This post is from contributing writer Leah Vachani, CNC, of Lunch with Leah.
Unless you have been hiding under a rock for the past few years, I’m sure you have heard the buzz about bone broth. Nutritionists, doctors, personal trainers, even estheticians are touting the magical benefits of bone broth to their clients, their friends, and anyone who they meet on the street. But why? What’s the deal?
First, let’s go back in time. Bone broth is a traditional food that has been consumed by humans since the beginning of recorded history. Basically, bone broth has been around since early humans discovered fire and invented a pot to boil water in. In the interest of using every last possible part of the animals they hunted, they began to boil down the bones. Hippocrates was known to prescribe bone broth to improve digestive health in his patients (1), and similar practices were being shared all over Asia and the Middle East.
Health Benefits of Bone Broth
So, it’s been around forever…it must be good for you then? Yes. Here are just some of the amazing benefits of bone broth:
- Boosts the immune system (2)
- Reduces joint pain (3)
- Supports weight loss (3)
- Aid in sleep (3)
- Promotes healthy hair + skin (4)
- Heals the gut (3)
- Supports healthy digestion (5)
- Fights inflammation which is the root cause of most disease (3)
- Enhances brain function + mood (6)
- Highly nutritious (3)
Plus, it’s super easy to make – Katie’s kids even help:
If you can’t view the video above, click Kids Cook Homemade Chicken Stock to Show How Easy it Is! to see it directly on YouTube.
Great! Now, how do I get it in my body (and my kids)?
The traditional way would be to make some soup with bone broth. However, I have 3 more suggestions and they all involve chocolate!
Health Benefits of Chocolate
When I see “health” and “chocolate” together I’m pretty much sold already, but if you need some validation, then here you go.
Dark chocolate (raw cacao) can be found to:
- Can have positive effects on stress, improve your mood and memory (9)
- Is high in polyphenols (protective antioxidants) (8)
- Supports a healthy gut microbiome as a prebiotic (food for the good bacteria) (7)
- Reduces inflammation (10)
- Could improve brain function (11)
So yay! Let’s all eat chocolate for breakfast!
Hold up! Make sure you are using dark chocolate or raw cacao. Milk chocolate has a lot of sugar and very little actual cacao in it (which is the constituent with all the health benefits). So, make sure you are getting the good stuff.
What does it mean if I crave chocolate?
Unfortunately, the common saying surrounding chocolate cravings being due to a magnesium deficiency is still being debated. Although dark chocolate does contain some magnesium, there are other foods that contain higher amounts, like spinach. When was the last time you craved spinach?
Most likely if you are craving chocolate your body is needing an energy boost or mood boost. Just eat the (moderate portion of) dark chocolate and enjoy! Magnesium or not. You will still get some healthy bonuses. (To actually get enough magnesium, you could use this topical spray or take an Epsom salt bath.)
Now for the delicious ways to get the superpowers from bone broth and chocolate into your mouth…
3 Ways to Hide the Power of Bone Broth in Chocolate
I solemnly swear that these methods have all been tried and found to be delicious on all accounts by myself and my test group of two (ages 5 and 9). (But I would still love to hear your results in the comments below!)
This “No Fail Chocolate Kale Smoothie” is a staple in our home because according to my kids, “it’s delicious!” We drink it as a smoothie and we make it into popsicles in the summertime. (Simply pour the smoothie into popsicle molds and freeze).
To add the benefits of bone broth, use collagen (use the coupon KS10 for 10% off!) — but never as it will gum up your blender.
1 cup chocolate hazelnut milk (you can easily sub any type of milk here)
1 cup frozen blueberries
2-3 leaves kale
2 Tbsp raw cacao powder
½ banana (fresh or frozen)
1 Tbsp grass-fed
Blend everything in a high powered blender (we use a Vitamix) for a couple of minutes and drink to your health!
- Raw honey: 1 Tbsp can be added if you are weaning you (or your child’s) taste buds away from sugary, sweet foods towards less sweet tasting foods. Try to decrease the amount of honey as your taste buds adjust. (Don’t give honey to children under 1 year of age.)
- You can sprinkle extra raw cacao powder or raw hemp seeds on top if you want some delicious decoration.
For the full recipe as well as how to make this smoothie into summertime popsicles, visit LunchwithLeah.com.
Trouble Getting Healthy Food on the Table Every Day?
Enter Real Plans
Real Plans is an online meal planning software & app that is probably smarter than I am.
It works with all food restrictions to help families find the perfect meal, generate a shopping list, scale it up if needed, and you’re totally in control. Use your own fav recipes, skip a suggestion and tell Real Plans all the foods you don’t like/can’t eat, and it will still do half the work of meal planning (or more) for you.
Real Plans takes the stress out of meal planning and puts the nourishing food BACK on your table. There’s a plan for every diet type, including GAPS, Paleo, AIP, Whole30, vegetarian and more!
Enjoy the health benefits of grass-fed gelatin while getting one of your favorite treats…hot chocolate. Kid-approved, and healthy enough you are happy to serve it daily!
- Warm the milk either in the microwave or on the stovetop. You want it very warm but not boiling.
- Add all the ingredients (except the topping) into a high powered blender and blend on high for about 1 minute. Pour into a mug, add the powdered topping (optional), serve and enjoy
No processed sugar, artificial dyes or colors in this delicious gummy treat! These chocolate gummies are easy to make and full of nutrition.
- Warm the coconut milk and cacao over medium heat. Use a whisk to thoroughly stir in the cacao. You want the mixture to be hot but not boiling.
- Add the honey and vanilla and stir well.
- Add the gelatin 1 Tbsp at a time whisking continuously to avoid clumping.
- Remove from heat. (Optional – add mixture to a Pyrex container with pouring spout for easier pouring.) Work quickly to pour mixture into a glass dish lined with parchment paper or into silicone candy or ice molds. (Don’t take too long doing this step or the mixture will harden.)
- Chill in the fridge for at least one hour.
- Remove from molds or if you used a glass baking dish, slice into 1-inch squares and remove with a spatula. Serve and enjoy.
- Store in the fridge.
For the full recipe including a short video, visit LunchwithLeah.com
Are Collagen and Gelatin the Same as Bone Broth?
In a nutshell, yes. The health benefits touted from bone broth come mostly from a protein called collagen found in high amounts in the connective tissues, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage in animals. When we cook these animals parts down, in a bone broth, we get gelatin. If you further cook and process gelatin you can get hydrolyze collagen.
While they contain different chemical properties, collagen and gelatin and bone broth are all, in essence, the same amino acids and offer very similar health benefits. However, when using them in the kitchen, you want bone broth, gelatin, and collagen for different things! You can’t make gummy bears with collagen but they work perfectly with gelatin.
Enjoy 3 New Ways to Eat “Bone Broth” with Chocolate
I hope you enjoy the 3 recipes given here to enhance the delicious methods of enjoying bone broth. While a cup of soup made with bone broth can do wonders for the body, sometimes it’s nice to have an equally healthy alternative.
In my experience, most kids are way more excited about chocolate than soup. Heck, I could say the same about many adults too. Enjoy!
- Johnson, J. (2018, December 6). “What are the benefits of bone broth?.” Medical News Today. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323903.php.