Bone broth is a wonderful medicinal food. It is rich source minerals, proteins and healthy fats. Also it is easily digestible, so it gives your body what it needs with out requiring additional energy to extract the nutrients. This makes it nourishing and healing.
Because it is easily digestible, it great for any one with digestive ailments; particularly any kind where eating food seems to make it worse. Bone broth provides a powerful punch of nutrients and energy without taxing the digestive system.
Bone broth is also great for colds, flus and minor viral infections. There really is truth to the whole chicken soup cure. Again, this broth provides the body with building blocks to fuel the immune system without diverting energy away from fighting the infection.
Because the broth is a rich extract of connective tissue, it is also great for ailments affecting, joints, bones, lungs, muscle and blood.
I also like the broth as an adjunct to my general wellness strategy. I make mine in large batches and then pour into an ice cube tray and freeze the cubes. Then, as needed, I can thaw a few cubes at a time and enjoy some warm sumptuous broth whenever I might like. Often, I like to sip on the broth in the morning; especially on those days that my appetite is slow to wake up.
One of my colleagues wrote a thorough paper all about the value of bone broth. You can find it here.
There are many ways to make bone broth and it is hard to go wrong, so I encourage you to follow these general guidelines and try it out.
1. Get bones. They can be chicken, beef, pork, lamb or any combination. You can save these up in your freezer as you eat the meat. Or, you can get them from local butchers or at farmer’s markets. If you use larger bones (like beef or lamb) you can brown them in the oven for richer flavor. Sometimes if I cook a whole chicken, I will use the whole carcass for bone broth. The extra connective tissue, marrow and/or skin will add to the nutrient content of the broth.
2. Put bones in large stock pot and fill pot with enough water to cover the bones (often 1-2 quarts, but it depends on how many bones and how big of a pot).
3. Add ~2 TBS of vinegar. Doesn’t matter what kind. Usually I don’t even properly measure, it is more just a healthy “glug” or two. This decreases the pH and facilitates the extraction of the bone minerals.
4. Bring to a simmer. You can skim off any scum that rises to the top if you like.
5. Simmer for a good long time. Generally, if you are using chicken bones (smaller bones) you can get away with 6 hours, but up to 24 hours or more is better. Larger bones (like beef or lamb) probably would do better with at least 8 hours of simmering, and can go up to 48 hours or more. The longer you boil the more you can extract. Don’t let it boil dry, so if you need to you can add extra water. Some people like to use their crock pot to do the cooking. Also, if you like, after the bones have been boiling for a while, you can pull them out, let them cool and break them and then return them to the pot to boil more. This facilitates the extraction of more minerals and nutrients.
6. Let the broth cool until it is easy to handle.
7. Strain through a sieve or cheese cloth. No need to feel squeamish about any “gristly bits and parts” because all the solids are removed. Save the broth. Toss the bones.
8. Eat or store the broth. You can eat right away. Feel free to add salt to taste. Or, I often pour mine into ice cube trays and freeze, so I have individual serving portions available whenever I like.
Let me know how it goes and if you have any questions!