Have you noticed that everybody is talking about bone broth lately? All things traditional and nourishing are back in fashion. Now that we have shaken off our irrational fear of saturated fats, we are embracing the foods that our parents (and their parents) grew up and thrived on. The popularity of Paleo and GAPS (Gut & Psychology Syndrome) eating styles have also given the humble bone broth some serious exposure. So, is it as good for you as everyone is saying? For most people the answer is yes. It's definitely worth incorporating this therapeutic food into our lives. Now on to the logistics...
If you are a busy person, I can imagine the idea of having a pot brewing away on your stovetop all day might feel a bit out of reach. It might even seem a little too 1950's housewife for your liking. Please read on. This post is for you. I love simplifying nourishing recipes to make them accessible and realistic for everyone. Let's start with the small goal of making your first batch of bone broth, and see where things go from there.
The best way for busy people to make bone broth is in a slow cooker. If you don't own one, you might be surprised to know how economical and handy they are. Hopefully you have one in the cupboard already. The next step is to collect bones from your roast chickens, drumsticks or chicken wings in a large zip-lock bag in your freezer. I use chicken for it's milder taste and less intense smell throughout the house. It's perfect for first time broth makers. Add to this (or in a separate bag) any offcuts or skin from carrots, celery, onions, herbs or other vegetables. This makes broth making quite a thrifty activity. I personally have never been tempted to throw a whole vegetable into my stock (unless I was planning on eating it after). When you have enough bones and veggies to fill your slow cooker you are ready to follow the recipe below. Remember: the bigger the batch the better, we ARE busy after all.
Bone broth is a source of many amino acids, including glutamine, which I've discussed in a previous post. You can read about it here. Another amino acid in broth, glycine, plays an important role in the health of our joints and cartilage. It has also been shown to help the liver repair in some cases of chronic liver disease (1). Although debated and dependent on preparation methods, bone broth is also a source of highly-absorbed trace minerals and calcium. The nutritional make-up of broth aside, it is the perfect example of a real food. Modern processing techniques have tried to replace broth with a nutritionally inferior stock powder or bullion cube. These are high in salt and often contain flavour enhancers that some individuals react to. The real thing is definitely a better choice.
For those of you who aren't quite ready for broth making, consider purchasing it instead. Bountiful Broth are a Bowral based business producing handmade bone broth concentrate and fermented vegetables. The broth concentrate is made from local produce, organic where possible. You can purchase their products here, with free local delivery included.
Broth can be cooked for a range of times, depending on different factors. Longer cooking times will result in a more dense broth. However, there are times when shorter cooked broths are preferable for people with some sensitivities or intolerances. As always, listen to your body. And finally, a note on quality. The higher the quality of your bones and vegetables, the more nutritious and healthy your broth will be. If you can afford some organic foods in your diet, this is a great way to get the most nutrients for your money.
If you still aren't quite ready for broth making, after reading these recipes, consider purchasing it instead. Bountiful Broth are a Bowral based business producing handmade concentrated bone broth and fermented vegetables. You can purchase their products here, with free delivery in the Bowral & Southern Highlands included .
BONE BROTH FOR BUSY PEOPLE
Frozen chicken bones
Frozen vegetable bits
Purified water to cover
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbs sea salt
- Place frozen bones & vegetables in your slow cooker
- Cover with purified water
- Add apple cider vinegar and salt
- Turn slow cooker on high until you see simmering
- Turn down to low, replace lid
- Leave in a safe place for 3-24 hours
- Strain into clean glass jars
Broth that has cooled can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freezer up to 3 months. If you are freezing in jars, be sure to leave room for expansion at the top and allow to cool before being stood upright in the freezer. This bone broth can be used as a quick base for soups, stews or casseroles. Use it to cook rice or vegetables in too. It can even be used as a nice warm drink in the morning, see recipe below.
CHAMOMILE, HONEY & LEMON BROTH
1 mug of bone broth
1 chamomile tea bag
1/2 tsp honey
Juice from a quarter of a lemon
- Place bone broth in a small saucepan, scooping out if set in fridge
- Bring to a gentle simmer
- Turn heat off
- Add honey & lemon, stir
- Add chamomile tea bag
- Let infuse for 3-5 minutes
- Remove tea bag & drink
Enjoy your nice warm cup of nourishing broth.
1. Yamashina et al (2005). "Glycine as an a therapeutic immuno-nutrient for alcoholic liver disease". Alcohol Clin Exp Res 29 (11 Suppl): 162S-5S article link