I love food.
Sometimes, it’s the really great for you, locally-grown, organic, fresh stuff.
Sometimes, it’s the carb and cheese laden, super easy to make casserole (that happens to be sitting in the oven right this second).
But beyond what’s tasty, I’m also very aware of what food does for us – how it sustains, and how, in some cases, it can heal.
My mom is big on researching the various ways to naturally heal and some time ago she started making bone broth. It seemed like such a little thing, making a big pot of broth and drinking a bit of it every day.
Not to mention that it sounded kind of boring, from a strictly taste perspective.
Once I started doing my own research, I realized my mom was on to something and tried making my own. Why? What were the proposed benefits?
Well, here are just a few of the things you get from cooking bones:
- Collagen and Gelatin
- Bone marrow (which has yummy good for you fats and protein)
Now, you may be staring at all those things wondering what they do for you. Here is just a partial list.
- Salon Hair, Skin, and Nails – When you hear of collagen and gelatin, you may think of various “beauty” products and fixes, but a lot of those products are also filled with chemicals and additives that aren’t so great. Commercial gelatin, for example, is a refined product made by soaking animal hides in an calcium hydroxide or acid solution to render it. No me gusta.
Getting collagen and gelatin from healthy, quality bones is a much better way to go. I can say from personal experience, my eczema flare ups went away, my nails were stronger, and my hair shinier when I was having my daily dose of broth.
- Bones Are Good for Bones – Calcium, magnesium, and phosophorus are all great for maintaining strong bones.
- Fights Inflammation – Glycine and proline are amino acids that are considered non-essential, but there’s evidence that supplementation with these aminos fights inflammation.
- You Just Might Sleep Better – there is a Japanese study that shows proline supplementation can aid in sleep! I don’t know about the rest of you, but that’s something I can definitely use.
- Heals the Gut… – If you are gastrointestinally challenged (diarrhea, constipation, leaky gut, food sensitivity, IBS, etc) bone broth should definitely be on your list of things to try.
Our digestive system allows nutrients and the things we need to pass through, but in some of us, those “holes” are letting too much pass, leading to food sensitivities and other issues. The gelatin helps plug up the bad “holes”, leaks that can cause a myriad of issues, issues that can even lead to autoimmune problems.
- …and Possibly the Brain – There is more and more information out there linking gut and psychology. Which really, shouldn’t be THAT surprising. Ever get a stomachache when you’re stressed? Got anxiety? This just might help you on the road to recovery.
- Money Saver – I’m a fan of supplements because, well, let’s be real. I don’t eat everything I should ALL the time, so on occasion, I need to be sure my body is getting what I need. But if I could get more of what I need from a food source, and a reasonably priced one at that, far less money is headed off to Vitacost each month.
So, there’s a bit of the “why” on bone broth.
Now for the how. I’ll preface this with the fact that I know some that do this using a crockpot, and I’ve even spoken to those who have had success with a pressure cooker, but so far, I’ve used a plain old stock pot on the stove.
Here’s what you need:
2 pounds quality* bones
2 T apple cider vinegar
1 gallon of water
onion, celery, carrot, seasoning
It’s pretty simple from here. With beef (or lamb) bones, I recommend roasting them first. It gives your broth a richer flavor. Chicken, turkey, and fish are pretty much good to go.
Cooking time is dependent on what you use:
Beef/Lamb – 48 hrs
Poultry – 24 hrs
Fish – 8 hrs
I bring my water, bones, and vinegar to a boil then knock it down to the lowest setting, to wear I just see an occasional bubble, then let it do it’s thing. (NOTE: DO NOT skip the vinegar. This is vital in bringing all the good stuff out of the bones.)
I prefer adding my veggies later. I only use them for flavor, but even still, 48 hours is a long time to let them become mush, so I like to add them in the last 8 or so. Just a preference.
I’ve heard that if you can get good chicken feet, tossing a few of them in with whatever bones you go with is a great way to up your gelatin content (if anyone tries this, let me know how it goes).
When you finish cooking, pour your broth into containers you can refrigerate (or even freeze). Be sure to let the broth cool before sticking it in your fridge/freezer. Once it’s cold, you’ll find it easier to skim the fat if you don’t like your broth too oily (although that fat is GOOD for you).
That’s it! I pour mine in mason jars, giving me a nice amount to thaw whenever I need a bowl of cup.
And you don’t have to drink or eat it plain! Use it to make soups, to cook your veggies in, whatever you like.
I love mine with a poached egg, steamed brocollini, and some chopped green onion.
Have you tried bone broth? Have you seen the benefits in your health? For those who haven’t, will you be giving this a try?
*a note on quality: ideally, you want to get bones from grass fed happy cows (or chickens, etc). Cows full of antibiotics or icky feed aren’t going to give you the same health benefits.
Whenever we have friends over for dinner, I have a very strong compulsion to overdo it. I want to cook all the things I’ve ever seen on Pinterest, make cute appetizers, fancy side dishes, and an impressive main course. Let’s not forget drinks and dessert. The major downside is feeling like I can’t entertain when […]
The little man (now 4 1/2) is a pretty active kid. He gave up on naps long, long ago. While his bedtime is 8:30, he seldom falls asleep before 10. So, when he comes up to me while it’s still light out asking to cuddle because he has a headache, I know he is fighting […]
I’m elsewhere on the interwebs today, so here are just a few things to check out before you head over to find me. Super Gatito – an adorable little kitty that gets more than just some medical care. Little Girls Make Awesome Superheroes – this tumblr is full of photos of little girls dressed as […]
Wait, another project? It hasn’t even been a week! Yes, I know. It makes me sound oh-so-industrious. To be fair, I did start this possible series letting you know that I have a long (and possibly obsessive) nesting period, so this should be expected. You should see my ever growing list of projects. To be […]
Pregnancy is rumored to bring with it a “nesting” period, characterized by cleaning, organizing, and projects. This is all part of preparing for bringing a new human into your home, or so it seems. For me, that period begins sometime in the second trimester and continues until I physically can’t do anything else. This week, […]
I’m 18 weeks pregnant now, so the researching and planning is in full swing. What items we need and which are the best/safest/reasonably priced. Labor techniques, diapers, healthy diet and exercise, etc… I tend to enjoy research. I like reading up on all manner of things and having all the information at my fingertips when […]