Friday is Nutrition Day, and today I want to share the amazing health benefits of bone broth.
Bone broth is like normal stock but made with bones which are simmered for a very long time, 24 hours-plus. At the end of cooking, a bunch of minerals have leached from the bones and into the broth. You can use any type of bones, beef, chicken, pork, they all have fantastic nutritional value…and best of all…these bones are sooooo cheap. But a word of caution, use organic pasture raised animal bones.
I have been making sure I have some bone broth every day, whether it’s just heated in a cup or made into a meal, I make sure I have a cup. Why? I’m glad you asked…here’s why:
It heals the gut. The gelatin in bone broth protects and heals the lining of the digestive tract and helps aid in the digestion of nutrients
It’s a digestive aid. It helps break down grains, beans, legumes (if you eat them), vegetables and meats and is hydrophilic in nature (it is water soluble), which means that it facilitates digestion by attracting digestive juices to food in the gut. Bone broths have been used successfully in treating gastro-intestinal disorders, including hyperacidity, colitis, Crohn’s disease, and infant diarrhea.
It reduces joint pain and inflammation. The glucosamine in bone broth can actually stimulate the growth of new collagen, repair damaged joints and reduce pain and inflammation.
Our immune systems love it. It’s rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and other trace minerals, which are easily absorbable, therefore assisting the immune system. Mark’s Daily Apple has a great article breaking down all the nutrients found in bone broth.
It’s great for thyroid issues. Eating muscle meat with a rich source of gelatin counters the negative effects of methionine, cysteine and tryptophan leading to a more efficient metabolism (healthy thyroid).
Produces gorgeous skin, hair and nails. The collagen and gelatin in bone broth supports hair growth and helps to keep your nails strong.
It helps with bone formation, growth and repair. The calcium, magnesium and phosphorus in bone broth helps our bones to grow and repair. This takes me to my next point, which is…
Better than buying supplements. Homemade bone broth contains all nutrients and minerals found in bones and tendons rather than just one or two found in pills. Slow cooking preserves the nutrients better than the high heat extraction used to make supplements.
It fights inflammation. Bone broth is very high in the anti-inflammatory amino acids glycine and proline.
It’s cheap and very easy to make. Use bones of any animal and whatever vegetables you have in your fridge (I use garlic, carrot, and celery because I like the flavours). Ok, how do you make it?
- 2kg of bones
- 2 carrots
- 3 sticks of celery
- 5 cloves of garlic
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar (needed to make the water acidic and assist in removing nutrients from the bones)
- Enough water to cover the bones
- Bay leaves/rosemary/or any herb seasoning you like
Place all ingredients in the slow cooker, and place on low heat. If you have bones that are still a bit ‘meaty’ then roast them in the oven beforehand for 30 minutes, then place them in the slow cooker.
Let the broth simmer away for at least 24 hours and no more than 48 hours, it requires a minimum of 24 hours to extract all of the goodness from the bones. I cook mine for 24-26 hours and it still sets hard with gelatin and goodness. Keep an eye on the water level and never let it get too low, I find that I need to top mine up after about 16 hours. Once the broth has cooked for the required length, drain the bones and strain the broth.
You’ll see the layer of fat form almost instantly; just pop it straight into the fridge. It’s much easier to remove this layer when it’s set.
When it’s set, I use a knife and cut the fat into quarters and then lift each piece off the broth. You can store this broth in the fridge for up to a week, if you need it to last longer than that then store some in the freezer in serving size containers.
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© Jessica Rath