If you are one of the few who has not heard about the health benefits of bone broth you need to stop what you’re doing and read this. I had no idea. I’ve always made my own stocks and soups from scratch, so saving my chicken carcasses was nothing new to me. I have a freezer full of bones at any given time, ready to make soup or stock for a sick child or a cold day. But lately there has been quite a buzz about the health benefits of simmering those bones for hours on end to allow all the goody to be released from the bones into the broth.
Bone Broth Recipe HERE
Every time one of the my kids come in the door, I offer them a cup of Bone Broth. They laugh. They’re expecting coffee. Once you read how good it is for your body, you’ll agree. There’s nothing like it. My granddaughters are all on board. Even my 2 year old, Kate, loves a cup of bone broth. They don’t know what it does for their little bodies, they only know it tastes delicious!
So what are the health benefits?
1. Bone Broth promotes healthy skin look by providing two amino acids, glycine and proline which are responsible for the fibrous structure of collagen (also known as gelatin). Without these amino acids in our diet, our cellular structure eventually breaks down, leading to physical signs of aging. This gelatin (aka collagen) is one of the main benefits of bone broth, as you will see. Not only does the collagen provide these two important amino acids, it also also promotes deep sleep, which happens to be another benefit that will aid in a youthful appearance. Win-Win.
2. Bone Broth improves joint health and reduces inflammation. Glucosamine in bone broth stimulates the growth of new collagen, repairs damaged joints and reduces pain and inflammation. Also, gelatin provides glycine, an amino acid that promotes healthy cartilage and promotes healing, reducing joint pain and symptoms of arthritis.
3. This gycine rich gelatin provides a huge boost of minerals, including calcium, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium! Bone broth helps to prevent bone loss while building healthy hair, nails and skin. BTW, I’m happy at how strong my fingernails have gotten….;)
4. Bone broth balances blood sugar and reduces levels of cortisol (stress hormone) and promoted deep sleep, which by the way, is when your body heals itself. It helps our immune system fight off infections including colds and flu. Plus it’s one of the first steps in healing a leaky gut which relieves chronic diseases, including autoimmune disorders.
5. One of the most important benefits is that it boosts glutathione, which is critical in our ability to ward off diseases caused by free radicals from toxins and stress. Glutathione is also the most critical and integral part of your detoxification system. It is glutathione that carries toxins into the bile and the stool — and out of your body. Add to this, Glycine which helps your liver function more effectively– detoxifying and cleansing your body.
6. Bone broth greatly enhances cellular health. By facilitating healing of the digestive tract, bone broth heals damaged cellular walls and heals a leaky gut. In fact, I’ve read a 3 day bone broth fast does wonders to promote gut health. The autoimmune problems many people suffer with is a direct result of a leaky gut.
This is not an exhaustive list. There are so many benefits I’ve only scratched the surface. But this is enough to convince me that one of the best things I can do for my health and the health of my loved ones is encourage the use of bone broth. Drinking it is wonderful, but don’t forget about using it in sauces, soups and stews. There are many ways to incorporate bone broth into your daily menu.
Cooking bone broth is very simple. You’ll need bones. Lots of bones. They can be leftover bones from a hen or chicken or ham or roast, ox tail or turkey. Or a mixture thereof. Save up enough until you can fill a soup pot with them. Most times I buy boney pieces like turkey necks, backs, wings, ox tails, thighs…whatever has bones and is on sale….or not~ to add to the pot. The more bones, the more connective tissues, the better.
Friday, I simmered a couple of whole chickens. Once the chickens were done, I removed the meat from the bones and then put all the bones back into the pot. I also saved bones from a hen that had been roasted earlier this week. So, I had one hen and 2 chicken carcasses in pot of water. I added a package of chicken necks for good measure.
You may also choose to roast your bones prior to simmering them on top of the stove for a richer broth. The hen I used had been roasted and it made for a richer more flavorful broth. Beef bones are especially good if roasted first. Simply place bones in a shallow roasting pan and roast at 400* for about 45 minutes. Once roasted, add bones to a large pot, cover with water and continue with recipe…
Add a splash (2 TBLS) of apple cider vinegar. This helps to leach the minerals out of the bones. Don’t worry. You will not taste the vinegar. Allow it to stand for an hour before cooking.
Add a large onion, several stalks of celery, 4-6 cloves of garlic, sea salt and some pepper. Leave vegetables in large chunks so you can easily remove them after it cooks awhile. Turn your stove on low and simmer all day, all night. I remove the vegetables after 8 hours but leave the bones. You don’t have to, but I prefer to remove them.
Simmer the bones (over the lowest heat) in the broth for from 24-48 hours.
Bring your pot of bones to a boil then reduce heat. I want to barely-barely simmer. I cover my pot, leaving a slight crack for steam to escape. Some people keep a pot going all the time and continue to remove old bones and add fresh bones all week. I prefer to stop cooking after 24 hours. At this point I remove the bones. Reserve the bones, though, because you can uses them over and over until they become too soft. Just freeze them until next time.
Now, I like to add poultry seasonings. (I use ‘Litehouse’ freeze dried Poultry seasoning, Herb Blend) You may use the herbs of your choice or none at all. I add a couple tablespoons and stir them into the broth giving them time to steep, as it cools. It takes hours for it to cool. I stir the pot several times.
Once it is mostly cool, I drain it through a colander. With the broth drained and all bones removed, I strain it through a strainer. Then I allow the cool broth to get cold overnight in the refrigerator.
In the morning you should have a beautiful congealed broth/ gelatin. It may be a softly congeal or it may be thick. It depends on how many bones you used. Either way it’s very healthy for you.
In the morning I scrape the fat off the top, place congealed gelatin (broth) in jars to store in fridge ( use within a couple weeks) or freeze them. Make sure to leave at least an inch at the top of a glass canning jar for expansion, if you are freezing.
Or keep a pot on your stove top to enjoy throughout the day. Salt and pepper each cup to your taste.
Bone broth is great to drink or you can use it in any recipe that calls for stock or broth.
You may also cook bone broth in a crock pot over low heat.
For me, there’s nothing better on a cold afternoon than to ladle a cup of warm broth from the stove and grab my favorite book. It’s great in the morning before breakfast and at night before bed…..and any time in between.
- Lots of bones...chicken. hen, turkey, ham, beef
- I use thighs, wings, necks, ox tails and beef marrow bones from the butcher. Leftover carcasses from whatever you have cooked. Freeze until you have enough for a pot.
- 2 TBLS Apple Cider Vinegar
- A large onion
- 3-4 stalks celery
- 5-6 cloves garlic
- poultry seasonings or herbs of your choice (Optional) (I use 'Litehouse' freeze dried Poultry seasoning, Herb Blend)
- Sea Salt or Himalayan or Mediterranean salt
- Cover bones with water.
- Add vinegar. Allow to stand for one hour.
- Add vegetables S&P
- Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to barely a simmer
- simmer 24-48 hours
- Add herbs of choice
- Scrape fat from top of cooled broth.
- Season each cup to your taste with salt, pepper and/or herbs
- (I use 'Litehouse' freeze dried Poultry seasoning, Herb Blend)