Healing with Bone Broth

Healing with Bone Broth

Who knew such an yummy food could be so good for us?

I’ve recently become enamored with bone broth. Suddenly it was all over the news but it seemed like a lot of work to make and I wasn’t sure about it. In fact, it didn’t sound like it would pass my taste test. Then suddenly, like a bolt from the universe, I found it in my local coffee shop that specializes in amazing food along with coffee and tea. Much to my surprise, the flavor captured my fancy and I was hooked.

Why bone broth? Bone broth is chock full of minerals and nutrition that we need to survive. You can get it from other sources, but it’s easier and more efficient to get it from bone broth. Benefits include:

  1. Helps with supporting digestive issues. The gelatin that is in bone broth helps heal the mucosal lining of the digestive tract which reduces the inflammation and then allows you to absorb more from what you eat.
  2. Helps reduce joint pain. The glucosamine (extracted from the cartilage) that is in bone broth can actually stimulate the growth of new collagen which can repair damage joints, reduce pain and inflammation.
  3. Helps produce shiny hair, softer skin and stronger nails. The collagen and gelatin that is found in bone broth are all key ingredients to healthy hair, skin and nails. (Psst..who needs Botox?)
  4. Helps with bone repair. Bone broth is high in calcium, magnesium and phosphorous all important minerals needed for build and re-build bones.

So, okay, we now know it’s good for us.

What about the flavor?  It is rich, a nice blend of meats, vegetables and spices (clearly more than your basic beef stock from a carton), with plenty of that mouth feel that is called umami. Like a fine wine brings up memories of that sunny afternoon spent sipping reds in Napa, when you are drinking bone broth it transports you back to your mother or grandmother’s kitchen where the smells abound and all is right with the world.

So I set out to see if I could re-create that experience in my own kitchen.

I searched for  recipes online and decided that I would use them for inspiration but create my own by mixing the best from what I found. You can check it out here. I went to Whole Foods to get the ingredients, because really you want them as organic as possible. Grass fed animal bones will yield better nutrition than the bones from the KAFO animals. Vegetables grown organically will yield more vitamins and minerals and leak out less pesticides. I came home with bags of groceries and set out on my task. It was Friday afternoon.

After mixing all the ingredients together and watching it simmer gently on the stove and in my oven for 24 hours, I could hardly contain myself. The house was infused with this delicious aroma that made my mouth water and I felt like I was back home as a child waiting for dinner to be ready.  It was Saturday early evening and the bone broth was finally the deep rich color that signaled it was ready. I poured it out through the strainer and patiently waited for it to cool to a reasonable temperature.

I poured it into my coffee mug, sat down by the fire and took my first sip. It tasted amazing. Just the right amount of flavor and richness. I am so excited because now I have a weeks worth of bone broth at my fingertips just waiting patiently in my refrigerator. I have more in my freezer awaiting the call to help me support my bones, skin, hair and digestion for weeks to come. So here’s to good health with good taste. I’m expecting to be complimented on my shiny hair and clear skin in the months to come. Either way, it’s a great way to get through the day.

I encourage you to try bone broth. I promise you, you will not be disappointed.

Recipe below:

Healing Bone Broth

Yields: about 50 ounces of broth

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 lbs mixed beef, pork, lamb bones, (i.e.short ribs, oxtails and knuckle bones. Ask your butcher)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 3 celery stalks chopped
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 T cider vinegar (helps to extract the nutrition from the bones)
  • 4 oz mixed mushrooms
  • 1-2 cloves garlic (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf

Instructions:

1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the bones on a baking sheet with 1 T oil and roast in th preheated oven for about 1 hour, turning them over after 30 minutes. You don’t have to roast the bones, but it adds depth to the flavor and the color.
2.While the bones are roasting, add the vegetables to a 6 quart Dutch Oven (if you want to cook this in the oven) or a large stock pot (to cook on the stovetop). Saute with 1 T olive oil for 5-10 mins until the onions are clear
3. When the bones are cooked, add them to the vegetables and fill the Dutch oven or stock pot 3/4 full. Make sure to cover everything with the water. Add in the cider vinegar and bay leaf and garlic if so desired and cover.
4. Bring the water to an almost boil over medium high heat.
5. For the stockpot, reduce the heat to the lowest level possible. Keep covered and check regularly. Skim off any foam that is created and keep filling with water as needed to keep all the ingredients covered. Foam can make the bone broth cloudy.
6. For the Dutch oven, transfer to a 200 degree oven. Keep covered and check regularly. Skim off any foam that is created and keep filling with water as needed to keep all the ingredients covered. Foam can make the bone broth cloudy.
7. Cook for 12-24 hours. You can leave it in the oven overnight. On the stovetop, just turn it off when you go to bed and begin again in the morning. The broth is done when it’s a deep brown color and it is deeply flavorful. You should have a nice balance of flavors.
8. Strain the broth first through a colander and then through a strainer or cheesecloth depending on how clear you want the end product. (I used a strainer)
9. Cool to room temperature, store in mason jars and place in the refrigerator. Skim off any fat that is on top.Keep in the fridge for up to 5 days and freeze the rest for future consumption.

ENJOY…..reheat the bone broth when you want a delicious, soothing snack. Some people use it as a meal replacement on fasting days.