Bone broth has wonderful health benefits and is simple and inexpensive to make. It provides holistic nourishment, using parts of an animal that otherwise might go to waste. Internationally used in traditional culture as a healing elixir, brewing broth warms the home, heart and tummy.
When properly prepared, bone broth is super nourishing. Soaking in vinegar and a long, slow simmer draws out the minerals from bone, cartilage, marrow and vegetables, bubbling into liquid gold that’s high in bio-available calcium, magnesium and potassium. A tremendous source of gelatin, broth is a great digestive aid, electrolyte replacement and helps assimilate protein. An important part of many healing protocols, broth is especially soothing to leaky gut syndrome.
Here’s the recipe we use, adapted from Sally Fallon’s NourishingTraditions. Variations can be made using bones of fish, duck, turkey, lamb and beef. We make a big batch and freeze the extra quarts to have on hand. Usually, we each drink at least a cup a day. When I got a little bit sick last month, I kicked the bug right away drinking bone broth every couple of hours. Experiment with different types of bones and veggies and whenever possible, use organic, pasture-raised ingredients.
Gather Your Bones
- The bones from organic, pasture-raised animals are best. Organic bones are second best. The life force we draw from our food is only as powerful the life force used to raise, grow and feed what we eat. It is advisable to always avoid non-organic and factory farmed meat, which is full of hormones, chemicals, antibiotics, fear and sadness (which by the way, all inflame the digestive tract, which may be just what you need to heal!)
- To find organic, pasture-raised food, shop at your local farmers’ market or through a community supported agriculture (CSA) farm program.
- US Wellness Meats ships pasture-raised meat.
- Save the carcass of the animals you roast in the freezer to have on hand for broth.
- You can find great deals at the farmers’ market on chicken heads, feet, necks, backs and gizzards, all great for broth!
Gather Your Veggies
- Remember to use organic whenever possible! Conventional produce may be covered in chemical pesticides and may be genetically modified.
- We like lots of veggies for great flavor!
- Get creative! Use what you have, experiment with new things to add depth of flavor.
- Save the tops and bottoms of carrots and celery from weekly cooking and use those to bulk up the veggie load in your brew.
Gather Your Water
- Filtered please! Tap water is full of chemicals and chlorine that irritate the gut.
- It’s important to soak the whole pot of bones and veggies in vinegar for 30-60 minutes before turning on the heat. The acidity draws out minerals from the bones and veggies to make your broth rich and nourishing.
2-4 lbs organic, pasture raised bones and parts*
3 chicken heads (optional)
3-6 chicken feet (optional)
3 chicken gizzards (optional)
4 quarts cold, filtered water
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 onions, chopped
4 carrots, chopped (no need to peel since it’s organic!)
6 celery stalks, chopped
1 fennel bulb, chopped (optional)
Salt, pepper and herbs to taste
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 bunch parsley
5 gallon pot with strainer
*If you’re using raw beef bones, roasting them makes for dynamite flavor. Roast them in a pan at 350º for 25-30 minutes before beginning your broth.
Add all bones, parts and vegetables (except parsley and garlic) to your pot.
Fill pot with filtered water
Add salt, pepper and herbs
Let sit for 30-60 minutes with no heat
Turn on heat and bring to boil
Remove scum that floats to the surface using a slotted spoon
Turn heat down and let simmer for 12-24 hours**
In the last 30 minutes of cooking add parsley and garlic
Strain veggies and bones from broth
Put broth in refrigerator until cool
Remove layer of fat that congeals at the top of the pot, save for cooking
Store extra broth in the freezer in Mason jars (keep the lid loose and don’t fill to the brim to avoid cracking)
**Simmer beef broth for 24-48 hours
Benefits of Broth
Non-dairy source of bio-available calcium and magnesium
Gelatin helps anemia
Supports bone health and connective tissue
Wonderful protein source and great if you don’t have the funds or appetite for meat
Healing, warming drink used as remedy all over the world
A delicious snack
Mamas love it during labor
A great electrolyte supporter before or after yoga or workouts
Highly nutritious and delicious base for cooking
The next time you’re
in the market for broth, read the labels carefully. You’re probably going to find most broths available are made with sugar, natural flavors and other additives.
A simple way to connect with your food