The Wonders of Bone Broth
Dec 30, 2016 11:56AM
By Amy Nadeau
In the last couple of years, bone broth has been in the news a lot, touted as the newest and latest culinary and health fad. Food manufacturers have started selling it in co-ops and grocery stores as if it’s a brand new phenomenon. In fact, human beings have been making and consuming bone broth since the discovery of fire.
Just a few generations ago, our grandparents would have used the leftover bones, skin, meat and fat from the family dinner to make rich, flavorful broth, stretching the weekly food budget into healthful and warming soups and stews, long before the availability of salt-ridden, commercially made canned broths and chemically laden cubes of dried broth flavoring composed mainly of MSG. Homemade bone broth is full of powerful nutrition making it a true superfood. Some of the benefits of sipping long-simmered broth are:
Improved Gut Health - Bone broth contains copious quantities of gelatin, which lines the mucosal lining of the stomach, soothing and healing the digestive tract and easing symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease and acid reflux.
Healthy Skin - Collagen is another compound found in abundance in bone broth. One of the many things collagen does is keep the skin supple and firm. Bone broth also contains hyaluronic acid—the same thing found in many expensive skin creams—which promotes healthy skin and cell rejuvenation from the inside.
Relief from Arthritis Pain - Two components of bone broth—glucosamine and chondroitin—are very effective arthritis remedies. These substances help build and maintain the integrity of cartilage, the rubbery substance acting as a cushion between the joints.
Easily Absorbed Minerals and Amino Acids - When bones are simmered for many hours, the minerals and amino acids are liquidated, making them very easy for the body to absorb. Bone broth is very rich in the minerals magnesium, potassium, calcium and phosphorus, as well as the amino acids proline, arginine, glycine and glutamine. The benefits of these minerals and protein promote good health throughout the body.
HOW TO MAKE BONE BROTH
Bone broth is very easy to make. The most difficult thing about it is waiting for it to be finished so that you can drink it. Here is a basic tutorial for chicken bone broth:
- Use a combination of fresh meaty bones like chicken backs, necks and feet as well as leftover bones from roasted chicken. It’s best to use bones from animals that have been naturally raised without hormones or antibiotics, pastured and organic if possible. You will need about five pounds of bones.
- Place the bones in an eight quart pot with a large onion cut in half, a whole head of garlic cut in half, three stalks of chopped celery, three chopped carrots, three bay leaves, one tablespoon of black peppercorns and a small bunch of parsley.
- Add ¼ cup of raw apple cider vinegar. The vinegar helps to pull all of the goodness out of the bones.
- Cover the bones and vegetables with cold filtered water to about three inches below the top of the pot. Place the pot on the stove and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down so that the broth is just barely simmering and let it cook for at least eight hours. The longer you cook the bones the better, so you can leave them on the stove for up to 24 hours, adding water as needed to keep the level of liquid about four inches below the top of the pot.
- Strain the bones and vegetables out of the stock and then chill the stock. A layer of fat will form on top of your broth which can be removed just before use.
- Your bone broth is now ready. Use it to make soups and sauces or to just warm up with a pinch of salt and drink. For an added health bonus, stir a spoonful of coconut oil into the hot broth. This is a great way to start a cold winter morning in Minnesota—with a warm cup of bone broth every day.
Amy Nadeau is a nutritional therapist, personal chef/caterer and educator who has worked in the food industry for more than 30 years. Nutritional therapy is an individualized approach to wellness and disease prevention through a traditional diet based on whole, unprocessed, nutrient-dense foods, proper supplementation and lifestyle changes. Nadeau works with people locally in the Twin Cities metro area as well as virtually. For more information, call 612-239-7525, email [email protected] or visit ChefAmyNutrition.com.