I'm sure if you're at all into healthy eating and gut health, you've probably been hearing a lot about bone broth. Truth be told, I didn't know what the hype was about until I had to make some significant changes in my diet due to food sensitivity and decided to incorporate bone broth in my life.
The idea of making it myself seemed a little daunting since the proper way to make bone broth is to let it simmer for 12-24 hours (or more) on really low heat but decided to give it a shot. More on the recipes in a bit but first I wanted to talk about the benefits and changes I noticed in myself and my family's health.
Digestion - this is a big one. Not only did I notice a significant change in myself but my children as well, particularly my baby, who struggles with constipation (as most babies who start eating solid foods do). Bone broth contains important amino acids such as glycine, proline and glutamine which help to heal and seal the lining of the gut, improving the function of the entire digestive tract, assisting with diarrhea and particularly with constipation.
Joint, skin, hair and nail support - Collagen is one of the most important amino acids that makes up nearly a third of the proteins found the human body. It is responsible for maintaining and rebuilding skin and is found in the connective tissue throughout the entire body. It has also been shown to assist in reducing cellulite and accelerating hair growth.
Immune support - It's no surprise that my grandparents always talked about eating chicken soup when anyone got sick. Bone broth contains an abundance of minerals and an important amino acid, arginine, which is vital for immune health and optimal liver function.
And now on to the recipes:
Please ensure that you're using bones from a pasture raised source as you do not want any added hormones or antibiotics in your broth. I used chicken but if using beef bones, they're best if roasted in the oven on 350 for 30 minutes prior to adding them to your broth.
Traditional bone broth on the stove
- Bones of a roasted pasture raised chicken (rotisserie chicken works great)
- 1 medium onion
- 3-4 large carrots
- 1-2 celery stalks
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- 2 tbsp good apple cider vinegar (I use Bragg)
- a handful of parsley
- 1/2 tsp of ground ginger
In a large stock pot, add bones and cover completely with water (don't over fill the pot, as you still need to add the aromatics), add the apple cider vinegar and let sit for 30 minutes - the acid helps to draw additional nutrients out of the bones. Chop the onion, celery and carrots and add them to the pot. Add in ginger and peppercorns and bring the broth to a boil. Then reduce heat and let simmer for 12-15 hours. In the first two hours, check the broth and remove any of the film that forms on top. Lastly, add the garlic and parsley in the last 2 hours of cooking. Once cooking is complete, let cool, strain the bones and vegetables and store broth in glass jars/containers in the fridge. If you're making a large amount, it also freezes well.
Aside from drinking bone broth daily it's wonderful in:
- As liquid for rice, quinoa, millet, amaranth or any other type of grain
- Cooking vegetables
Variation - Bone broth in the Instant Pot
If you're lucky enough to own one of these amazing contraptions, congratulations! It's been an amazing addition to my life.
To make bone broth in the instant pot, use the same ingredients as listed above (garlic optional). Place your bones, water and apple cider vinegar in the pot. Let sit for 30 minutes. Then add the rest of the ingredients, seal your pot according to instructions and set it to the "SOUP" setting on "LOW PRESSURE" for 120 minutes.
* Please read all instructions on how much liquid you should use as you do not want to go above the max line.
Variation - Bone broth in the slow cooker
For using this method, same principal applies as above. Fill your slow cooker with water, add the bones and apple cider vinegar and let sit for 30 minutes. Then add the rest of the ingredients and cook on low for 12-24 hours. Basically the longer you let the bones cook the more flavorful your broth will be so feel free to play around. I also did not add any salt as that can be added later on in various recipes.