There’s a fair chance you’ve heard about bone broth, it’s certainly become trendy of late. Food bloggers regularly discuss the benefits of drinking it, Instagram has 55,208 #bonebroth and even some bars in New York are selling shots of bone broth alongside their cocktails. But there’s good reason for this trend as bone broth is more than just a tasty warming cup of “soup”, it’s packed with bio-available nutrients in an easy-to-digest form. So here’s the what, why and how of bone broth, so you can try this wonderful health tonic for yourself.
While it seems to be a trend of late, actually bone broth is nothing new, it is quite possibly one of the oldest meals on record, dating back to the stone ages. People have been consuming bone broth for eons for its wonderful mineral rich health tonic properties, and it turns out Grandma was right about the healing and immune enhancing properties of her homemade chicken soup after all!
Put simply bone broth is a big pot of good quality bones slow cooked for an extensive period of time often with vinegar, vegetables, herbs and spices. The long cooking process of anywhere from 12-48 hours helps to break down the bones, releasing nutrients and minerals including calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium in forms that your body can easily absorb. It is also rich in the amino acids glycine and proline, along with collagen, gelatin and glucosamine, just to name a few.
There is a wealth of reasons why you would want to include bone broth in your diet.
It’s immune enhancing – as it is rich in easily absorbable minerals.
Helps heal and seal your gut – due to its amino acid structure and high gelatin content it helps to restore healthy mucosal lining of the digestive tract.
Great for your joint heath – with all the glucosamine and chondroitin sulphates and other compounds it supports joint health by reducing inflammation and promoting repair.
Helps aid digestion – by assisting in the breakdown of grains, legumes, beans, vegetables and meat. It also attracts digestive juices to the food in your gut.
Improves hair and nail health – due to its high gelatin and collagen content helps to strengthen hair and nails.
Has anti-inflammatory properties – the glucosamine content of broth helps to reduce inflammation in the joints and promote repair.
Bone growth and repair – from the rich source of minerals.
So that’s the what and why, now for the how to. When it comes to making bone broth there are so many different versions out there, but the most important thing to remember is to only use bones from organic, grass fed animals.
Bone Broth Recipe
2-3 kg organic grass fed bones
Cold filtered/spring water
½ cup apple cider vinegar
Optional: add vegetables and herbs of your choice for flavour and nutrient value eg. Onion, carrot, celery, thyme, parsley, peppercorns, ginger, turmeric, garlic.
Place the bones with very little meat on them in a large saucepan/slow cooker, add the vinegar* and cover with water. Let sit while you prepare the rest of the bones.
Place remaining bones that have some meat on them on an oven tray and roast in a 180 degrees C oven for 30 minutes or until browned**. Add bones to your saucepan/slow cooker along with any vegetables/herbs that you choose and top up with additional water if required to cover bones. Cook on low for 12-48 hours. Stock will keep for several days in the fridge, or freeze in portions.
*The vinegar is really important as it helps to extract minerals including calcium out of the bones and into the broth.
**Roasting helps to improve the flavour of the broth.
So how do you use bone broth? You can simply warm it up and drink as is, or add it to other meals including soups, stews, stir-fries, braising vegetables, as a base for gravy, the list goes on. It adds not only a lovely intense flavour to your meals, but most importantly it ups the nutrition content of any savoury dish in an instant.
So there you have it! Bone broth is extremely inexpensive to make at home, is packed full of health promoting nutrients and is so easy you could cook it with your eyes closed. If you aren’t already making bone broth, I encourage you to start today! Your body will thank you for it.