Bone broth (or technically, stock) is a mineral rich infusion
made by boiling bones of healthy animals with vegetables,
herbs and spices. You’ll find a large stock pot of broth/stock
simmering in the kitchen of almost every 5-star restaurant for
its great culinary uses, but it is also a powerful health tonic
that you can easily add to your diet.
Bone broth is a traditional food that your grandmother likely
made (and if not, your great-grandmother definitely did).
Many societies around the world still consume broth regularly
as it is highly nutrient dense food.
Bone broth is an excellent source of minerals and is known to boost the immune system and improve digestion. Its high calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus content. Bone broth also supports joints, hair, skin, and nails due to its high collagen content. In fact, some even suggest that it helps eliminate cellulite as it supports smooth connective tissue. It also improves brain health and remineralizes teeth.
Bone broth is also helpful to have on hand when anyone in the family gets sick as it can be a soothing and immune boosting drink during illness. It is very high in the amino acids proline and glycine which are vital for healthy connective tissue (ligaments, joints, around organs, etc). The Paleo Mom has a great explanation of the importance of these two amino acids:
Glycine is required for synthesis of DNA, RNA and many proteins in the body. As such, it plays extensive roles in digestive health, proper functioning of the nervous system and in wound healing. It aids digestion by helping to regulate the synthesis and of bile salts and secretion of gastric acid. It is involved in detoxification and is required for production of glutathione, an important antioxidant. Glycine helps regulate blood sugar levels by controlling gluconeogenesis (the manufacture of glucose from proteins in the liver). Glycine also enhances muscle repair/growth by increasing levels of creatine and regulating Human Growth Hormone secretion from the pituitary gland. This wonderful amino acid is also critical for healthy functioning of the central nervous system. In the brain, it inhibits excitatory neurotransmitters, thus producing a calming effect. Glycine is also converted into the neurotransmitter serine, which promotes mental alertness, improves memory, boosts mood, and reduces stress.
Proline has an additional role in reversing atherosclerotic deposits. It enables the blood vessel walls to release cholesterol buildups into your bloodstream, decreasing the size of potential blockages in your heart and the surrounding blood vessels. Proline also helps your body break down proteins for use in creating new, healthy muscle cells.
Homemade is best of course and it is incredibly easy to make
There is no comparison to the store-bought versions which often contain MSG or other chemicals and which lack gelatin and some of the other health-boosting properties of homemade broth.
In selecting the bones for broth, look for high quality bones from grass fed cattle or bison, pastured poultry. Since you’ll be extracting the minerals and drinking them in concentrated form, you want to make sure that the animal was as healthy as possible.
Save leftovers from when you roast a chicken, duck, turkey, or goose. You can purchase from a local butcher, especially one who butchers the whole animal. Local farmers who raise grass fed animals (ask around at your local Farmer’s Market) Online from companies like US Wellness Meats (they have grass fed Tallow in bulk- they sell pre-made high quality broth) or Tropical Traditions (high quality beef, bison, lamb and chicken bones from them at good prices) Here is a recipe for broth which is an adaption of the recipe in Nourishing Traditions.
Bone Broth Ingredients
2 pounds (or more) of bones from a healthy source 2 chicken feet for extra gelatin (optional)1 onion 2 carrots 2 stalks of celery 2 tablespoons Apple Cider VinegarOptional: 1 bunch of parsley, 1 tablespoon or more of sea salt, 1 teaspoon peppercorns, additional herbs or spices to taste. I also add 2 cloves of garlic for the last 30 minutes of cooking.You’ll also need a large crock pot to cook the broth in and a strainer to remove the pieces when it is done.
Bone Broth Instructions:
I usually aim for 2 pounds of bones per gallon of water. This usually works out to 2-3 full chicken carcasses. If possible I’ll also add 2 chicken feet per gallon of water (completely optional!). You’ll also need some organic vegetables for flavor. These are actually optional but add extra flavor and nutrition. If you are using raw bones, especially beef bones, it improves flavor to roast them in the oven first. I place them in a roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes at 350. Then, place the bones in a large crock pot (I use a 5 gallon pot). Pour (filtered) water over the bones and add the vinegar. Let sit for 20-30 minutes in the cool water. The acid helps make the nutrients in the bones more available.
I cook this in my crock pot in the garage because sometimes the smell of the bones are overpowering.
Beef broth/stock: 48 hours Chicken or poultry broth/stock: 24 hours Fish broth: 8 hours During the first few hours of simmering, you’ll need to remove the impurities that float to the surface. A frothy/foamy layer will form and it can be easily scooped off with a big spoon. Throw this part away. I typically check it every 20 minutes for the first 2 hours to remove this. Grass-fed and healthy animals will produce much less of this than conventional animals. I add the vegetables at the end or the last day. Rough chop and add the vegetables. Add any salt, pepper, spices, or herbs, if using. During the last 30 minutes, add the garlic and parsley.
Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Strain using a fine metal strainer to remove all the bits of bone and vegetable. Vegs can be eaten if using bigger bones (easy to separate). When cool enough, store in a size glass jar in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze in 1 cup serving size for later use.
Using bone broth as the liquid in making soups, stews, gravies, sauces and cooking rice or grains. It can also be used to saute or roast vegetables.
In times of illness this is great to drink until you start feeling better as it supports the body but is very easy to digest so the body’s energy can go to healing. In cases of stomach bugs or vomiting, bone broth often calms the stomach very quickly and helps shorten the duration of the illness. If you aren’t already, make bone broth a regular part of your kitchen routine. It’s health boosting and easy… you can’t afford not to!
Modified from wellness mama
Wellnessmama.com has great health topics.