As far as food talk goes, this might not be the most eye appealing, or seem like the most exciting thing I dive into on this blog, but it will be by far one of the healthiest things I share with you. And actually, it is quite exciting 🤗
Over the last year or so I’ve made bone broth a part of my daily diet. Over this time I have felt and seen such a big difference in how I feel (and look), and I know this is something everyone could really benefit from!What exactly is bone broth?
It’s a mineral rich infusion made by boiling bones, tendons, ligaments, etc., of healthy animals. As the bones simmer away over several hours, gelatin, amino acids, minerals, vitamins and other nutrients from the bones are released into the water creating an extremely nutrient dense liquid.
Why bone broth?
There is SO much to say about why bone broth is such an incredible source of nutrition. For starters, bone broth is a great place to find all the valuable nutrients that is easy to digest and so important for overall health. There are dozens of different nutrients in bone broth, many that can’t be obtained easily from other commonly eaten foods. By regularly drinking bone broth and using it in your cooking, these are some of the big benefits you will find:
- It’s good for your gut. Bone broth is one of the most beneficial foods to consume for restoring gut health. The gelatin in bone broth helps to restore strength in your gut lining and help with fighting food sensitivities (like dairy and wheat), it also helps with the growth of probiotics (good bacteria) in your gut. It’s easy to digest and soothing to the digestive system – unlike many other foods, which can be difficult to fully break down. After all, food is really only useful if you have the means to absorb its nutrients.
- Healthy skin, hair and nails. Bone broth has a high content of collagen. Collagen is
the structural protein that makes your skin, hair and nails strong and smooth. Bone broth is rich in hyaluronic acid (which is an ingredient in many expensive anti-wrinkle creams 🙂 The collagen helps the elastin and other compounds responsible for maintaining your skin’s youthful tone, its texture and appearance. Collagen can actually help reduce the visible signs of wrinkles, decrease puffiness and give life to your skin. It can also help to reduce cellulite since cellulite forms due to a lack of connective tissue, allowing skin to lose its firm tone :/
- Heals and protects your joints. As we get older our joints naturally experience wear and tear, and we become less flexible. Our cartilage begins to diminish and we begin to feel aches and pains in our joints. The rich supply of collagen in bone broth can heal your joints and help your body lay down needed collagen to lubricate your joints, keeping them healthy and pain free. The gelatin also provides us with building blocks that are needed to form and maintain strong bones which will help take the pressure off aging joints and support healthy bone mineral density.
- Detoxifying. Despite our healthy efforts, we are exposed to an array of toxins, chemicals, and artificial ingredients. Our body has its own means for detoxifying from the toxic exposures, but over time has a difficult time keeping up. Bone broth is a powerful detoxification tool that can help the digestive system get rid of waste and promote the liver’s ability to remove toxins. A little more specifically, bone broth contains potassium and glycine which help support both our cellular and liver detox processes.
- Healthy immune system. Remember when your mom and grandma would make chicken noodle soup when we were sick??! Well, there was something to that, all of the nutrients in the broth boosts and heals your body. It’s helpful while you are sick, so even better as preventative measure so your immune system maintains a healthy and “boosted” level.
Those are some of the big benefits of drinking bone broth, and it’s such a simple thing. It’s funny how something like this can have such a positive impact on your health – and I’m telling you it really does! For about a year (or more) I’ve been drinking about 1-2 cups of bone broth almost every single day, I usually just heat it up and drink it like tea and will use when I’m cooking. I can see that it has made such a difference in my skin, energy, and my overall health.
Here’s the best part – it is SO easy to make and takes very few ingredients. I typically make a big batch once a week and store it in the fridge (you can freeze it too). I’ve made it a few different ways but the key is to end up with a liquid that when it’s cool is jiggly, like jello. When it turns out like that, you’ve got a super nutrient dense broth!
CHICKEN BONE BROTH
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: depends (see below)
- 1-2 large Carrots (washed, unpeeled)
- 2-3 Celery Stalks (you can use the leafy part)
- 1 medium Onion
- 1/4 – 1/2 Lemon (or 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar)
- 2+ pounds Chicken bones and the other bits and pieces (I use 2-3 roaster chicken carcasses at a time (you can substitute for beef or fish bones if you prefer)
Slower Cooker/ Crock Pot – put all ingredients into the pot and add water. Add enough water so that all the bones are just covered by the water. **Slow cook for 12-18 hours. I cook mine for 18-24 hours when I use the slow cooker. ***Remember the goal is to pull out as much nutrients from the bones as possible so that takes time.
Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot) – put all ingredients into the pot and add water. Add enough water so that all the bones are just covered by the water. I run the “Soup/Broth” program twice and then leave it sealed for 1-2 hours after that. It is quick and I find makes the best broth!
After you’ve cooked the crap out of the bones I drain all the the warm liquid through a strainer. Now you can throw out (compost:) all of the bones, and vegetables.
Pour the broth into containers and let cool. When you put the broth in the refrigerator and it chills, the liquid should form into a jelly like liquid. There will be some fat that hardens at the top, I find sometimes it’s very little and other time a little more. You can skim that off with a spoon and all you will have left is the broth 🙂
****Always use healthy animal bones because it makes a difference in how nutrient dense your broth will turn out. Over time I have bought a few whole chickens, removed all the meat and I could tell the bones were quite brittle and seemed unhealthy. Those bones do not have the same nutrition and will not produce the same nutrient dense/ gelatinous broth as healthy raised animals, so if you can, choose grass-fed, pasture raised animals!
This is just to show you the consistency of a good batch of bone broth….(oh and clearly this is a very high quality video 🙂]