There’s always a reason to include Bone Broth in your diet, especially around the Christmas period when your digestive health can take a beating. Perhaps you’ve still got some bones lying about as leftovers from your Christmas feast and before you go binning them, STOP. And read this.
Bone Broth is cheap, easy, nutritionally dense, and makes sure nothing goes to waste (especially if you use every bit like I do below). My belief is that if I am going to eat animal products, I am going to eat the best quality organic or wild variety that I can (especially important if you’re going to make bone broth) and I am going to make sure nothing goes to waste.
So what is Bone Broth?
Bone Broth is made by boiling and simmering bones in water with a little Apple Cider Vinegar to draw all the nutrients out of the bones, with the optional addition of vegetables and spices/herbs for 18-24+ hours (until the bones crumble when lightly pressed between your fingers – doing it for this long is what differentiates it from standard stock which cooks for 4-6 hours and does not extract all the nutrients from the bones).
Bone Broth is rich in minerals and nutrients and is super easy to make (especially if you have a slow cooker/crock pot). I know for me I put off making bone broth as I thought it seemed too confusing, but after finally getting around to making it and consuming it I regret waiting so damn long!!
Where can you get bones and what types can you use?
As I said above I like to make sure nothing goes to waste, so I use bones from when I roast (this also adds extra favour) and save the carcasses (or save the bones from any meats you eat or soups you make – recipes here) in the freezer, or immediately add them to the slow cooker (using the instructions below) and let it work its magic till the next day. You can also purchase bones from your butcher or from local farmers/markets. Get creative with what type of bones you use, anything goes, just try and get the best quality you can as you are drawing all the nutrients out of the bones and want to nourish yourself with the best quality ingredients possible.
So what are the benefits of bone broth?
- It can improve and aid your digestion and digestive health
- Helps boost your immune system and is excellent for when you are sick or ill to speed up your recovery (remember how grandma used to always give you chicken soup when you were ill?)
- Improves your brain health
- Helps with reducing cellulite
- It has a high collagen content which can improve your hair, skin, and joint health.
- It is rich in amino acids, minerals, and nutrients
- It helps improve bone and tooth health as it is rich in phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium.
- PLUS IT TASTES AMAZING!
1 KG of bones (I find chicken to be the most nourishing for me, and roasted chicken to have the most flavour – there can be a little bit of meat left on the bones and you can throw in any left over skin too).
4 Litres of water
2 TBsp of Apple Cider Vinegar (this is key as this helps draw the nutrients out of the bones!)
Optional add-ins for flavour – celery, carrots, onion, leeks, garlic, bay leaves, basil, parsley, chilli flakes, sea salt and pepper.
You have the option of making this on the stove or in a slow cooker / crock pot depending on what you have – I like the slow cooker as I feel safer leaving this on for such a long time.
Directions for making in a Crock Pot / Slow Cooker:
Add all the ingredients and place the lid on, turn the pot on to high and bring to a boil, turn the slow cooker pot down to low and leave to simmer away for 18-24+ hours for chicken (up to 48 hours for beef bones, or around 8 hours for fish). You will know it is ready when you broth is a dark yellow/light brown colour and the bones crumble between your fingers.
There will be a little oil on top (like below) but this is loaded with nutrients so don’t scoop it away!
Directions for making on the stove:
Place all the ingredients in a large pot, bring to the boil, then reduce heat to the lowest setting and leave for the times mentioned above.
As I said I like to make sure there’s no waste – so my dog ends up getting the left over bones – and whilst you aren’t ever to give pets cooked bones as they can splinter and cause issues, left over bones from bone broth are so soft and delicate that they mash up easily with a mortar and pestle or potato masher to resemble mashed sardines (as seen here) – but make sure there’s no hard bits (I like to get my hands in about it to make sure).
How to use it:
I like to have a cup a day, or more if you feel yourself getting sick, use it as a soup, use it in place of stock, use it to cook with, or use it as a base to other meals. You can also freeze any left over bone broth to use at a later date.
Have you made any before – any tips and tricks to share. I’d love to hear them below.
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