Brodo’s new “brothies” are actually pretty tasty

By Rebecca Firkser
Updated June 07, 2018
Credit: Photo by Rebecca Firkser

Recently I’ve been feeling as though everyone and their mother who’s interested in improving their nutrition takes some sort of collagen or protein powder in their morning smoothie or hot drink. Marco Canora, James Beard Award-winning chef and owner of NYC bone broth shop Brodo, knows the power of protein and fat, but he’s not interested in powders. Canora recently launched Brothies at Brodo, which are fruit smoothies that incorporate 8 ounces of chicken broth. That’s right—savory chicken bone broth in a fruit smoothie. Canora knows it may take a bit of convincing to get someone to try a Brothie, but he’s also sure that once they do, the smoothie’s killer flavor profile speaks for itself.

“People tend to go right to saying things like ‘that’s so gross, so weird’, and I was conscious of that,” Canora told me on the phone. “Chicken broth was a little lighter and more neutral in flavor, and more conducive for the fruit pairing… [it was] going to have the least impact in terms of competing with the other ingredients.” The chef also explained that along with the fruit, the Brothies also contain plenty of other ingredients, so the cold broth isn’t really the main flavor at play. Once a consumer gets past their original hesitation, they can focus on the tangible nutritional benefits of bone broth in a smoothie: “instead of protein powder, you get eight ounces of collagen-rich real product,” said Canora. Of course, if you really don’t want chicken broth in your drink, the Brodo team can make the Brothie with any of their broths, including their seaweed-mushroom broth, beef broth, and chicken-turkey-beef broth.

Though it’s certainly the most unique element of the Brothie, the broth isn’t the only element of the drink offering nutritional benefits. It’s clear Canora spent a lot of time ensuring that his option was better for the body than the average smoothie.

“I thought it would be cool to rethink the smoothie world.” Canora used to drink a lot of smoothies himself from a shop near Brodo until he realized just how much sugar was crammed into every cup. “I thought, why don’t I build a smoothie that’s built around broth and quality ingredients, and then add fat so all these nutrients can actually be delivered.”

Each of the three Brothies is a unique stunning color, and there was a reason for that too. Canora told me that he wanted to create something around phytonutrients, the chemical compound in the colors of fruits and vegetables. “The richer the color, the higher the chemical compounds, which equates to nutrient value in terms of anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and antioxidant properties,” said Canora. “I thought ‘what are the deepest darkest purple things I can get,’ and then I asked the same thing about green, and orange, and that really drove the formulation of these things.”

These questions led to the creation of the Deep Purple (beets, cherries, blackberries, blueberries), Garden Green (spinach, kale, parsley, green apple, mango), and Everything Orange (carrot, mango, orange, turmeric, ginger juice) Brothies. In addition to those core ingredients, each smoothie contains banana, extra virgin coconut oil and chia seeds. The green smoothie also has pumpkin seeds, and the orange one incorporates flaxseed. Though coconut oil may not be the ultimate superfood many people once thought it to be, Canora made a point to mention that in order for the body to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins in a smoothie, there needs to be a fat component at play. “If you think about the way people consume smoothies, they’re not drinking them with a meal, they’re having one for a meal,” said Canora. “So chances are if you don’t have good-quality fat in there, you’re not getting it somewhere else.”

Additionally, Canora noted that “the fat adds a nice mouthfeel, this unctuousness and a sort of velvety decadence,” which was absolutely the first thing I noticed after my first sip of the Everything Orange Brothie. The texture was richer and more smooth than most other smoothies I’ve drank, and it definitely made me want to go in for another sip. With a flavor somewhere between fresh orange-carrot juice and a daal, I was pleasantly surprised. While I didn’t taste chicken broth per se, the savory notes it added were in my opinion much more enjoyable than the oftentimes cloying elements of an all-fruit smoothie. In all honesty, like many other Brodo customers I was hesitant to try the Brothie at first, but after tasting it, I’m happy to report I would definitely go back for another.