Have you ever smelled a big pot of bone broth or stock simmering, filling the kitchen with that enchanting aroma?
Well that simmering stock has finally been recognized as a health food. Known as bone broth, there are now cafes and stands that only sell broth. Easy to carry in a to-go coffee cup, bone broth can be served plain or with mix-ins like turmeric, ginger or coconut milk.
You may not have a broth café near you but don’t worry, broth is easy to prepare and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week or frozen for longer storage. Bone broth has a rich amino acid profile. It helps you stay hydrated and nourished with minerals and quality protein.
Even if you avoid meat, you can still benefit from broth. Vegetable broth is full of magnesium, potassium and numerous trace minerals.
Anyone going through cancer treatment should include bone broth as part of their nutrition plan. It is easily digestible, highly nutritious and easy to prepare ahead and store.
Benefits of Bone Broth
- Gut health. Gelatin in bone broth can strengthen the gut by increasing the good flora. It may help reduce inflammation and the amino acids are helpful for digestion.
- Maintain joint health. The Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulphate in bone broth can stimulate new collagen growth to help repair damaged joints. A 2016 study in the Nutrition Journal showed that collagen can improve knee joint symptoms, such as pain, stiffness and decreased physical function, in people with osteoarthritis.
- Liver detox. The potassium and glycine in bone broth supports liver detoxification at a cellular level.
- Better looking hair, skin and nails. The high collagen content keeps skin firm and reduces wrinkles. It also strengthens hair and nails and speeds growth.
- Release weight. It is high in protein, which helps your body feel fuller for longer.
- Help you sleep. The magnesium and Glycine in bone broth have a calming effect, relax muscles and promote deeper, more restorative sleep.
- Whole food supplement. Instead of taking a handful of pills have a cup of bone broth!
It’s Supposed to Jiggle
You may want to hide your body jiggles, but you should show off your bone broth jiggles. Because if it doesn’t jiggle it’s not as good.
The long simmering of bones dissolves the collagen in the connective tissue, creating gelatin, which causes bone broth to gel when cooled. It gives the broth body and texture. When the broth is reheated, it will dissolve. I recommended that you reheat broth on the stove instead of the microwave.
True bone broths are different than the canned or boxed broths you find at a local grocery store. While the boxes are convenient, they are usually high in sodium and low in the minerals that make homemade bone broth healthy.
Broth vs Bone Broth vs Stock
Nourished Kitchen provides a great explanation of the difference between these terms:
Broth is typically made with meat and can contain a small amount of bones (think of the bones in a fresh whole chicken). Broth is typically simmered for a short period of time (45 minutes to 2 hours). It is very light in flavor, thin in texture and rich in protein.
Stock is typically made with bones and can contain a small amount of meat (think of the meat that adheres to a beef neck bone). Often the bones are roasted before simmering them as this simple technique greatly improves the flavor. Beef stocks, for example, can present a faint acrid flavor if the bones aren’t first roasted. Stock is typically simmered for a moderate amount of time (3 to 4 hours). Stock is rich in minerals and gelatin.
Bone Broth is typically made with bones and can contain a small amount of meat adhering to the bones. As with stock, bones are typically roasted first to improve the flavor of the bone broth. Bone broths are typically simmered for a very long period of time (often in excess of 24 hours). This long cooking time helps to remove as many minerals and nutrients as possible from the bones.
I think this is one healthy food trend that it’s safe to take a crack at and reap the benefits! Here’s how to make your own broth at home – and it’s probably so much easier than you think too!
HOMEMADE BONE BROTH
In a big stock pot, add water to just cover bones — use pastured (grass-fed) animal bones, preferably organic if possible.
Then add in any of the following fresh veggies, organic when possible:
- whole onions
- entire heads of garlic
- handful of parsley
- big chunks of celery & carrots (washed, but unpeeled)
- seasonings such as sea salt, bay leaves & peppercorns
Add a big splash of unpasteurized apple cider vinegar (acetic acid) to help break down and leach out all the minerals from the bones.
Then simmer the broth on low for up to 24 hours – some people do it for up to 48 hours.
Throughout the cooking process, skim off any foam and add water as needed to top off.
When the stock is finished simmering, filter through a fine sieve and bottle in glass mason jars (or other non-plastic/heat-safe vessels). Cool before screwing top on and putting in fridge.
The broth will keep in the fridge for about a week and up to a month in the freezer – and should set just like gelatin, and the fat should rise to the top. Scrape off the fat and set aside for cooking, then scoop out the gelled broth and reheat to serve as soup.
How To Freeze Bone Broth
For longer storage, I like to freeze my bone broth in ice cube molds. Once the cubes are frozen, package them up in a large ziploc bag. To thaw bone broth pop a few of these cubes into a small saucepan. Use as a base for soups, sauces and other recipes.