Just Bones & Water
We celebrated National Bone Broth Day this week! Yes, it’s a thing. Here’s the scoop on this hot, delicious and incredibly nutritious liquid.
I first heard of bone broth from the book, The Prime (a book on gut health), and it has been growing in popularity over the past few years. It is just like broth for a soup, but it is simmered for a longer period of time to draw out more of the nutrients in the animal bones, meat and connective tissues. There are so many health benefits to adding even just a cup of bone broth to your daily regimen. You can also cook with it if you do not prefer to sip on it. This liquid gold is a great source of vitamins, nutrients, collagen, protein and if you keep the fat in the broth (you can scrape it off if you prefer), it is perfect for a Keto diet. Among many benefits, Bone broth helps to reduce inflammation, aids in digestion, supports weight loss and it is a great option for doing a liquid fast.
A quick shout out to Bare Bones and Kettle & Fire, which were the first two brands of bone broth I purchased until I realized how easy and more cost effective it is to make my own.
People always ask me for the recipe for my bone broth, which makes me giggle because it’s just bones and water. But I will provide more of an explanation of how to make your own at home.
Let’s start with the bones. We cook two organic, pasture-raised whole chickens every Sunday night and use the carcasses and bones to make our batch of broth for the week. This is the easiest way to get bones - from meat you are already cooking and consuming. I have also found frozen beef bone marrow bones at the grocery store, but the label does not mention how the cows were raised or what they ate or how they were treated so I really try to avoid using bones when I do not know the origin of the animal. Local farms are a good option to find bones. We often get chicken feet (very high in collagen) from our Agri-Community Farm. For all the vegetarians and vegans out there, mushrooms are a great option to make a nutritious shroom broth.
Before I got an Instant Pop, I would simmer my bones (you can use bones from any animal) on the stove (or crockpot) for 24-36 hours. Now I pressure cook the bones on high for two hours, which is more convenient. I use around 2 pounds of bones and I use enough filtered water to cover them in the pot. I add a few splashes of apple cider vinegar, which helps to draw out the nutrients and adds a nice flavor. I also add Pink Himalayan or Celtic Salt. I literally do not measure anything, I just throw it in. No batch ever turns out the same, so it keeps life interesting. You can also add vegetables (anything you would add to a soup) and herbs, depending on your preference - this is a great way to use up vegetables in your fridge. I happen to live next door to an Herbalist who grows fresh herbs for our Agri-Community and she has a dried herbal bone broth mix that I often use - it adds a nice flavor and additional nutrients. But you literally can just use bones and water, if you want to keep things really simple.
When the broth is done I remove the bones, strain the liquid and allow it to cool at room temperature. Then I place the pot in the fridge so the fat rises and hardens at the top. I do remove the fat (although chicken do not create a lot of fat to remove) because it is off-putting to me to sip on the fat. Some people like it, so it is really a personal preference. I store it in a glass container that is easy to pour from. I have a large mug of broth everyday that I sip on. I add curry powder because I love the taste. You can any spices you prefer. Instead of water, we use bone broth to cook our rice - this is an easy way for kids to benefit from the broth without having to sip on it. I also use it for soups and chili and for any recipe the calls for a broth.
Once you get the hang of it and get a rhythm going in your kitchen, it can be the easiest and possibly most beneficial addition to your nutrition this year. Your gut and joints and skin and hair and nails and waist line will thank you.
Remember, just bones and water.
Here’s to the highest and best version of your health in 2021!