If you aren’t already making bone broth I encourage you to start today! It is an incredibly healthy and inexpensive addition to any diet and the homemade versions beat the store bought broth in taste and nutrition.
What is Broth?
Broth (or technically stock) is a mineral rich infusion made by boiling bones of healthy animals with vegetables, herbs and spices. You will find a large stock pot of broth/stock simmering in the kitchen of almost every 5 star restaurant for its great culinary uses and unparalleled flavor, but it is also a powerful health tonic that you can easily add to your family’s diet.
Besides its amazing taste and culinary uses, broth is an excellent source of minerals and is known to boost the immune system and improve digestion. Its high calcium, magnesium and phosphorus content make it great for bone and tooth health. Bone broth also supports joints, hair, skin and nails due to its high collagen content. In fact some even suggest it helps eliminate cellulite as it supports smooth connective tissue.
It can be made from the bones of beef, bison, lamb, poultry or fish and vegetables, and spices are often added.
What kind of Broth?
Homemade nutrient dense bone broth is incredibly easy and inexpensive to make. There is no comparison to store-bought versions which often have MSG or other chemicals and which lack gelatin and some of the other health boosting properties of homemade broth.
In selecting the bones for broth look for high quality bones from grass fed cattle or bison, pastured poultry, or wild caught fish. Since you’ll be extracting the minerals and drinking them in concentrated from, you will want to make sure the animal was as healthy as possible.
There are several places to find good bones for stock:
·Save leftovers from when you roast a chicken, duck, turkey, or goose (pastured)
·From a local butcher, especially one who butchers the whole animal
·From local farmers who raise grass fed animals (ask around at your local Farmers Market)
·2 pounds (or more) of bones from a healthy source
·Chicken feet for more gelatin (optional)
·2 stalks of celery
·2 Tbs. raw organic Apple Cider Vinegar
·Optional: 1 bunch parsley, 1 Tbs. or more of sea salt, 1 tsp. peppercorns, additional herbs or spices to taste. I also add 2 cloves of garlic for the last 30 minutes of cooking.
You’ll also need a large stock pot to cook the broth and a strainer and a strainer to remove the pieces when it is done.
Bone Broth Instructions:
If you are using raw bones (especially beef bones) it improves the flavor if you roast them in the oven first for 30 minutes at 350.
Then place the bones in a large stock pot (a 5 gallon size). Pour filtered water over the top covering the bones and add the vinegar. Let is sit for 20-30 minutes in the cool water. The acid helps make the nutrients in the bones more available.
Rough chop and add the vegetables (except the parsley and garlic if using) to the pot. Add any salt, pepper, spices or herbs if using.
Now bring the broth to a boil. Once it has reached a rigorous boil reduce to a simmer and simmer until done. These are the times I simmer for:
·Beef broth/stock – 48 hours
·Chicken or poultry broth/stock – 24 hours
·Fish broth – 8 hours
During the first few hours of simmering you will need to remove the impurities that float to the surface. A frothy/foamy layer will form and it can easily be scooped off with a big spoon. Throw this part away. I check my broth every 20 minutes for the first 2 hours to remove this.
During the last 30 minutes add the garlic and parsley if using. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Strain using a fine metal strainer to remove all of the bits of bone and vegetables. When cool enough store in glass jars in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for later use.
How to use Bone Broth:
Homemade broth/stock can be used as the liquid when making soups, stews, gravies, sauces and reductions. It can also be used to sauté or roast vegetable.
Especially in the fall and winter we try to drink a cup per person per day as a health boost. A delicious way to do this is to heat 8-16 ounces of broth with a little salt and sometimes whisk in an egg until cooked (this makes it like an egg-drop soup).
In times of illness drinking bone broth helps support the body’s energy because it is easy to digest which helps the body heal faster. In cases of vomiting or stomach bugs, bone broth usually calms the stomach very quickly and helps shorten the duration of the illness.
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!
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