What Is Bone Broth?
Bone Broth is the lovely liquid made from the result of boiling then simmering bones in water, with a splash of some sort of acid (like cider vinegar), for many hours — essentially leaching the minerals out of the bones themselves and into the simmering liquid. If may also include a variety of vegetables and herbs or spices for added flavour, as well as added mineral bonuses like seaweed.
Bone broths have been used traditionally for many centuries all over the world (even ours). This building food is used for healing and culinary purposes. There are no medicinal properties in broth from a box or can. In fact, most of these products could be considered “unhealthy”, as they are full of preservatives and contain few nutrients: the deeply flavourful broth is lost when out of a can. In our “fast” society we’ve become accustomed to the world of Quick & Easy. And we’ve lost the art of A) using the entire animal and B) making this healing, whole food.
Why Is Bone Broth Awesome?
Bone broths are insanely rich in various nutrients, minerals and amino acids. They are especially high in calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. And these nutrients are very easily absorbed. (It’s less what you eat — it’s more what you absorb.) Some of the more pronounced amino acids support the bodies daily detoxification process, support digestion, assist with skin health. They are especially rich in gelatin, which supports skin and is imperative to digestive health. Chicken stock really IS the “cure for the common cold” – at least the side effects of respiratory infections as it helps inhibit neutrophil migration. Awesome!!! They even contain some glucosamine and chondroitin – known to assist in the effects of joint pain and arthritis. This is also helped by gelatin.
Bone broths are incredibly inexpensive, as well. And so easy to make. It’s as easy as putting your used carcass in a pot and adding water – costing pennies compared the $5 a box at most grocers.
And if you’re not feeling well, this building liquid can be used as a food that is incredibly easy to digest and full of nutrients. Drink it straight out of a mug, if necessary.
Awesome Bone Broth
- Chicken carcass (raw or leftover from roasted) OR grass-fed beef soup bones (roasted)
- Whole veggies chopped, or vegetable scraps (celery and celery leaves, onion, carrots, fennel and fennel tops, wild mushrooms, garlic, apples, leeks, parsley stems, other veggies will taste too strong and affect flavour)
- 2 or 3 bay leaves
- 1 tsp dry thyme or a couple sprigs of fresh
- 1 Tbsp black peppercorns (optional)
- 1 handful fresh parsley (optional)
- 2 – 3 Tbsp raw cider vinegar (important for drawing nutrients out of bones)
- If using beef bones, wash and dry them first. Then roast at 400 F for an hour or so until browned. Beef stock sometimes has a sour taste as an end product. Roasting diminishes this effect.
- Place chicken carcass or beef bones, veggies and herbs in a slow cooker or pot. Cover with fresh water. Add vinegar. Cook in a slow cooker on low heat for a minimum of 12 hours, and up to 24 hours. OR cook on the stovetop by bringing to a boil, and reducing heat to minimum for at least 12 hours.
- Note: A good gel (formed from gelatin) is ideal but usually happens from the stove-top method more often. If it does NOT gel, that is okay too. (But don’t be freaked out if it does.)
- Strain and squeeze liquid out of the veggies and carcass. Place in jars about 3/4 full, and place in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. Fat will rise to the top. Skim off the fat. Then label jars with name and date, and place in freezer OR transfer to freezer bags so they can be frozen and stored lying flat.
- Use broth to replace water when cooking soups, stews, beans to make them easier to digest, whole grains (like rice or quinoa) or consume as a nourishing drink to soothe and heal the gut.