If you aren’t already making bone broth regularly, I’d encourage you to start today! Broth is an incredibly nutritious and health-boosting food that is very easy and inexpensive to make. Even New Yorkers have been sipping on bone broth this winter!
This is the one nutrient rich food that anyone can afford to add. Sally Fallon has recently released an entire book on broth, which I highly recommend on reading.
What is broth?
Broth, or also known as stock, is a mineral rich infusion made by boiling bones of healthy animals with vegetables, herbs and spices.
Besides it’s amazing taste and culinary uses, broth is an excellent source of minerals and is known to boost the immune system (chicken soup when you are sick anyone?) and improve digestion. Its high calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus content make it great for bone and tooth decay. Bone broth also supports joints, hair, skin, and nails due to its high collagen content and a host of other metabolic needs.
Why eat home-made bone broth?
- Broth is high in glutamine, which is critical for gut health. Its the primary nutrient for enterocytes, the cells that absorb digested foods from the lumen and transport the nutrients into the bloodstream.
- Broth should be consumed whenever muscle meat is consumed. This is because methionine from muscle meat can only fulfil its essential functions in the body in the presence of glycine, proline and glutamine. All of which can be found in the skin, bones, connective tissues and organ meats of animals. Bone broths were a staple in all traditional cultures. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors honored animals by eating all parts of them. They sucked out the marrow, favoured the organ meats, chewed on the gristle, dipped deeply into the fat and rejected lean cuts whenever possible.
- The collagen in broth builds and repairs joints, cartilage, ligaments and tendons (a must for athletes, anyone with osteo-skeletal issues and sporting injuries).
- The gelatin in broth aids in digestion (a must for anyone with digestive issues).
- The collagen in broth is rejuvenating for your hair, skin and nails. A natural and very inexpensive botox!
- Broth makes everything more flavoursome (from smoothies to casseroles to soups, jellies and sauces).
- Broth helps the body to detoxify.
- Broth is immune-building and helps our body repair itself.
- Broth is a great source of protein, healthy saturated fats from pastured animals and contains a multitude of micronutrients that we need to function and perform at our best.
- Broth is good for our mental health. What’s good for our body is good for the brain.
How to make bone broth?
- Fresh or frozen raw (uncooked) organic chicken carcasses including chicken feet if available from your local butcher or beef, lamb, veal marrow bones all from grass-fed animals or fish frames and heads from wild fish (eg snapper). Add as many bones/carcasses/frames that you can fit into your pot to cover with filtered water.
- A good splash of Braggs (raw/unpasteurised) Apple Cider Vinegar. Vinegar is said to draw out the minerals from the bones especially calcium, magnesium and potassium.
- Herbs and spices such as cracked pepper, a few bay leaves, 3-4 tbs thyme a few knobs of fresh garlic or garlic granules and 2-3 onions with their skin kept on for added nutritional value. Always go for organic herbs and spices if possible to avoid additives.
- Vegetables are optional. I personally don’t use them as they go to mush once the broth has simmered for 5 + hours but it is great to add them in with fresh herbs such as coriander when you are re-heating your stock to eat.
- Large stock pot or slow cooker and glass storage containers. Pyrex dishes are great and also work well for freezing. Please note – a pot will yield approximately half of the volume of stock.
- Unrefined salt (sea salt or Himalayan crystal salt) – 1 teaspoon per litre of finished/drained stock. Remember to only add salt at the end!
How to source good quality bones:
- Save leftovers from when you roast a chicken
- From a local butcher, especially one who butchers the whole animal
- From local farmers who raise grass fed animals (ask around at your local Farmer’s Market)
- Feather & Bone or The Meat Emporium in Sydney
- Sam the Butcher in Bondi stocks marrow bones, chicken carcasses and organic chicken feet
1. Place bones into a large stock pot and add enough filtered water to just cover the bones.
2. Add apple cider vinegar and any herbs/spices minus the salt
3. Cover and if possible allow to stand at room temperature for about and hour to allow the vinegar to draw out the minerals from the bones.
4. Turn on heat and bring to the boil then gently simmer on very low heat (small to no bubbles) for approximately:
– 5-10 hours for beef/lamb bones
– 5-8 hours for chicken carcasses and feet
– 0.5-1 hour for fish frames (no more than 1 hour)
5. Allow to cool, then remove the bones, carcasses, feet etc with a sieve and dispose of into the bin or save marrow from bones to consume (this is liquid gold). Strain the broth by placing a strainer over a large bowl and ladle stock into it. For every 1 litre of stock in the bowl add 1 teaspoon of salt.
6. Pour the clear stock into glass storage containers. For beef or lamb stock be sure to leave sufficient space at the top of the containers (approximately 2cms) as the fat rises and expands considerably especially when frozen. Remove the fat (tallow) from the top of the broth once frozen and use for frying or baking. Store tallow in a container in your freezer.
Broth keeps for about 5-7 days in the fridge and several months in the freezer. It is convenient to make in bulk and freeze in smaller sized glass containers or jars for when needed.
A good broth should have a jelly-like consistency once refrigerated. The more jelly-like consistency, the more gelatin the stock has (which aids in digestion). To increase the amount of gelatin, increase the simmering time and/or increase the concentration of bones. The only way to make chick broth gelatinous is to add chicken feet along with the chicken carcasses.
How to incorporate bone broth in your diet
- Broth can be consumed as a entrée, snack or hot drink in place of a water, tea or coffee.
- Add 2 tablespoons to smoothies or sports drinks and blend.
- Use broth in place of water in quinoa, soup, casseroles or stews to add flavour and nutrients.
- Add broth (instead of water) to the base of saucepans when re-heating food to prevent the food from sticking to the saucepan.
If you aren’t already, make bone broth a regular part of your kitchen routine. It’s health boosting, inexpensive and easy… you can’t afford not to!