The Health Benefits of Bone Broth
Bone broth is an exceptional way to provide nutrients to those who are ill or failing to thrive. It is typically made by gently simmering meat bones for a long period of time (about 24-48 hours), in order to draw the minerals from the bones and the gelatin from the collagen-rich joints. The finished broth is rich in nutrients including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silica, sulfur, and many other trace minerals which are easily absorbed by the body.
The broth is helpful for addressing gastro-intestinal distress, immune system breakdown, joint problems, arthritis, and for the rejuvenation of the skin, fingernails and hair. Studies reveal that the amino acids proline and glycine are found abundantly in this broth and both of these can be helpful in to restoring gut health. Proline and glycine shortages are commonly found in people who are eating low-protein diets or in those who cannot digest protein properly. Proline is important in the production of collagen, which is a primary component in skin, cartilage and bone, and glycine aids the body with blood sugar issues, and can help to lessen anxiety and stress.
How to make a bone broth
The broth is made with the leftover bones from a roasted chicken or turkey, or you can go to meat markets or co-ops and purchase lamb or beef bones directly. The long cooking times, combined with the addition of apple cider vinegar are required to break down the various nutritional components within the bones and transfer them into the broth. Because of this, you should only use bones from organic, pasture-raised animals otherwise you will be pulling toxins out along with the minerals.
This broth is also a great way to use up any vegetable scraps that you have been accumulating along with any fibrous pulp that you may have leftover from juicing (both of these can be stored in the freezer until you are ready to use them). The recipe can be varied depending on your preferences and the vegetables and herbs that you have on hand.
Ingredients for bone broth:
- Raw bones from organically raised beef or lamb are first sprinkled with sea salt and pepper, then roasted at 350 for 1 hour. At this point you can add the bones and all drippings to your stock pot.
- Bones from leftover organically raised roasted chicken/turkey can be put directly into the stock pot.
- 1 onion, quartered
- 2 carrots
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 celery sticks
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 leek
- 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar -this helps to leach the minerals from the bones. I use Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
- fresh ginger root
- 1 parsnip
- black pepper
- 1 T sea salt
- Herbs such as parsley, thyme, or rosemary
- lemon grass
- 1/2 lemon
- toss in leftover scraps from vegetables
- any leftover pulp from juicing vegetables (store this in the freezer until needed)
- seaweed is a nice addition.
Fill the pot with filtered water to cover all of the ingredients and turn on a high heat until it reaches a boil, then reduce to a very low simmer with the pot covered. Cook for at least 24 hours for chicken, and at least 48 hours for the beef and lamb bones. The longer the bones are cooked, the more nutrients will be transferred into the broth.
When cooking is complete you will strain your broth. At this point, the broth is ready and can be eaten as is or can be made into a soup or stew. You can also cool and refrigerate or freeze in individual portions.