but by Wednesday night I was still in so much pain that I had to listen to my body. Poor body was sick. And when I’m sick, I go for my tried and true “feel better broth.” Somewhere between a tincture and a soup, this elixir soothes my throat and helps me rest so my body can recover.
Bone Broth, So Hot Right Now
Food trends seem to take a good 6 – 9 months to trickle into Austin. But be it cronuts or kale, the biggest, coolest new thang in food can take a while to actualize deep in the heart of Texas. We were just wrapping our heads around kimchi when bone broth broke onto the scene. By that time, it was already part of the standard Uber Eats repertoire for our friends in NYC and LA.
But just because we are slow on the uptake doesn’t mean we can’t embrace it. In fact, given what a green and foodie city Austin is, it should come as no surprise that folks all over are L O V I N’ bone broth. I am one of those people. I dragged my heels in getting a pressure cooker, but as soon as we got one I couldn’t wait to try making bone broth in it. What was all the fuss about?
We collected chicken bones for about three weeks, then loaded up the pressure cooker with the bones, some onions, carrots, and celery, and filled with water. We let this go for 3 hours under high pressure. To my surprise and delight, the bones had almost completely dissolved! Several cups of delicious, savory bone broth were ready, so we poured it into giant cubes for freezing and storage. Each cube is about a half-cup of broth, which makes using this instead of chicken stock a piece of cake.
Nothing revolutionary so far, just a Texan girl makin’ bone broth in her pressure cooker. But wait, there’s more.
One of These Things is Not Like the Other
As delicious as the bone broth was when mixed into chicken soup or rice, I couldn’t bring myself to drink it straight. Yes, it’s a more substantial bouillon, but I don’t like bouillon. It always feels just like naked soup. (Plus it’s too salty!)
So I thought I’d try to blend it with a few other elements that I love to have with chicken. Sweet and savory is hard to beat, so I started with a little honey. At first sip, bone broth + honey was fantastic. The deeper quality of the bone broth started to emerge in light of the honey. From there, I started to play with all of the other traditional “throat remedy” ingredients and added those to the broth in varying amounts.
This might sound crazy, but why not? Ultimately bone broth is useful for people who are unwell and need the additional nutrients leeched from the bones and vegetables that make it. Hot water, honey, lemon, and apple cider vinegar are all recommended for coating sore throats. Why not blend these (and a few other things) together for a catch-all Feel Better Broth?
Practice Makes Perfect
I felt like a witch over her cauldron as I added various ingredients in differing proportions, tasting with each addition. Ginger? Nah, not for me. Turmeric? Absolutely.
Finally, I landed on the ideal blend. It’s hearty as hell, but complicated and tastes like something you’d order at a high-end pharmacy in the Hamptons. (Yes, it’s Barefoot Contessa-good.) Apple cider vinegar does wonders for the bone broth and helps keep the honey’s sweetness in check. The turmeric brings a Far Eastern flair to the broth and keeps it from seeming flat.
There are a few optional ingredients that you could sub out in lieu of the cinnamon or turmeric. Ginger might be better for anti-turmeric folks, and certainly, those who like kick should try adding in cayenne. It does a phenomenal job of clearing your throat and getting the system going, but I’m a spice-spice baby, so no heat for me.
I’m so glad divine inspiration struck and I stumbled onto this concoction. I hope you’ll give it a try next time you’re feeling down and out!
Bone broth + classic throat remedy ingredients and a little spice build in flavor for this hearty broth/tincture guaranteed to help you feel better.
- 1.5 cups bone broth (or quality chicken stock, in a pinch)
- 1 tbsp raw, unfiltered honey
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp cayenne (optional)
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger (optional)
Heat bone broth in a sauce pan on the stove top over medium heat until simmering.
Stir in honey, apple cider vinegar, and lemon juice until honey melts and all ingredients are incorporated.
Remove from heat and stir in cinnamon, turmeric, and other optional spices if desired.
Sip slowly from a mug and start feeling better!