Bone broth seems to be all over the news lately… even mom and Josh sent me cool articles! However, It’s not a new concept. It has been prepared in kitchens, hearths and firesides throughout history. It’s somewhat of a lost art… it seems as though modern society has forgotten how easy it is to make broth. It’s delicious, highly nutritive, and it can (and should!) be a part of every family’s diet.
Homemade bone broth is rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and other trace minerals, and the minerals in broth are easily absorbed by the body.
Homemade bone broths are often rich in gelatin, which is source of supplementary protein. Gelatin also shows promise in the fight against degenerative joint disease. It helps to support the connective tissue in your body and also helps the fingernails and hair to grow healthy and strong. Bone broth also contains glucosamine and chondroiton – which are thought to help mitigate the effects of arthritis and joint pain.
Homemade bone broth is very high in the amino acids proline and glycine which are essential for healthy connective tissue (ligaments, joints, around organs, etc). Dr. Sarah Ballantyne over at The Paleo Mom provides some great information about these amino acids:
– plays an extensive role in digestive health, aiding digestion by helping regulate the synthesis and of bile salts and secretion of gastric acid.
– is involved in detoxification and is required for production of glutathione, an important antioxidant.
– helps regulate blood sugar levels by controlling the creation of glucose from proteins in the liver.
– enhances muscle repair and growth by increasing levels of creatine and regulating Human Growth Hormone secretion from the pituitary gland.
– inhibits excitatory neurotransmitters of the central nervous system, producing a calming effect.
– is converted into the neurotransmitter serine, which promotes mental alertness, improves memory, boosts mood, and reduces stress.
– plays a role in reversing atherosclerotic deposits, enabling the blood vessel walls to release cholesterol buildups into your blood stream, decreasing the size of potential blockages in your heart and the surrounding blood vessels.
– helps your body break down proteins for use in creating new, healthy muscle cells.
One thing that is pretty important to note is that most commercial broth contains toxic additives and does not contain the aforementioned healthful components of traditionally and home made broths. There are a few companies that will ship traditionally made broths right to you (check out The Brothery), but I bet that if you give my recipe a try, you’ll see how easy it is!
- Bones, scraps, and giblets from 1 organic, pastured chicken
- 2 organic carrots, peeled and rough chopped
- 2 organic celery stalks, including leaves, rough chopped
- 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 5-10 peppercorns (you can use ½ teaspoon coarse ground pepper, but your broth won't be as clear)
- small handful of parsley
- Place the bones in a dutch oven and cover them with filtered water. Add the apple cider vinegar and let it sit for 20 minutes while you chop the vegetables.
- Add the carrots, celery, onion, salt and pepper to the pot.
- Bring to a gentle boil on the stovetop, and reduce to a simmer. During the first hour or so of simmering, skim off any foam that rises to the top. Organic and pastured chickens will produce far less foam than conventional chicken.
- After about 2 hours of stovetop simmering, cover the pot and place in a 225-250 degree oven. You want it to barely bubble. I leave this to cook overnight.
- About 20-24 hours later, add the parsley and cook for an additional hour.
- Remove the pot from the oven and let cool for an hour or so.
- Place a large metal colander over a large stainless bowl and pour the broth contents through the colander to separate out the bones and vegetables. After simmering gently for so long, the bones should crumble if you crush them in your hand- a sure sign you've gotten all the good stuff out of them.
- If needed, pour the broth through a fine-mesh strainer to catch all the small pieces that made it through the colander.
- At this point, you can refrigerate the broth and use within 7 days, or portion it out into ziplock bags and freeze (freeze flat for easy defrosting). If your broth gels (giggles like jell-o after it's cooled in the fridge), yay! That's a sign it's full of healthy gelatin.
- You can drink your broth on it's own, add vegetables and simmer to make an easy soup, use it in recipes that call for chicken broth or stock, use it to cook risotto... the list goes on and on.