If you haven’t already incorporated bone broth into your cooking routine, you’re missing out on the tremendous health benefits of this incredibly healing and nutritious powerhouse, and no, it’s not just a new food trend. Used for centuries around the globe, bone broth has long been incorporated into diets to stimulate healing and also provide a simple, yet very nutrient-dense food source.
The History of Bone Broth
Bone broth in it’s essence has been around for centuries. From hunter-gatherers to Chinese Medicine to your Grandmother's kitchen it stands the test of time. Unfortunately however, due to the advent of processed foods and the lack of time for traditional cooking in our modern society, real bone broth has been lost to many households.
The healing power of this broth is hard to beat, which is why I’m so pleased that it has come into the spotlight. There’s nothing like a warming bowl of broth to ‘fix’ you up when you’re a little under the whether this time of year, or anytime for that matter.
What are the Benefits of Bone Broth?
Chicken soup isn’t just good for the soul, a bone broth is a true powerhouse containing healing compounds like collagen, glutamine, glycine and proline all of which help to heal the gut lining. It is also packed with almost every mineral. Bone broth can aid in everything from digestion and gut-health to immunity, joint-health and even act as a beauty boost!
Top 3 Benefits:
1. Gut Health = Immune health. It is becoming more well known that gastrointestinal health is key to over-all health. It is, after all, where we absorb our nutrients. As mentioned above, many of the major substances found in this broth (glutamine, collagen, etc.) speed the healing of the gut lining, reduce inflammation and keep it in top form.
2. Stronger Joints & Bones. The mineral density in this broth means that it is a great way to get extra calcium into your diet, along with almost every other mineral! It is frankly a superior way of getting ALL minerals. Additionally, it contains substances well known to help keep joints lubricated - glucosamine, chondroitin, collagen - they all play a valuable role in maintaining joint integrity.
3. Skin, Hair & Nails. For all the same reasons that it is great for joint and bone health, it is a superior addition to your beauty routine….As all naturopathic doctors will say, you’ll get FAR more out of what you put IN your body than what you put ON it. This super food will do wonders for your skin, hair and nails, because it’s both packed with all the nutrients they need to be healthy and strong, but also because it keeps our gut lining healthy so we are properly absorbing what we consume.
So, How do You Make Bone Broth?
Bone broth is easily made by boiling bones, typically beef or chicken, although fish bones can be used. Combining water and an acid, such as apple cider vinegar, the bones can boil for as little as 4 hours or up to 48. The longer the broth simmers, the more minerals and nutrients are drawn out from the bones. For added nutrients and flavour most bone broths are made with vegetables and herbs such as carrots, celery, onion and fresh rosemary.
Keep in mind that store-bought broth is NOT a substitute for the real deal. There is no comparison with store-bought versions often containing MSG or other chemicals and lacking gelatin and some of the other health-boosting properties of homemade broth.
The base recipe:
- 2lbs organic, hormone-free bones (grass-fed beef or chicken)
- 2tbs apple cider vinegar
- 2 celery stalks
- 2 carrots
- 1 onion
Various herbs are optional such as parsley, garlic and sea salt but I strongly recommend using them as they bring out the flavour.
- It’s preferable to pre-roast your bones (especially beef). Place them in the oven for 30 minutes at 350.
- Place the bones into a large stock pot with water and vinegar. I like to let this sit for 20-30 mins before cooking as the acid allows the nutrients to become more available.
- Add in desired veggies and herbs
- Bring all of the ingredients to a vigorous boil then let simmer until done.
- Skim the top of your broth for foam and impurities that will rise to the top. This should be discarded.
- Remove from heat and let cool. Once cooled use a strainer to remove any bone or vegetable pieces. When cooled throughout, pour into glass containers for storage.
If you own a crockpot this can also be used and is super easy as you can walk away and come home at the end of the day and POW!!! It’s ready. :)
Bone broth will stay for up to 5-6 days in the fridge, or can be frozen for later.
When to Use Bone Broth?
- As a base for soups or stews
- Just on it’s own as a warm drink
- As a base for gravy and sauces
- Used as a liquid to cook vegetables or quinoa/lentils to add extra nutrients
- Add to mashed potatoes or sweet potato mash, cauliflower rice, etc.
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