Bone broth! Are you excited yet?:)
Bone broth is something you will find simmering away in most high quality restaurants. Not only does it taste great and has many culinary uses but it is an extremely healthy addition to ones diet. You can purchase it at the store but the homemade version is much, much better with respect to the taste and nutrition profile.
What is broth?
Bone broth is full of minerals which are accessed by simmering the bones of healthy animals. Many countries around the globe still consume broth on a regular basis as they recognize it is a cheap, and more importantly a nutrient dense food. Chances are your grandma made it and if she didn’t your great-grandma definitely did. In the generations before us people knew how to eat for optimal health and if they managed to avoid the diseases of the day (all but eradicated now) and poor medical care they typically enjoyed vibrant health for the most part. You can make broth out of the bones of fish, poultry, lamb, beef and bison.
Why include it in your diet?
If you want to boost your immune system and improve your digestion give it a try. Personally when I eat my homemade beef bone broth I feel a very positive, visceral reaction to it. It’s just one of those things that makes me feel good like dark leafy greens and veggies for example. Its high in calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus which make it great for bone and tooth health. It is also very high in collagen as well making it excellent for joints, hair, nails and skin (which I wrote about in my blog post Nutrition For Skin Health).
According to the book Gut and Psychology Syndrome bone broth can help improve digestion, allergies, immune health, brain health and more. Proline and glycine, two amino acids vital for strong and healthy connective tissue (joints, ligaments, around organs, etc) are found in bone broth as well. Its one of those foods that has been used for hundreds if not thousands of years for its many health benefits.
Preparing bone broth
Cooking up a batch of homemade, nutrient dense broth is easy. Again the homemade version is much better because you know exactly what’s in it. The store-bought version can contain MSG and other additives/chemicals you’d probably be better off not consuming. Look for high quality bones, preferably from grass-fed, pastured animals that have been raised in their natural environment. The nutrient profile is very different in these animals compared to conventionally raised stock.
Some options for finding bones:
- Your local butcher, especially if they butcher the whole animal
- Ask around at your local farmers market for farmers who raise grass-fed animals
- Save the leftovers when roasting any birds
- You can purchase online from US Wellness Meats ( they also sell pre-made high quality broth and are an excellent source for healthy eating in general)
My favorite recipe
- 2 pounds of bones (minimum) from a health source
- 1 onion
- 2 carrots
- 1 small garlic bulb
- 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
- Herbs: parsley, cilantro, oregano, basil, bay leaves, cayenne pepper, sea salt and black pepper (all to taste). I mix this up from time to time so feel free to experiment!
Place bones and veggies in a slow cooker. Add the vinegar on top of bones and fill cooker with filtered water until all bones are just covered. Add spices, turn on low or simmer 48 hours for beef stock (24 hours for poultry, 8 hours for fish).
When finished strain broth into storable container, you just want to eat the broth nothing else. Serve immediately and/or place in fridge to cool. After several hours you will see a kind of hard film form on the top which I scrape off. Any broth not eaten after seven days or so should be frozen for later.
Uses of broth
I enjoy a plain, warm cup on occasion especially when its cold out. Typically however I use it to make homemade soups & stews. I like to add fresh red onion, carrot, squash or sweet potato, spices etc. Others use it for things like gravies and sauces. I’ve also read whisking an egg with a cup of broth and adding some salt tastes great. I love to pour some on top of a veggie stir fry with quinoa and grass-fed beef or liver. Tasty people, just tasty!
During flu and cold season broth can be very helpful as it goes down easy no matter how your feeling but especially when sick. It’s very soothing and easy to digest and may very well shorten the duration of illness.
Ready to try some broth? Do you already make it? Please share your suggestions and any questions, I would love to hear from you!
Break-Free, Own Your Health