Bone broth is a dressed up stock really made of water in which bones of meat have been simmered over a long period of time. It can be eaten alone, but is more tasty and commonly used to prepare dishes such as soups, gravies and bases for sauces. Why is it good for you? Well, it’s packed with collagen, (great for skin), amino acids and many trace minerals. It is also used to help heal a gut that is inflamed or ‘leaky’. It is one of those nutrient packed foods that is very healing for the digestive system and therefore excellent for people with poor digestion or other health concerns.
I know it may sound strange to use what would normally be discarded by many to make such an amazing food, but it is well worth the benefit. When you use the carcass, be it free range chicken, fish (great for vegetarians) or beef and slow simmer in a crock pot for 24 hours, it releases all the stored nutrients from the bones. I like to add veggies too and fresh herbs to make it really tasty. The trick is the all important apple cider vinegar that is added to draw the nutrients out of the bones.
I’ll be honest, as a woman I love that bone broth is great for my skin! It’s an amazing way to obtain more collagen which is a type of protein needed to create healthy tissue found throughout the body. I also find it beneficial with all the exercise I do to help support joints, tendons and cartilage. Collagen is naturally found inside the lining of the digestive tract, within bones in bone marrow, skin and joints. Collagen has other special nutrients too such as amino acids, (help build muscles), and gelatin. When collagen breaks down, gelatin is formed and is known to help those that suffer from food sensitivities, especially from dairy and gluten. May I also mention that higher collagen intake is known to decrease the appearance of cellulite. That’s right, the dreaded cellulite that starts appearing around the upper legs. Cellulite develops due to lack of connective tissue which is made from collagen.
Bone broth helps to detoxify the liver by supplying the antioxidant glutathione. Glycine is a precursor for glutathione which helps the liver flush out excess hormones, chemicals and wastes. Other minerals found in bone broth also help with this process, including the apple cider vinegar added to the broth to draw the nutrients out of the bones.
Bone broth is also a great way to obtain important electrolytes, including potassium, magnesium and sodium. For those of us that sweat a lot, bone broth is perfect! These help sustain energy and are important for muscle, nerve, digestive and cognitive functions. An electrolyte imbalance can contribute to fatigue, brain fog, moodiness, muscle spasms or even weak muscles.
Lastly, the amino acids found in bone broth help with the hormones responsible to help us sleep, think clearly, stay motivated, remember information and make decisions. Higher intake of glycine, for example, has been found to help people who can’t sleep get better rest, lower symptoms of anxiety, improve mental performance and even enhance memory.
So, who would benefit from bone broth? Those with digestive orders such as IBS or leaky gut. Anyone struggling with food allergies or sensitivities. Those prone to frequent digestive symptoms, such as bloating, stomach pain or constipation. Anyone with signs of low immunity, (frequently getting sick). Those dealing with an autoimmune condition, such as lupus or Hashimotos. Those with joint pain or arthritis. Anyone who exercises a lot or wants to improve their skin and gain more energy. I think it’s a win/win all around!
Here’s the recipe:
- 1-3 carcasses/bones from cooking your pastured chicken(s)
- Leftover carrots, celery, onion pieces from cooking your chicken or from scraps throughout the week (you can use fresh too).
- 2 tbl to ¼ cup apple cider vinegar (ACV) (Since it is heated, don’t worry about it being raw, but do opt for organic).
- Put everything into your crockpot or oven roaster and fill with water to cover the bones by an inch or more.
- Let the mixture sit for 30-60 minutes. DO NOT TURN THE HEAT ON YET. This allows the vinegar to extract minerals from the bones.
- Turn the crockpot on low or oven roaster at 200 degrees for 24 hours.
- Strain the broth. Store in the fridge up to 7 days, in the freezer 3-6 months, or deep freezer up to a year. Let the broth come to room temp before putting in the freezer. Leave the top off for 24 hours to freeze if you are storing in glass jars in the freezer to allow for expanding (or your jar may crack in the freezer.