Broth has been associated with nourishment since the Stone Age and is one of the truest and most ancient nourishing traditions. A good quality stock or broth can easily be made in your kitchen. But, as the superior health benefits of bone broth have been making waves, hot cups of broth are now being sold at trendy coffee shops.
So what is bone broth exactly?
Bone broth is an infusion of bones, vegetables, herbs and spices that have been simmered for long enough that much of the nutrients from the bones and ligaments are released into the cooking liquid. The amino acids and collagen released from the bones along with the nutrients from the vegetables create not only a super flavourful broth, but one that is packed with healing minerals and nutrients that are very easily absorbed and utilized by the body.
What are the benefits of bone broth?
- Rich in trace minerals and nutrients that are very easily absorbed by the body
- A great source of hydrating electrolytes
- Supports the immune system, so amazing to sip on when you are sick
- Helps restore cartilage supporting healthy joints
- A dense source of amino acids, the building blocks of DNA.
- Bone broth is a great source of proline, glycine and glutamine
- Rich in gelatin and collagen, which supports connective tissues (great for joint pain), supports the digestive system, and strengthens hair, skin and nails.
- Helps heal Leaky Gut (intestinal permeability is at the root of allergies and auto immune issues), the amino acids available in bone broth are extremely nutritive to the gut lining
- Fights inflammation
- Promotes strong and healthy bones
- Helps reduce cellulite
Dr. Kaayla Daniel, author of the book Nourishing Broths notes that “Broth is actually a fast food; it just takes a little planning”. It takes just a few minutes to prepare all the ingredients, but once you’re done, it’s very much a set it and forget it type recipe. Having broth on hand is an easy, delicious way to get really dense nutrition into simple meals.
How do I make it?
- 2 pounds (or more) of bones from a healthy source (you’ll get more flavour if you roast your bones first opposed to using raw ones)
- 1 onion
- 2 carrots
- 3 stalks of celery
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of sea salt
- 1 tablespoon of peppercorn
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 gallon of water (or as much as your slow cooker can handle)
- Add desired herbs and garlic in the last half hour or so of cooking for a flavor and extra nutrition
- Add chicken feet and/or heads to increase the collagen content of your broth
- Add a few chunks of chaga mushroom and let it simmer throughout the entire cooking time to even further enhance the immune boosting potential of the broth.
You’ll need a large stock pot or slow cooker, as well as a colander to strain your broth when it’s finished.
Add everything to your pot, fill with 1 gallon of water and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce to a very low simmer for 10-72 hours (see guide below). Skim foam and excess fat occasionally. If cooking in a slow cooker, cook on low for at least 6 hours up to 72 hours (you may need to add more liquid if you have room). Your bones should be breakable to touch by the end.
Remove from pot, let cool and strain broth. Once it’s almost fully cooled, refrigerate overnight. In the morning remove the solidified fat and discard.
It will last for up to 5 days in the fridge or 5 months in the freezer.
Simmer time guide:
- Beef bone broth: 48-72 hours
- Chicken/ poultry bone broth: approx. 24 hours
- Fish bone broth: 8-10 hours
How can I use it?
- As a base for soups, stews, gravy, ect.
- Freeze it in an ice cube trays and keep pieces in a freezer bag for a quick, nutritive pop of flavor into stir-fry and curries
- Heat it and add some herbs, cayenne pepper and umbeoshi vinegar (or tamari) for a delicious cup of immune system love
- Add it to your liquid base when cooking grains to infuse them with flavor and goodness
- Put it in a cute jar and deliver it to your friends when they’re feeling under the weather
Danielle is a certified nutritional practitioner and lifestyle coach. She encourages stress-free living in and out of the kitchen in support of healthy adrenals and hormones. Danielle is on a mission to make adapting a healthy and vibrant lifestyle as simply as possible.