With cold and flu season getting closer as we speak, you’re definitely going to want to stock up on everything you’ll need before a virus spreads like wildfire through your house (knock on wood that it doesn’t, but chances are if you have kids you’ll end up catching a bug at some point or another). By “stocking up,” I must mean on Vicks, Buckley’s, and Tylenol, right? Wrong. I mean natural herbs, essential oils, and organic bone broth.
- ? Bone Broth Basics: Bone broth is different from soup stock. The main difference lies in the nutrients. Bone broth requires simmering bones for 24-48 hours, allowing the bones to crumble, signaling its readiness.
- ? Natural Healing: Bone broth supports gut health, being rich in gelatin that aids digestion. It also promotes healthier nails and hair, contains anti-inflammatory properties, and is beneficial during illnesses like the flu or cold due to its amino acids.
- ? Nutritional Benefits: Bone broth is a rich source of essential minerals like calcium and magnesium. Instead of over-the-counter supplements, bone broth provides these nutrients naturally, making them more absorbable.
- ? Making Bone Broth: For the best quality broth, use whole, organic, pasture-raised meats. Add ACV, vegetable scraps, and herbs to boost flavor and nutrient content. After simmering, strain and store the broth in jars.
- ? Versatility & Importance: Bone broth can be consumed daily as a supplement or used in various dishes. It offers benefits like reducing joint pain, boosting skin, hair, and nail health, and fortifying the immune system against colds and flu.
What is Bone Broth?
Remember when you were young, and your grandmother would take the carcass from the turkey you had for Christmas dinner and boil it down with some vegetables? “Grandma’s soup will cure whatever ails you” (or something along those lines), she would say.
Well, Grandma was right. In fact, bone broth is so good for you that it can even be taken as a daily supplement to help your body get a ton of what it requires (and actually absorb it, since it’s coming from natural foods and not in pill form).
Bone broth and soup stock are not the same thing – What’s the difference between them? The easy answer here is that the nutrients are the main separation. When making stock, you simmer the bones for a couple of hours. When you’re making a nutrient-rich, heal-all type of bone broth, though, you’ll be simmering those bones (and the neck, feet, etc., if you’ve got them) for 24-48 hours. You’ll know the bone broth is ready to be strained because the bones will crumble apart when moved.
Bone Broth Health Benefits
Doctors and nutritionists finally realize the importance of a healthy gut for overall health. You can do more for your gut – besides eating fermented foods (read natural sources of probiotics) and enough dietary fiber.
Bone broth is extremely rich in gelatin – this hydrolyzed form of collagen attracts and binds digestive juices (as well as any other liquid), supporting digestion. As a bonus, the consumption of gelatin can help you get healthier nails and hair.
Animal cartilage (present on the bones used to make the broth) is an excellent source of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfates that have an anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing effect on joints. The primary amino acids in gelatin – glycine, proline, and arginine- have anti-inflammatory effects, too – which is why bone broth is healing when you have the flu or a cold.
These days, calcium and magnesium deficiencies are getting way too familiar, and bone broth is the perfect food to ensure you get plenty of these essential minerals. Bone broth is rich in calcium and magnesium – why take OTC supplements when you can get them from an all-natural healthy food with many added benefits?
Budget-wise, bone broth is also incredibly cheap – you can make it with leftover bones and veggies, so it’s practically free food since otherwise you’d probably be throwing those away.
How to Make Bone Broth
Bone broth can be made with any bones. Wild game, beef, chicken, turkey, and even fish bones can be used – either alone or combined together if you have a variety of bones to use at one time – in combination with ACV, vegetable scraps, herbs, and spices to create an incredible bone broth that can be taken as a daily supplement or used a base for an exceptionally wide range of other things.
When you’re making bone broth, make sure you’re using whole, organic, pasture-raised meats and not meats that have been raised and slaughtered commercially. Commercially raised meats are full of antibiotics, hormones, and a whole host of other things you don’t want in your body. To learn more about why you should switch to whole, organic foods, I strongly recommend watching a documentary like Food Inc.
When you’re finished eating your meal, and the bones have been picked off the meat, simply throw them in a big stainless steel soup pot (along with the neck, feet, etc., if you have them – You’ll get a lot more gelatin that way) and add 2Tbsp of ACV. In this case, apple cider vinegar is not used for flavor or health benefits – instead, it helps leech the minerals from the bones.
Cover the bones with water and let them sit for half an hour to help leech the minerals from the bones. Add any veggie scraps left over from dinner and any herbs/spices you like (ginger, turmeric, garlic – in whole or powder form – and lemon juice are some popular favorites) along with sea salt and cracked pepper, and turn your stove on high. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and let everything simmer for a few hours.
After a few hours, you’ll notice that some scum has risen to the top of the soup. You’ll want to skim that off – It’s full of impurities and doesn’t have the same nutrients that the broth will; it could even ruin the taste – carefully with a spoon. Let the broth simmer until the bones fall apart, then strain it and ladle it into mason jars. Let the broth cool and skim the fat off the top of any that you’re freezing (I usually keep one jar in the fridge with the fat on top; skim and freeze the rest). The broth will last for about a week, kept in the fridge with its fat, but kept for months in the freezer.
If you prefer to follow an exact recipe, here’s a site with one each for beef, chicken, and fish.
Why You Need To Make It
Even if you’re not a fan of soups, stews, gravies, or anything else that you can do with this magical elixir (which we’ll get to soon), you should still strongly consider making a big pot of bone broth any time you can and taking it as a daily supplement – It can help reduce pain and inflammation in your joints, it helps fight and keep colds and flu away, and the collagen and gelatin in it is incredible for your skin, hair, and nails. Plus, since it’s real food and not an over-the-counter supplement – it can be easily absorbed and utilized where your body needs it.
To take the broth as a supplement, warm it up in a coffee mug (it can also be taken cold, but I’m personally not a fan of the taste that way) and sip on 4-8oz every day or when you feel like you’re coming down with something (try to take it more often than not though – I promise you’ll notice a difference fairly quickly).
Here’s a small list of other things you can use this wonderful broth for:
- As a soup or stew base.
- As a gravy or reduction sauce base.
- Instead of milk and butter in your mashed potatoes and/or cauliflower.
- In stir fry.
- As a replacement for cooking oil.
- Use instead of water when you’re steaming your veggies.
- Use water instead when making beans, grains, pasta, etc.
- Use when you’re making scrambled eggs, omelets, etc.
- Use for cooking your veggies.
So next time you sit down to eat a roast with your family, don’t throw out the carcass when you’re done with it; use every part of the animal and waste nothing – You’ll appreciate everything that the part you formally thought of as garbage has to offer you.