BONE BROTH BASICS
Bone broth may be trendy, but it’s as old as the hills. Undoubtedly, many of the latest health claims (it cures colds, plumps up your skin, improves joint function and helps with wound healing) are overblown, but there’s some evidence it can bolster the immune system and it does provide collagen and glucosamine that could help strengthen your gut lining and, in turn, bolster your resistance to food allergies (as allergens can’t enter your blood stream through a gut wall that’s resilient and leak free). At the very least, bone broth is a healthy comfort food and far superior to standard dehydrated bouillon cubes. However, it does get sold for ridiculous prices sometimes. Making your own broth is easy and I recommend you give it a go. Use it as a base for soups or gravies, or simply sip it on its own as a warming drink (it can help you rehydrate after exercise too as it’s a source of electrolyte minerals).To make your own, fill a large saucepan with 3-4l water. Roughly chop 6 carrots, 6 sticks of celery (inc leafy ends), two onions (skin removed) and add to pan with leftover bones (chicken carcass, beef ribs or lamb shank bones). Add 4 bay leaves and 2tbsp apple cider vinegar. Bring to the boil, then simmer very, very gently, covered for 12 hours (using a slow cooker is ideal). Make sure you chill any leftovers thoroughly within two hours to prevent the growth of bacteria.
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COOKING WITH OLIVE OIL
Q Is it okay to stir-fry with extra virgin olive oil?
A Yes, it’s fine – in fact several studies have shown that olive oil produces fewer harmful oxidation products than polyunsaturated oils such sunflower oil, corn or safflower oil when heated. Virgin and extra-virgin olive oils also contain antioxidants that help resist oxidation as the oil is heated, but it’s true that extra virgin smokes at a lower temperature than a refined version of the oil so I’d say use it for stir-fries – and it’s a great healthy choice for this purpose. But don’t heat it for hotter or longer (deep frying with virgin olive oil isn’t a good idea for example, but I can’t think why you would want to do that anyway). Use ‘pure’ olive oil (made from the second pressing of the olives) for roasting, baking and deep frying as it has a higher smoke point.