Bone broth is fast becoming the latest health trend. Everyone from Kobe Bryant to Gwyneth Paltrow swears that bone broth is one of the most nutritious super foods available and can help increase immunity, replenish vitamins and minerals that might be lacking, and can even help heal painful joints.
Although no one food item is a cure-all and some claims should be taken with a little skepticism, most health experts agree that bone broth can be a very nutritious part of a healthy diet.
Why is it healthy?
Depending upon what else is added to the bone broth, the level of vitamins and minerals can vary. However, simply from the bones and a few added vegetables, you should get the following:
- Minerals – like phosphorous, magnesium, potassium and calcium
- Amino Acids – like glycine, arginine and proline, which are known to help increase our immune responses, repair and grow muscles, and aid with digestion.
- Chondroitin Sulfate and Glucosamine – Yes, the very same items found in supplements geared to reduce joint pain, inflammation and arthritis is naturally found in bone broth.
- Collagen – Known to help build healthy hair, skin and nails.
In traditional societies, bone broth was a staple in every home. Not only did most ancient cultures show respect to the animals by using every bit of the animal leaving nothing to waste, they made these bone broths because their bodies craved the nutrients. Think about it, chicken soup has traditionally been a healing soup and for good reason. Ancient recipes call for making chicken soup with the carcass and added meat.
Making bone broth
Most people like to use a Crockpot, but slow cooking on the stove can also work just as well.
Add four quarts of water to the Crockpot and drop in about 2-4 pounds of bones.
Mix in 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar.
Add in base soup vegetables, such as onions, carrots, celery, parsley and garlic.
Add in seasonings that you like. You can use salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, rosemary, thyme or bay leaves.
Heat in the slow cooker for 24-48 hours until the smaller bones feel soft or malleable. You should not skim the fat, but may have to skim any scum that rises to the top. Should the water level drop too low, simply add more.
Tips for the best bone broth ever
In order to make great bone broth, it’s important to stick to the basics.
Get the highest quality, locally raised bones available. You can use chicken bones, lamb bones, fish bones, beef bones, turkey bones or pork bones. You will be drawing the nutrients out of the bone and bone marrow, so you want to make sure to avoid any animals raised with added hormones, steroids or antibiotics.
If you can break the bones or have the butcher cut the bigger bones in half, you can draw out the bone marrow and mix into the broth. In ancient societies, bone marrow was a delicacy to be savored and enjoyed. As you cook the broth, the marrow will leak out in to the broth, which adds extra goodness.
Many recipes call for roasting your bones prior to making the stock. This does give added flavor, but is not necessary. If you are cooking chicken or any kind of fowl, you can also add in the skin or feet for additional flavor and nutrition.