Now that the weather in the Bay Area has shifted to fall, my cooking and recipe cultivation has moved to things that are nourishing, warming, and heartier. No more of the cold salads and smoothies, although I’ll probably still do smoothies for lunch sometimes. 🙂
Many of you have probably heard about bone broth but maybe you don’t know why it’s so popular and it’s benefits. Let’s break it down.
Why is bone broth so great?
There are many benefits of bone broth. The one I want to stress now is that it helps support your immune system, but it does so much more. All of these benefits have been researched which I think is cool because is backs up what we already intuitively knew.
- Boosts immunity by giving you essential amino acids like arginine, glutamine, and cysteine.
- Helps the common cold by decreasing mucous, opening the respiratory pathways, and providing easily digestible nutrients.
- Decreases inflammation due to the amino acids cystine, histidine, and glycine. L-glutamine specifically reduces gut inflammation
- Strengthens bones and teeth because of these nutrients: calcium, protein, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin D, potassium, zinc, manganese, copper, boron, iron, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, and the B vitamins.
- Improves hydration due to the electrolytes/ minerals and carbohydrates – these are from the added vegetables.
When to use bone broth
You can use bone broth any time you need stock or broth for a recipe, you can warm it up and drink it straight (add some of your favorite herbs to enhance the benefits), use it to braise or sautee kale, chard, or collards, make your whole grains with it as the water substitute, and probably many other ways.
How to make it
This is Sally Fallon’s recipe from the book Nourishing Traditions. It is my go-to for bone broth recipes. I always recommend getting grass-fed beef bones or organic, free-range chicken or lamb bones. If you have a roasted chicken you can take the carcass and make wonderful broth from that. The main thing to think about is the quality of the bones.
- Bones (choose which ones above)
- 1/4 cup Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Organic Whole Onion
- 2 Organic Carrots Unpeeled
- 2-3 Stalks Organic Celery
- 1 Bunch Organic Parsley
Put the bones in a large stock pot. Make sure it is big enough to fully cover the bones with water. Add filtered water until the bones are covered at least 1 inch – if you have more water the broth will be more dilute. Cut the veggies into large chunks, you can also include the skins and peels. Add to the pot.
Add organic apple cider vinegar in with the water and bones. Let sit 30-60 minutes. This helps to pull out the minerals.
Turn heat on to medium-high and bring to slow boil then decrease heat to low for a simmer. In the first hour or two, scoop out the scum that may arise on top and discard. Let it simmer for 24-72 hours. I sometimes let mine go the full 72 hours depending on what bones I’m using. Beef bones stand up to the longer time. Cooking low and slow is what effectively extracts the nutrients.
Once your broth has simmered for at least 24 hours, add the parsley and simmer for 5-10 minutes more.
When simmering is done, remove pot from the stove and let it cool down slightly. Once cooled, carefully strain through a cheese cloth or fine meshed colander. I store mine in a canning jars. I typically will cool the broth and then store in the freezer.
You can roast your beef or lamb bones in a 425-degree oven for 30 minutes before soaking in water and apple cider vinegar. This brings out the flavor.
Use fresh made broth within the week or store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Allow the broth to cool before putting it in the refrigerator or freezer.
You can also keep veggie scraps in the freezer and use those instead of purchasing veggies for your stock.
You can also do this in a slow cooker – cook overnight on low and then let cool the next day – ladle off the broth. Add more water to the slow cooker and repeat.