Bone broth is a staple in traditional cultures around the world and for good reason. Not only is it an incredible healing food, but it’s how our ancestors made use of every part of the animal, letting nothing go to waste. Typically the bones of the animal are simmered for a long period of time, which is the differentiating factor between bone broth and regular broth or stock. Hidden away behind the hard outer shell of the bones is a wealth of precious nutrients, which are made available through the process of simmering for 12+ hours.
The nutrients that are released have numerous and extensive benefits for our health. Collagen is an integral part of the bone, containing a large supply of amino acids such as glycine, proline, arginine and glutamine. When you cook bone broth for a long period of time, the collagen in the bones turns into gelatin. Gelatin is what makes the broth into a jelly-like substance when cooled – a sign of a good quality bone broth. Gelatin soothes the digestive tract and restores the gut lining, which reduces inflammation and aids in healing conditions such as autoimmune disorders, food sensitivities, acid reflux, IBS and leaky gut. Gelatin is also a building block for skin, so it naturally strengthens the skin from the inside out. Drink a little bit of bone broth every day and notice the acne, wrinkles and cellulite disappear. Also released when bone broth is cooked for a very long time are vital minerals such as calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and potassium in a highly bioavailable form making it very easy for the body to absorb. These minerals combined with the amino acids in gelatin and glycosaminoglycans – like glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate – form a powerful potion for supporting joint health. Joints are only as strong as their connective tissues, and bone broth provides the appropriate nutrients to restore and reinforce cartilage, tendons and ligaments, which can halt joint pain from conditions such as tendonitis and arthritis. Bone broth also provides the necessary compounds to form and maintain strong bones, take the pressure off of aging joints, and support bone mineral density. Additional benefits from bone broth include boosting metabolism, detoxification, and the immune system.
Bone broth is clearly a powerful superfood offering substantial healing and health-promoting benefits. While bone broth is indeed simple and economical, it is essential to properly prepare a high-quality bone broth in order to reap all of the benefits. In order to make the most nutritious bone broth possible, it is important to start with high-quality bones from naturally-raised animals in an organic fashion. When animals are raised in a healthy environment eating their natural diet, they contain significantly more vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and less environmental toxins than conventionally-raised animals. Bones from just about any meant can be used. Check local markets, butchers, and farmers, or save the bones from your dinner roasts. Use a variety of bones, such as meaty bones like ribs and marrow and joint bones like knuckles and oxtails. To impart better flavor, roast the meaty bones at 350 degrees until well-browned prior to making the broth. To yield more gelatin, use additional cartilage-rich joint bones. Establish these foundational elements and follow the recipe below to create a high-quality, nutrient-dense bone broth. Start benefiting from the bone broth by incorporating it into your routine and consuming at least 8 ounces everyday.
- 5 pounds of bones from wild or pasture-raised animals, a mixture of meaty and joint bones
- 4+ quarts cold, filtered water
- ½ cup raw, organic apple cider vinegar
- 3 organic onions, roughly chopped
- 5 organic carrots, roughly chopped
- 5 organic celery stalks, roughly chopped
- 3 organic garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 bunch fresh organic rosemary
- 1 bunch fresh organic parsley
- Place the joint bones and vinegar into a large stockpot, cover with water and let stand for one hour.
- Meanwhile, roast the meaty bones at 350 degrees for 30-60 minutes.
- Once well browned, add the meaty bones (along with the juices) and vegetables to the stockpot.
- Add additional water, if necessary, to cover the bones (do not fill it higher than 1 inch from the rim of the pot).
- Bring to a boil and use a spoon to skim off the foam that rises to the top.
- Once skimming is complete, add the rosemary, cover and reduce the heat.
- Let simmer for a minimum of 12 hours and as long as 48 hours.
- Just before finishing, add the parsley and simmer an additional 10 minutes.
- Remove the bones and strain the broth into a large bowl.
- Let cool in the refrigerator and remove the congealed fat that rises to the top. If using high-quality bones from wild or pasture-raised animals, save this fat and use for cooking.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 1 year.